Lisa Rein: I want­ed to get right to our speak­ers, because we have a lot of them. I did want to let you know John Perry Barlow unfor­tu­nate­ly can’t make it tonight. He is in the hos­pi­tal. He’s doing bet­ter. He had a peri­car­dial effu­sion surgery that was com­plete­ly suc­cess­ful. So I want­ed to let every­body know before they had a chance to wor­ry too much that he’s on the mend and he gives his regards. He’s sor­ry he couldn’t be here, but he’s def­i­nite­ly here in spir­it.

Alison Macrina is on an air­plane, or hope­ful­ly land­ing already by now, and she hope­ful­ly will be speak­ing tonight, just in a lit­tle dif­fer­ent order than we had planned. So hope­ful­ly she’s going to come and tell us all about the awe­some Library Freedom Project. I want­ed to make sure you knew about them.

Next I have Giovanni Damiola, who has res­ur­rect­ed, with a team includ­ing Jessamyn C. West, they have revamped the Open Library Project that Aaron start­ed when he was 16. It was actu­al­ly his first big project after Creative Commons. 

The first that that hap­pened when they sort of cleaned house a lit­tle bit was they found 500,000 books lying around in there that were now part of the index. So a half-million book pay­off right away for pick­ing things back up. He’s going to tell you a lit­tle bit about the project. 

Giovanni Damiola: Hi, every­one. I nev­er met Aaron in per­son, but I was deeply inspired by his work and ideas, like many oth­er hack­ers and activists all over the world. So last year it was nat­ur­al for me to come here to the Internet Archive for the hackathon to remem­ber Aaron, cel­e­brate his birth­day, and do some good cod­ing, and keep his ideas alive. And like today it was very excit­ing to meet a lot of peo­ple and work togeth­er in the morn­ing Saturday on Aaron’s projects like SecureDrop or HTTPS Everywhere.

During the hackathon, Brewster invit­ed me to come for an inter­view and even­tu­al­ly they hired me to work here on the Internet Archive. I’m very hap­py and hon­ored to find myself work­ing for this great orga­ni­za­tion and to be the engi­neer in charge of keep­ing Aaron’s beloved project Open Library up and run­ning, a huge wiki with the goal to have a web page for every book ever pub­lished. That is a great goal to work for.

Tonight I am very hap­py to say that Open Library is healthy, with more than 9 mil­lion vis­i­tors every month, serv­ing and reach­ing the meta­da­ta of more than 25 mil­lion edi­tions, 6 mil­lion authors, and we even serve 7 mil­lion cov­ers through an API. We are also lend­ing books at the rate of 3 per minute, allow­ing users to read books in dig­i­tal for­mat, includ­ing for the print-disabled com­mu­ni­ty. And I think that Aaron would be hap­py to know that Open Library is giv­ing access to thou­sands of books to peo­ple with no access to pub­lic libraries all over the world, mak­ing pos­si­ble brows­ing from book to book, from per­son to author, sub­ject to ideas, mak­ing all this knowl­edge acces­si­ble to every­one from Italy to Indiana, from India to Peru.

And here in the Internet Archive we real­ly love books. We scan around 800 books every day and we real­ly love Open Library. We’re still look­ing for vol­un­teers and curi­ous and smart engi­neers that want to work with us and help us to con­tin­ue with this work. And we are doing great things, so come vis­it us.

Thank you, every­one.

Further Reference

The Aaron Swartz Day web site.


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