This too has been sitting in my inbox, and I've been trying to find time to
respond. I have to say that I love your questions. Now that Karen has
piped up, I'll follow suit. I've addressed each of your questions below to
the best of my ability.
*For those of you who came into this community and at some point went through
a MSLS or MSIS program I am wondering if there are things I could try to do
that might have an impact on better aligning the ratio of men to women in
code4lib and the technology end of the field in general to that in the
I have to say that I felt really lucky to have some very smart professors
teaching me. More importantly, that they were women (specifically Kristin
Chaffin and Catherine Blake who are no longer there, and Diane Kelly who
happily is still there). I enjoyed having them to look to as examples, it
made me feel like what I wanted to do was obtainable. Looking back I
realize that the only male I took classes with on the IS side of SILS was
Dr. Losee. That being said, when I looked around the room in my IS
classes, the majority of the folks were men. And encouraging men at that
-- I was lucky enough to graduate with some amazing men. I think being in
a space that had a strong female presence (professors) and an encouraging
male presence (my classmates) made me feel less conspicuous as one of just
a few females in my class. I wonder if the same would have been true if I
had taken classes made up mostly of females.
I also agree with what Karen said "*If anyone says 'I guess I don't get it'
or 'I think this is a stupid question, but...' then your response will make
a huge difference.*" I think that's the moment to step up and say, *'lots
of people don't get it right away'* or *'i'm sure lots of people have that
question'*. Sometimes people just need a cheerleader.
*Was there a moment of clarity? A person who said or modeled the right thing?
A project that helped uncover a skill you didn't know you had?*
Again I really think my professors pointing out to me that I was doing a
great job and encouraging me to do more was what made me move forward --
Catherine Blake taught me Database II and encouraged me to take the
programming class with Kristin Chaffin because she thought I was doing so
well with databases. I did, and Kristin opened up a world that I had
only dabbled in -- and she too encouraged me to do more. I appreciated
that and don't know if I would have done it had it not been for them.
*And, I am not just interested in what I can do through one class, but
the curriculum and school could do more holistically.*
So I'm of the mind -- and this is something that almost stopped me from
going to SILS in the first place -- that the school should be handing out
an MLIS. I wasted a lot of time taking classes that I didn't necessarily
need. I wish I could have focused more on classes I loved, but because I
had to decide between an IS and an LS (and couldn't) I ended up taking all
the required classes for both degrees. If I hadn't been forced into a
choice, I would have had more time to focus on the things that it turns out
I loved -- databases, programming, and systems administration.
That's just my two cents. Hope that helps,
On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 11:43 AM, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> This has been sitting in my in-box as I try to come up with a reply.
> I went through library school before "coding" was an issue, although I did
> do some statistical work on computers (punch cards). But for me the
> "moment" was simply being given a task with the assumption that I would be
> up to it. I also suggest group work, with students selecting their own
> groups, or opting to work alone. Group work can be less intimidating than
> having to ask questions in front of an entire class, especially if the
> class is coed, and especially if it has a few "know it alls" who like to
> one-up everyone else. It's the class dynamic (and how you handle it) that
> is more important than the content of the class for encouraging women. And
> it is also the hardest thing to get right. ;-) Pay close attention to your
> students and what they are telling you about how comfortable they feel in
> the class. If anyone says "I guess I don't get it" or "I think this is a
> stupid question, but..." then your response will make a huge difference.
> And don't let the class fall prey to the "know it alls." They are absolute
> poison in the learning environment.
> Good luck!
> On 2/14/13 8:34 AM, Shearer, Timothy J wrote:
>> Hi Folks,
>> I'm teaching systems analysis at SILS (UNC CH) this semester.
>> Though the course is required for the IS degree, it's not required for the
>> LS degree.
>> However, the majority of my students this semester are LS. And the vast
>> majority are women.
>> Apropos of the part of the thread that dealt with numbers:
>> For those of you who came into this community and at some point went
>> through a MSLS or MSIS program I am wondering if there are things I could
>> try to do that might have an impact on better aligning the ratio of men to
>> women in code4lib and the technology end of the field in general to that
>> in the general population?
>> Was there a moment of clarity? A person who said or modeled the right
>> thing? A project that helped uncover a skill you didn't know you had?
>> And, I am not just interested in what I can do through one class, but also
>> what the curriculum and school could do more holistically.
> Karen Coyle
> [log in to unmask] http://kcoyle.net
> ph: 1-510-540-7596
> m: 1-510-435-8234
> skype: kcoylenet