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Turning Conversations Into Action, An Invitation to the LTG Summit

There are many conversations happening out there in libraryland around issues of gender and technology.

A panel at ALA in two weeks, ongoing conversations about ALA Code of Conduct, the libtechgender group with vast amounts of passionate blog posts, tweets, and face to face conversations — These activities and conversations have been happening for a while and are very, very useful. Sessions, tweets and conversations remind us of the importance of this issue. They are, however, dispersed and do not always allow for the opportunity to delve deeply into action based steps and progress simply due to time available or focus to advance the conversation deeply. We invite you all to bring these conversations to a place where we can take join together to take action.

Read how the Leadership Technology Gender Summit is approaching the framing of the conversation in the challenge question and in the meeting format here and here.

Let’s convene, learn from each other, and do something about it. The LTG Summit is a space to allow us to do this. We invite you all to join us and actively participate in an attendee driven event that gives us the opportunity to take the conversations into action.

Registration is now open:

On your mark…

Registration is finally open for the LTG summit. I don’t know about you, but I am really excited about this meeting, for a number of reasons.

It is always nice, the transition from planning to doing.  We have set the stage , and, thanks to Jennifer Vinopal’s literature review (see her blog post), provided a space for  foundational resources with a Zotero group.

Now is the time to queue up the conversation.

Ever since Bonnie, Amy and I started brainstorming about the Summit in the late Spring of 2013, I have had great one-on-one conversations with many folks about this meeting:  What are the goals? Don’t you think you are being a bit limiting/over-reaching? How does this meeting relate to (insert reference many of the other activities here)? What do you think about the ALA Code of Conduct conversation? Is this really an issue?  I have learned a lot from these conversations, about myself, my community, and my profession.

The biggest take-away for me is that now is the time to move this conversation from the fringes to the core and that the challenge is bigger than one person, one organization, or one interest group. There is so much to talk about – there is room for everyone.

It is important that work together and share the floor.

But we need to know how to have a conversation. Or maybe – we need to remember how to be civil and brush up on our listening skills.

We have to be willing to be challenged, confused and curious. We have to have courage to be honest and admit what we don’t know.

I just finished reading a little book by Margaret Wheatley – Turning to One Another: Simple conversations to restore hope to the future. In it she talks about the power of a simple conversation and “when we begin listening to each other, and when we talk about things that matter to us, the world begins to change” (p.13).

She notes that it is not easy to have a true conversation – as we have forgotten what it means to have a conversation, sitting in meetings where everyone agrees (or the opposite where shouting and aggressive behavior chill the room). “These experiences have left us feeling hesitant to speak and frightened of each other…but a good conversation is very different from those bad meetings. It is a much older and more reliable way for humans to think together”.(p.28)

Leadership is a key principle for the summit.

For me, leadership is not to be confused with “administration”, but more along the lines of: How do I lead from where I am, by example? What do I have within my realm of influence? When I see the opportunity to change the system, will I have the courage to make the choice for positive change?

Or simply put, what can I do? For now, it is working with my friends and colleagues to create a space for a fruitful conversation about gender, technology, its implications on the library profession, and identifying ways we can lead change and progress.

As Wheatley says, “[l]arge and successful change starts with conversations among friends, not those in power. Change begins from deep inside a system, when a few people notice something they will no longer tolerate.”(p.29)

So, let’s all take a collective deep breath and dive in.

we need a logo!

Sending out an SOS…


The Summit organizers are looking for a logo, something clean and simple we can use to brand our social media/website/letterhead (do people still use letterhead?)

So rev up your vector graphics software/crayons/gouache and submit a jpg to before the end of 2013.

We promise you fame, glory, and eternal bragging rights. (We will say nice things about you and come up with a goodie to send your way in thanks.)

Announcing the LTG Summit

As libraries grow increasingly digital and technically complex, how will the gender inequities that are also prevalent in the information technology field impact librarianship? The field of librarianship is largely made up of women, and yet women are significantly underrepresented in leadership positions.

This summit will convene a group of dynamic, invested, and creative people from varied backgrounds and types of libraries to discuss these issues and examine how we might build a future for libraries and librarianship free from gender bias. We hope to inspire practical, actionable approaches for a brighter future. What is the library community doing right? Where can we improve?

The LTG summit will provide the opportunity for focused attention on a big challenge for our profession. It is the organizers’ intent to include thoughtful library professionals at all levels of the field and regardless of gender who wish to participate in a dynamic set of conversations about leadership, technology and gender in libraries and related fields.

Mark your calendars for March 19-21, 2014 in Austin, Texas. This event will immediately follow the Electronic Resources & Libraries conference with overlapping workshops focused on coding and project management skills.

This meeting is being organized by:
Bonnie Tijerina, Head of Electronic Resources & Serials at Harvard University and ER&L founder
Rachel Frick, Director of the Digital Library Federation Program at Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)
Amy Buckland, eScholarship, ePublishing & Digitization Coordinator, McGill University, with guidance provided by an extensive Advisory Committee.

Advisory Committee members include:
Marguerite Avery, Senior Acquisitions Editor, MIT Press, and Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society
Chris Bourg, Assistant University Librarian, Stanford University
Emily Clasper, Systems Operations Manager, Suffolk Cooperative Library System
Trevor Dawes, Associate University Librarian, Washington University in St.Louis, ACRL President
Declan Fleming, Chief Technology Strategist, University of California, San Diego Library
Cindi Trainor Blyberg, Community Specialist, Springshare; President, LITA
Jennifer Vinopal, Librarian for Digital Scholarship Initiatives, NYU
Matt Zumwalt, Founder MediaShelf, Data Curation Experts, DataBindery

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