March is Women’s History Month. Throughout the month we’ll be profiling D.C. based women you should know. Amy Morse, the founder of Ideas Club, is heading the project. Today she profiles Megan Sheils. If you’d like to suggest someone for Amy to profile, tweet at her. -ed.
Like many of the creative and brilliant people in D.C., Megan Sheils leads a bit of a double life. Unlike Clark Kent and Superman, it is tough to say which one is more awesome.
Megan, as “Clark” is committed to cataloging human knowledge and expanding access to information as a federal librarian. She got a Masters in Library Science and keeps her nose in the books specializing in foreign affairs. Her career is part of her passion, not just a way to pay the bills. She reads voraciously, collects information, sends articles to friends to read, and returns from conversations to research the new topics that were discussed. Being a librarian is just plain fun; it’s an awesome profession. She notes that the D.C. librarian community is an amazing little subculture of community minded and brilliant people. She is involved in the D.C. Library Association which has the clout of a statewide professional organization while being very local– which means lots of opportunities to get involved.
On the Superman side, she helped to found Girls Rock! DC in 2007 and has served on the Leadership Team (the all-volunteer collective group that leads the organization) since then. Girls Rock! DC is a supportive, inclusive, and creative space for girls to develop their self-confidence, build community, stand up and rock out. GR!DC has given Megan purpose, friendship, and opportunity. She does something every day to make a change in the world. Best of all, she gets to make wonderful connections– professional, musical, and more. She encourages anyone who is interested to consider volunteering or donating. Over 400 local girls have been through the program, many on full or partial scholarship, and they cannot do it without volunteer staff and funds!
The city of Washington, D.C. also seems to have two identities. Washington is the city that America loves to hate – the place where laws are made, the seat of government, the city of monuments – but is not representative of the people that actually live here. Megan’s D.C. is the city of hardcore and go-go music, the non-state with taxation but no representation, full of activists and do-gooders, immigrants from all over the world, civil servants and musicians and poets and painters. The queer community in DC is rich and supportive. D.C. is her home and her community. She wants to share this D.C. with people who are new to the city. Megan believes that there is no place like D.C.
Woman Who Inspires Her
Ada Lovelace was a mathematician and computer programmer who was born in 1815– you read that right, 1815. That someone could be so visionary, so ahead of her time, amazes Megan. She loves that a field – that often feels male-dominated – was built on the shoulders of a brilliant woman.
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