CCSF, Yale's Women Initiative, and the Internet Archive

Did you know that there is literally free lunch at Internet Archive every Friday? I went for one of those and nothing but good things happened. Also, just reflecting a bit on two panels I participated in recently at CCSF and Yale.

On March 9th, I spent the day at CCSF spending time with students and panelists reflecting on the nature of being a female coder after a screening of a film made in SF. The film (featuring Megan Smith and several notable women in the tech field) keenly pointed out some of the key reasons for the lack of women involvement in the field. Tracy Chou's comments in the film were particularly insightful for me.

In both panels, I was confronted with a question related to what the nature of my female role models in tech were like growing up. I pointed out that I actually had plenty of female role models working in technology. Many of them were in the tech fields, and others, while not in the tech field, showed me a lot of the character necessary to be successful in any field really. My co-panelists Claudia, Angie and Michelle had their own stories to share which were diverse and insightful spanning across generation.

One interesting thing is that we got to the topic of privilege at both CCSF and Yale. Yale's women leadership has long been promoting the proliferation and participation of women in impactful career positions. I was there on February 25th for the Women in Tech panel where we shared many stories and derived quite a few insights on the nature of being an expert. Privilege comes in many different forms. Wealth is only one kind of privilege as there are other types of privilege like intellectual privilege as well as the access to resources. In addition to the pressure we put on society to even out those differences, the one thing that an individual really has any control over is the investment in themselves. It's no easy task.

On that note, I am really excited to be taking on a position at the Internet Archive helping them work out their FADGI compliance with the LOC. I've walked into a WIP at an interesting time. Literally. I walked in on one of their free lunch Fridays where Brewster Kahle gives a guided tour of the operation. Even if you're just visiting San Francisco, it's a tour that is well worth your time. Even more so if you've ever used the Wayback Machine

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Documenting makes the mundane seem interesting. Interesting matters seem to demand attention on their own.