We Can Do I.T.
Women in Library Information Technology
Editors: Jenny Brandon, Sharon Ladenson, and Kelly Sattler
Published: July 2018
Number ten in the Litwin Books Series on Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies, Emily Drabinski, Series Editor
Does gender play a role in library information technology (I.T.)? For the last several decades, libraries have primarily employed women, whereas I.T. jobs have been held by men. What happens when the two collide? What is it like for women who are working for I.T. within the library? Has it changed over time? Through personal narratives, we explore these questions and seek to provide guidance and encouragement for women and men in library I.T., those pursuing a career in library I.T., and library management. The collection includes themes concerning “Imposter Syndrome,” career trajectory, experiences of sexism and biases. Contributors also offer advice and encouragement to those entering or already in the field. Examples of positions held by the contributors include managers, web developers, system librarians, programmers, and consultants. This collection provides a voice for women in library I.T., bringing their experiences from the margins to the center, and encouraging conversation for positive change.
Jenny Brandon earned a BA in interdisciplinary humanities at Michigan State University, and an MLIS from Wayne State University. She is a self-taught web designer/front end developer, and is currently employed in Web Services at Michigan State University. She is also a reference librarian. She previously wrote a book chapter, Librarians as Web Designers, in Envisioning Our Preferred Future: New Services, Jobs and Directions, by Bradford Lee Eden.
Sharon Ladenson is Gender and Communication Studies Librarian at Michigan State University. Her writing on feminist pedagogy and critical information literacy is included in works such as Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods (from Library Juice Press) and the Critical Library Pedagogy Handbook(from the Association of College and Research Libraries). She is an active member of the Women and Gender Studies Section (WGSS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries, and has presented with WGSS colleagues at the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference.
Kelly Sattler has a Bachelor of Science degree in computer engineering and spent 12 years in corporate I.T. before earning her MLIS degree from University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. Currently, she is the Head of Web Services at Michigan State University Libraries. She is an active member in ALA’s Library Information and Technology Association (LITA).