Hi, I'm Pat and I have a bit of a long story for you. I work at California
State University, Chico. I'm "new" to the library world. I don't have a
MLS. I don't have a degree in computer science, computer engineering, or
management systems. I have a BS in Biology. When I got my degree the
biology program was fairly diverse and extremely friendly. The "honors"
society was very welcoming, inclusive, and supportive.
I then went to get a teaching credential because I thought I wanted to
teach high school science. That program was very diverse and extremely
unfriendly. It was full of mean, petty, judgmental students and teachers.
After I figured out that being a high school science teacher was not what I
was going to be good at, I went to get a Masters in computer science
(spoiler: I didn't finish). There was no gender diversity. There were two
groups, white males (of which I was one) and Indian males. The students
from India mostly stuck to their own group. They claimed a lab and made it
their own. Looking back, I'm sure I could have done a lot more to reach
out, but I didn't. I had my small group of good friends and I put my head
down and tried to get my classes done.
Before I finished my MS, I took a job with a startup in San Francisco. I
did four years in the bubble/bust days. The company I worked for had good
gender diversity, even at the founder level. The surrounding environment
was pretty much what you've heard or experienced.
Fast-forward to now and again I work where there is above average gender
diversity. I feel we have a good environment where people can speak their
mind and contribute to always making our environment better.
Having seen a number of different environments and communities through the
years, I think that code4lib has a pretty good thing going. Can we be
better than we already are? Of course. Does the desire to make things
better constitute a condemnation of the present status? Of course not.
I salute everybody trying hard to make code4lib better. I just also wanted
to say that I think this group is at the top of my list for communities
that are welcoming, supportive, and embrace diversity.
Thanks for "listening",