I confess: prior to today, I had never heard of Ada Lovelace. A number of bloggers whom I follow wrote about Ms. Lovelace today, which is apparently Ada Lovelace Day: “an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.”
Inspired by their words, I thought I would say my piece as well. And so, this being the first Ada Lovelace Day, I’d like to celebrate the woman who is most responsible for my own love of libraries ((I realize Ada Lovelace Day is about technology, not about libraries, but I hope you’ll give me some slack.)) and technology: my mother, Diane. My mother is neither a technologist nor a mathematician, and I’m pretty sure she’s not comfortable in front of a Python interpreter. She was an employee at Rutgers University’s Alexander Library during their first automation efforts in the ’70s, partly while I was in utero. I like to think that library automation entered my bloodstream through osmosis back in 1973 and I’ve been working at this, well, not quite since then, but long enough. More than that, she got me hooked on libraries many years ago through frequent trips to neighborhood libraries and also by including me, in snot-nosed kid form, in her genealogical research that took us to some rural Maryland libraries and, yes, the Library of Congress. This thirst for knowledge (not to mention her constant and unwavering support for me despite the wacky paths I’ve chosen over the years) is why I celebrate my mother today.