This librarian supports the Ada Initiative

Feral Librarian

Donate to the Ada Initiative

TheAda Initiativesupports women in open technology and culture through activities such as producingcodes of conduct and anti-harassment policies,advocating for gender diversity,teaching ally skills, and hostingconferences 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 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…

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grappling with glass: (mis)adventures in wearable technology.  


char booth google glass grimace First confession: my library bought Google Glass about six months ago. Second confession: I have, shall we say, a conflicted relationship with Glass. Third confession: although my intrepid colleague and collaborator Dani Brecher and I just published a piece  on the program we’ve developed at Claremont , I have strenuously avoided writing about it in this more personal venue. Fourth confession (more like revelation): our user community is seriously into the technology. This post is my attempt to reconcile these confessions.

fraught process

Google Glass has gotten a ton of press spanning from rhapsodic to horrified to hilarious, so I won’t rehash beyond a few basics: it’s a wearable smart device that sits on your face and projects a tiny screen slightly above the horizon-line of your right eye. It’s controlled by voice, touch, and gesture, and desperately requires a data connection to function properly due to the extent that it relies upon the cloud. Its…

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Crisis Text Line has counseled teens through nearly 2 million problems. Here’s how this idea got its start.

been talking about this for years. very happy it’s happening!

TED Blog

Specialists at Crisis Text Line chat with teenagers in crisis through an online web platform. Photo: Keri Goff Specialists at Crisis Text Line chat with teenagers in distress through a web platform. This month, the service will respond to its 2 millionth message. Photo: Keri Goff

Teenagers love to text—their thumbs pound out an average of 3,339 texts per month. Crisis Text Line turns this into a way to help teens through their hardest times: family issues, stress or suicidal thoughts. Trained counselors text back and forth with advice and resources—and, in the process, collect (anonymous) data that could lead to better policy to protect teens.

Crisis Text Line gets 11,000 messages from teenagers in distress a day—the service will respond to its 2 millionth message this month. And founder Nancy Lublin says the service simply wouldn’t exist if she hadn’t been asked to give a TED Talk about it.

Lublin met TED curator Chris Anderson in December 2011, and told him something she’d noticed while working with teens at

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What will blow our minds in the *next* 30 years?

TED Blog

Predictions are a mug’s game. If they come true, you likely didn’t push your thinking hard enough. If they don’t come true, you risk looking like an idiot. Nonetheless, many speakers at the annual TED conference have taken the plunge and proffered thoughts of what the future might look like. The video above takes a quick spin through just some of them, with thoughts from tech pioneers including Nicholas Negroponte, Rodney Brooks, Jeff Han and Pattie Maes.

Below, we asked many of the attendees and speakers at this year’s just-wrapped TED to riff off the conference’s theme (“The Next Chapter”) and tell us what they think might radically change society, life, technology and so on in the *next* 30 years. From funny and wry to deeply insightful, the answers will surprise you.

“One of the things about learning how to read — we have been doing a lot of consuming of…

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Shelf Series Volume 2: Grace O’Connell

D.D. Miller's Book Shelf

Grace O’Connell’s novel Magnified World  (Random House 2012) lives on my fiction shelf, tucked between a couple of notorious Can Lit’ers. Canadian publisher, critic, and writer Hal Niedzviecki’s novel Ditch is on one side and Michael Ondaatje’s Divisadero is on the other.

Magnified World CoverHER NOVEL

Magnified World is Grace’s first novel, published by Random House Canada in 2012 under its “New Faces of Fiction” imprint. In the novel, the protagonist Maggie begins to have unexplainable blackouts after her mother’s suicide. This eventually leads to an investigation of her mother’s past. But, of course, it’s about much more than that and not quite as straight forward as it sounds. It’s about grief at its heart, and the blackouts enhance that off-kilter, foggy feeling it causes.

But it’s also very much a novel about, or at least very much in, Toronto. The settings are so clearly Toronto and the people are beginning…

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Vladamir Nabokov

D.D. Miller's Book Shelf

All eight of my Nabokov books.

I have seven books by Vladamir Nabokov in my fiction section and one (Speak, Memory–a memoir) in general non-fiction, all of which were purchased during a Nabokov-obsessed period in the early 2000s. All of my editions are pocket book editions and were purchased in the book-loving towns of Victoria and Sydney, British Columbia. I have the Viking Portable Nabokov Reader too, which includes essays and poetry as well as excerpts from novels and some short stories.

Lolita Crest Giant Edition Nabokov is best known for Lolita (1955), a masterpiece of a novel. Along with being extraordinarily written, it is nearly undefinable as a genre; it’s a road book, a melodrama, a comedy, a story of abuse that borders on horror and, of course, a first-person confessional with the most unreliable of unreliable narrators. One of the most remarkable things is that it was one of the first books he wrote in English…

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