Women’s History Month, Digital Publishing, and Other Seemingly Unrelated Subjects

Ten points to anyone who can name the theme of this year’s National Women’s History Month. What’s that? You’re right! It is indeed “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics*.” Well done.

Now, twenty points to anyone who can guess how this is connected to digital publishing. Lerner Digital mastermind Adriano Fruzzetti knows, but he’s keeping quiet so as to give the rest of you a chance. 
If you suspect this is all an elaborate setup for a rant about the new tablet designed specifically for women–complete with pink wallpaper and pre-loaded “pregnancy apps” [Ars Technica]–you’re on the right track, but not quite there. 
If you think I’m just building toward a plug for Lerner’s STEM*-related books…
Forensic Identification
Do You Dig Earth Science?
Start to Finish
…again, a worthy guess, but no.
If you speculate that I–as a woman exploring the intersection of her English degree with tomorrow’s technology–have a healthy respect for women who’ve tackled STEM fields…
…you’re nearly there. If you recognize that women with STEM careers were crucial to the development of all things digital, including digital publishing–twenty points for you.
Where would digital publishing be today if not for Ada Lovelace, the 19th-century mathematician often called “the world’s first programmer” (who was also the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron)? 
Alas, Lerner doesn’t have a book about her (YET), but she’s just one example of the many extraordinary women who paved the way for the technological wizardry that makes so much of Lerner’s work possible. 
At Lerner, we hope that by taking advantage of that technology–by making books more accessible and appealing to young readers (both boys and girls!)–we’ll preserve and build on the legacy of those women…not just with books that retell their incredible stories, but with every book that sparks their curiosity, inspires them to dream big, and lays a foundation for future learning. (Ahem: “inspiring innovation through imagination,” my friends.)

That said, I can’t think of a better way to mark Women’s History Month than by sitting down with a child, an iPad, and a few iBooks about some impressive ladies.