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Ada Lovelace and the Librarians

That would be a great name for a rock band – Ada Lovelace and the Librarians! You see, it is Ada Lovelace Day 2010, where we can all give a special tribute to a “woman in tech”.

My 2010 Ada Lovelace tribute goes to two women – Jessamyn West and Jenny Engstrom. They recently displayed their magic skills at the South by Southwest Interactive conference, which I did not attend. @marks did, and he sent me a tweet saying I’d love the panel and that they were very funny. The title of the panel made my heart go pitter-patter:

How the Other Half Lives – Touring the Digital Divide.

Awestruck, I immediately started following @jennylish and @jessamyn. I viewed the slides and some follow-up material as soon as they were available, but I have not yet listened to the MP3 audio file of the talk (SO bogged down in work to do for my project management class). @marks was spot on. As was @AustinChronicle, who tweeted

Possibly the most important panel of #SXSW – what tech heads don’t know about the #digitaldivide”.

(Tweet comes from @jennylish’s blog along with a link to the paper’s recap of the panel.)

I am passionate about accessibility, but accessibility covers a huge territory. Digital divide is a part of that, and I confess that my dream job would be working with this sort of topic somehow, some way. I think Jessamyn West and Jenny Engstrom are quite deserving of their Ada Lovelace tribute. They go where the “tech heads” fail to go!!

This post is mostly fan mail exhorting you, dear reader, to read something that I have hardly read! There is a sign here to the Holy Grail. I am convinced of that. Librarians have superpowers. Prior to the news about this digital divide panel, I stumbled across an amazing book, thanks to @krug95. The book has the most awesome title: This Book is Overdue. (Getting a notice from the library that this book was now available for pickup threw me for a moment. “What book is overdue?” I thought. Oh, wait…)

The rest of the title is the kicker: How Librarians and Cybrarians can SAVE US ALL. Yup. Nothing less! I snapped a photo of the book the moment I brought it home. I knew I had to post that photo to this blog. 🙂

I have only had time to read one chapter. Marilyn Johnson’s writing is delightful and I will review it when I finish reading it. It also looks like a book I will buy just for the joy of having it nearby.

The moral of my tale? Don’t mess with librarians and cybrarians! They are part of the front line for getting more young girls (young kids) excited about tech.

PS Despite the great title, there is no music involved in this post. Every time I think of “rock band”, I think of the Henriette Weber kind of rock band. Follow that link and read to find out what I mean.

OK. Happy Ada Lovelace Day everyone. It’s back to homework time!

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