Technology, curiosity, information literacy

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This past Tuesday (Oct. 16) was Ada Lovelace Day.  Who was Ada Lovelace, and what does her story have to do with information literacy?

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852), was a British mathematician who worked with the instruction sequences for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a prototype computer.  Because of this work she is credited with being the first computer programmer (Ada King, 2012; Computer, 2012).  Ada Lovelace Day honors women in science, technology, and math (Ada Lovelace Day, 2012).

The day celebrates technology, but it also celebrates curiosity.    Lady Ada’s curiosity resulted in programming that was a century ahead of its time (Computer 2012).  Learning about her has sparked my curiosity as well.

If you also would like to read more about Lady Ada, the Encyclopaedia Britannica articles and the Finding Ada website below have useful lists.  After all, isn’t curiosity part of information literacy (Hensley, 2004)?

P.S.  For my fellow poetry buffs I’ll mention that Lady Ada was the daughter of Lord Byron (Ada King, 2012).


Ada King, countess of Lovelace. (2012). Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Retrieved from

Ada Lovelace Day. (2012). Finding Ada.  Retrieved from

Computer. (2012). Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from

Hensley, R. B. (2004).  Curiosity and creativity as attributes of information literacy. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 44(1), 31-36.  Retrieved from