Libraries Failure to Make Room for Developer Librarians
October 23, 2015
The article titled Libraries’ Tech Pipeline Problem on Geek Feminism explores the lack of diverse developers. The author, a librarian, is extremely frustrated with the approach many libraries have taken. Rather than refocusing their hiring and training practices to emphasize technical skills, many are simply hiring more and more vendors, hardly a solution. The article states,
“The biggest issue I see is that we offer a fair number of very basic learn-to-code workshops, but we don’t offer a realistic path from there to writing code as a job. To put a finer point on it, we do not offer “junior developer” positions in libraries; we write job ads asking for unicorns, with expert- or near-expert-level skills in at least two areas (I’ve seen ones that wanted strong skills in development, user experience, and devops, for instance).”
The options available are that librarians either learn to code in their spare time (not viable), or enter the tech workforce temporarily and bring your skills back after a few years. This option is also full of drawbacks, especially that even white women are marginalized in the tech industry. Instead, the article stipulates the libraries need to make more room for hiring and promoting people with coding skills and interests while also joining the coding communities like Code4Lib.
Chelsea Kerwin, October 23, 2015