Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ada Lovelace Day 2009: Dr. Margaret Ann Wilkinson

I decided to take part in the first Ada Lovelace Day by writing about someone who we rarely (if ever) hear about in the blawgosphere, but who had done work in librarianship, information, intellectual property and technology law and is a fellow Canadian: Dr. Margaret Ann Wilkinson.

Back when I was doing my Master of Library Science at the University of Toronto, my library management professor John Wilkinson told me if I was interested in law librarianship, I should meet his daughter. It turns out that Dr. Margaret Ann Wilkinson had both a library and a law degree in addition to her PhD, and had just started teaching for both the library and law faculties at the University of Western Ontario.

Now a full-time professor at Western Law, she is currently Director of the Area of Concentration in Intellectual Property, Information and Technology Law. Dr. Wilkinson still teaches LIS 9868 Ownership and Governance of Information at FIMS (Western's Faculty of Information & Media Studies) and is listed as a PhD supervisor for FIMS. She is also an Adjunct Professor at The Richard Ivey School of Business.

Dr. Wilkinson writes in a number of areas concerning IP law including copyright, privacy and personal data protection. She wrote Chapter 12 "Filtering the Flow from the Fountains of Knowledge: Access and Copyright in Education and Libraries" in Irwin Law's groundbreaking work In the Public Interest, edited by Michael Geist. She has also written on ethics, professionalism, and librarianship.

Looking through her list of publications, I also smile at “Genie in the Bottle: Intellectual Property and the Flow of Information," Canadian Law Libraries 28: 206-211 which she wrote in 2003 following her talk at the Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2003 annual conference at the invitation of the program committee I worked on. Our theme had to do with wine bottles (we were holding the conference in Niagara, after all) and she gracefully worked with the unusual title we pinned on her session.

Students who have taken courses with Dr. Wilkinson speak very highly of her. She has been an important part of two important faculties, and has had an influence on many library and law students over a number of years. Thank you to Dr. Wilkinson!

What is Ada Lovelace Day?

From the Ada Lovelace Day website:

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.

Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Entrepreneurs, innovators, sysadmins, programmers, designers, games developers, hardware experts, tech journalists, tech consultants. The list of tech-related careers is endless.

Recent research by psychologist Penelope Lockwood discovered that women need to see female role models more than men need to see male ones. That’s a relatively simple problem to begin to address. If women need female role models, let’s come together to highlight the women in technology that we look up to. Let’s create new role models and make sure that whenever the question “Who are the leading women in tech?” is asked, that we all have a list of candidates on the tips of our tongues.

To see a list of all Ada Lovelace Day 2009 blog posts worldwide, see: http://ada.pint.org.uk/list.php.

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