The Ada Initiative supports women in open technology and culture through activities such as producing codes of conduct and anti-harassment policies, advocating for gender diversity, teaching ally skills, and hosting conferences for women in open tech/culture. Most of what we create is freely available, reusable, and modifiable under Creative Commons licenses.
If that isn’t enough to explain why I support the Ada Initiative and why I think other librarians should too, let me tell you just one story about how the Ada Initiative has been important to me.
A little over a year ago, I decided that I was not going to speak at or support any conference that did not have a code of conduct. Then, in a fit of bravada, I decided to ask my boss, the University Librarian, to issue a statement encouraging ALL of our librarians to take the same stance and to work with the professional associations they were involved with to adopt codes of conduct. Making my argument was easy, because the Ada Initiative folks had already compiled all the data and documentation, and examples. The boss said yes, and I know of several major conferences that have since adopted codes at least partially in response to advocacy from Stanford librarians. I am convinced that these conferences are now a little more welcoming to folks who might otherwise have felt less included and less safe. I’m proud of whatever small role Stanford Libraries may have played in that — and the groundwork done by the Ada Initiative made that possible.
The truth is, I don’t really do much tech myself, but I’m a leader in an organization and a profession that does a lot of tech, and that employs many women. I very much want library technology to be diverse, inclusive, and as equitable as we can possibly make it; and The Ada Initiative gives us the tools to move in that direction.
So I support the Ada Initiative, and I hope you will too. Please also help spread the word via the hashtag #libs4ada.