First off, I’d like to apologize for the tardiness of this post. I had an entire post written up, and suffice to say, DON’T WRITE POSTS IN DRUPAL, THEY ARE NOT AUTOMATICALLY SAVED.
In any case, my blog post was gone and I had to be up at 4am the next morning to catch a flight to the Code4Lib 2014 conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Code4Lib, for those of you don’t know, is a formally informal community of coders and developers who work in libraries or on/with library technology. While it’s not directly related to makerspaces and maker culture, it is definitely something that relates to hackers and coders. If you’re interested in technology and libraries, we would love to have you attend a conference (there are both national and local groups), or join the listserv/follow on twitter/chat with us on IRC to learn more! This is my second year attending Code4Lib. I am by no means a coder or a developer, but since I am currently a type of Systems Librarian (Web Services to be more specific) I work with technology every day, and I know just enough coding to be dangerous (makes everything more exciting!). So, I like to go to Code4Lib to see what other libraries are doing and possibly implement similar things at my own library.
I was especially happy with Code4Lib this year for several reasons. While there’s been a Code of Conduct for almost two years now (as far as I can tell), C4L really went the extra mile this year with the two keynote speakers.
The opening keynote speaker was Sumana Harihareswara who works on the Engineering Community Team at the Wikimedia Foundation. The notes for her talk, “UX Is A Social Justice Issue”, can be found on the Code4Lib Wiki. I highly recommend that you check out the notes for her talk. You can also watch her talk by clicking on this sentence, which will take you to the video on the Code4Lib YouTube channel.
Photo of Sumana Harihareswara from her Twitter
The closing keynote speaker was Valerie Aurora, a co-founder of the Ada Initiative (Suffice to say that the keynote speakers for Code4Lib 2014 had me fangirling all over the place!). While there do not appear to be links from her talk, which was held in a conversation/interview format rather than a more traditional speech, there is also a recording of her session (which you can watch by clicking on this sentence fragment)!
Photo of Valerie Aurora from her Wikipedia page
I would like to briefly note that you do not have to watch the entire video to watch the keynote sessions, they are both at the beginning of the video. However, if you are interested in seeing what kinds of projects are going on in the library technology world, please watch the videos!
The Code4Lib conference is attended by, on the majority, Caucasian men. However, there is a strong female presence (whom are often members of libtechwomen – CHECK US OUT). Despite being in the minority there (female, person of color, vege-CHAMPION), I have never felt anything but safe and welcome at Code4Lib. The choices of keynote speakers and a pretty decent representation of diversity among the presenters, further my admiration and appreciation of Code4Lib. Can’t wait until next year!
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