Sexual harassment, along with continuing to build progressive and inclusive
cultures within libraries and library IT organizations, is a critically
important topic. We need to be able to write and talk about it openly,
with sensitivity, but also with credibility and trust. Our Code4Lib
community has made great strides, yet has many more strides to make. We
must make more room and space to discuss difficult and sensitive topics, to
consider experiences other than our own, and to commit to being more
inclusive, diverse, and equitable. This list is a place for such topics
because we are a community, not just a listserv of technology topics and
Sunni - I admire your willingness to champion this. I want to encourage
you to consider more carefully the process you are using in your research
and the credibility of your methods and journalism. Almost all (if not
all) of the academic organizations in this community require Institutional
Review Board approval to do surveys of human subjects, even anonymous ones,
and I would highly recommend you consider submitting your research to a
review body that can advise your research techniques and certify its
integrity. This topic is so sensitive that you need to be certain to
maintain your credibility, integrity, and trustworthiness to those who
share their stories with you and to support the pieces you write for the
world. I also encourage you to consider including another Library
organization to seek participation, as Code4Lib is, by definition, an
informally-organized community. Finally, I believe you should seek out
Library HR Directors to advise your work. They have many, many more
resources, data, and professional experience that could be very valuable to
you and your work.
The Houston Chronicle recently published a multi-part series documenting
decades of sexual harassment, assault, abuse, cover ups and negligence
within the Southern Baptist denomination, the largest protestant
denomination in the United States. This mirrors the impact that the Boston
Globe Spotlight had about sexual abuse within the Catholic church. I know
someone who was profiled in the Houston Chronicle series, the risk she took
in trusting these journalists, and the importance of getting the story
right and not just out so that true healing, accountability, and change can
occur. These two journalistic investigations demonstrate the depth of
work, integrity, credibility, and care we should model in all of our
research, especially those of a sensitive nature, so that true and lasting
change can occur.
I hope that we can continue to grow as an inclusive community.
Associate University Librarian for Digital Strategies and Technology
Duke University Libraries
[log in to unmask]
The Duke University Libraries value diversity of thought, perspective,
experience, and background and are actively committed to a culture of
On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 2:41 PM S B <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Exactly the whole point of posting. Please don’t disregard the topic here
> and please have round table discussions.
> This topic is not discussed enough in the profession.
> Someone on this thread may have gone through or may be going through
> sexual harassment.
> I am not perfect and certainly I have learned many things. I appreciate
> those who have offered useful feedback and I take it to heart.
> The series of stories is not done and will be posted throughout 2020.
> Sexual harassment in libraries happens and ultimately if people stop
> talking about it and stop demanding positive change, it will continue to
> Sent from my iPhone
> > On Jul 2, 2019, at 1:34 PM, Natasha Allen <[log in to unmask]>
> > This would be a great round table to have at next year's conference, just
> > not here. Not in this space. Not when *in this same thread* there is
> > cross-talk and accusatory language. It's particularly inappropriate if
> > we're not centering those who are often affected the most by these
> > situations. It's so hard to gauge tone in these discussions on the
> > and things can unnecessarily spiral, which is why I suggest a roundtable
> > discussion or somewhere where survivors feel safe to speak up. I
> > Sunni for bringing it up, and I agree it's important. I disagree with the
> > format and how it was brought up. It's not an indictment on any one
> > but more out of my personal concern and my desire to minimize harm to
> > directly affected by sexual harassment.
> > Natasha
> > ---
> > Natasha Allen (she/her)
> > System and Fulfillment Coordinator, University Library
> > San José State University
> > 1 Washington Square
> > San José , CA 95192
> > [log in to unmask]
> > 408-808-2655
> > On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 11:21 AM Andreas Orphanides <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >> I don't think the answer to the questions of this thread is
> "off-topic". To
> >> my mind, it's not. It's been a long time since Code4Lib has been solely
> >> venue of people who write code in libraries, nor solely the place of
> >> discussion for code in libraries. This community has grown to encompass
> >> whole host of adjacent issues, not least of which include things like
> >> psychological safety, diversity, and community-building in the library
> >> technology space at large.
> >> To that end, I think an empathetic and receptive discussion of sexual
> >> harassment and assault is relevant, and necessary.
> >> I share many of the same concerns that a lot of people do with how
> >> work emerged on the mailing list. I agree with what a lot of people have
> >> said about the journalism ethics issues and concerns about identifying
> >> contributors. But to the credit of many community members, especially
> >> Natasha, they have done a good job of reaching out to Sunni and
> >> communicating those concerns. And to Sunni's credit it seems like she's
> >> been receptive to those comments and will hopefully take those lessons
> >> her next article.
> >> As frustrating and difficult as the thread has been, however, I think it
> >> would be wrong and shortsighted to use it as an excuse to shut down
> >> discussion of sexual harassment in our community. It happens in our
> >> workplaces and our departments. It happens at our conference. I like to
> >> think that "we" are in a better place with respect to this than many
> >> similar communities, especially in light of things like the Code of
> >> and our use of Community Support Volunteers at the conference, but I
> >> no direct evidence to know that we are "better" than anyone else. And I
> >> don't think there's a way we could get a sense without a frank and open
> >> discussion of the topic.
> >> I can't speak on behalf of those who have experienced harassment within
> >> outside of our community. But I know that they are part of our
> community. I
> >> don't know how best to make Code4Lib a safe and welcoming place for
> them to
> >> share their experiences, but I know that we -- especially those of us
> >> have not had these experiences -- have to do it. And I'm pretty sure
> >> shutting the door on discussion of the topic is not the way.
> >> On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 1:55 PM Christopher R. HOFFMAN <
> >> [log in to unmask]>
> >> wrote:
> >>> Hi Richard, thank you for demonstrating why this is not a safe space
> >>> for these kinds of conversations.
> >>> Thanks,
> >>> Chris
> >>> On Jul 2, 2019, at 10:45 AM, richard
> >>> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>>>> I know many people are ready to see this thread stop, but do you know
> >>> of a better forum?
> >>>> You're a library information professional and don't have the skills to
> >>> identify online forums related to libraries? Yikes! The first part of
> >>> name of this list is "CODE4" - that should provide adequate clue as the
> >>> nature of appropriate topics for posts.
> >>>> Finally, and this is to everyone who DOES have Internet research
> >>> and the capacity to infer proper topics for the list based on its name,
> >>> ignore inappropriate content that you can't regulate...DON'T FEED THE
> >>> TROLLS.