A Memorial Resolution Honouring Aaron Swartz

Whereas the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association attributes the text of the resolution to the American Library Association resolution on A MEMORIAL RESOLUTION HONORING AARON SWARTZ;

Whereas the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association (OLITA) and the broader community of those who support open access to published materials lost a valued colleague on January 11, 2013  with the tragic death of 26 year old Aaron Swartz;

Whereas Aaron Swartz was a tireless and outspoken advocate of intellectual freedom and the rights of individuals to freely access information;

Whereas Aaron Swartz was a team member of Creative Commons, a group that simplifies access to free copyright licenses for authors;

Whereas Aaron Swartz founded the organization Demand Progress, which campaigned against the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act, thus contributing to the failure of the legislation;

Whereas the international library community lost a leader who was the chief architect of Open Library.org – an online project that fostered collaboration with librarians and intended to “…build the world’s greatest library, then put it up on the Internet free for all to use…” according to Swartz in a 2007 announcement of the project;

Whereas Aaron Swartz was a member of a group that co-authored RSS 1.0 (also known as Really Simple Syndication) – a widely used internet based tool that enables publishers and users the ability to syndicate and/or manage digital data from multiple source points;

Whereas Aaron Swartz helped to create Reddit, Inc – a social news and entertainment site which holds the distinction of being the first social media site to be used a sitting United States President (President Barack Obama) to engage with voter in a live online question and answer session;

Whereas Aaron Swartz was dedicated to the exploration and understanding of ethics, political action, and how to apply knowledge to improving people’s lives, as demonstrated by his tenure as a fellow at the Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics (2010-2011)

Whereas Aaron Swartz was tremendously loved and respected by his family, friends, co-workers, and many individuals, both in the United States and around the world; and

Whereas his true legacy lies in the profound effect had on countless individuals and institutions to engage in critical conversations regarding the importance of open access and the dissolving of internet censorship;

Resolved, that the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association (OLITA)

  1. on behalf of its members, recognizes the significant contributions of Aaron Swartz over the course of his distinguished career and mourns his death; and
  2. expresses its sincere sympathy to his family, loved ones, and colleagues throughout the country, and his many friends and admirers both within and outside of the library community; and
  3. encourages libraries and librarians to remain vigilant in protecting and extending the public domain, and to promoting and developing new means of providing access to and openly disseminating information;

Mover: Nick Ruest
Seconder: Steve Marks

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