photo credit Gabor Eszes, cc-sa

about me

Wikimedian, free culture advocate and leader, librarian.

@ the Met. cc-by-sa by Sage Ross


  • I am the co-author of How Wikipedia Works, published in 2008 by No Starch Press. It's about how to use, understand and contribute to Wikipedia, the extraordinary free online encyclopedia. I am proud that the book was originally licensed under the GFDL and was re-licensed under CC-BY-SA. You can find the text and more about the authors here (text courtesy of the Internet Archive) and there's an editable version here.

projects & affiliations

@ Wikimania 2006

  • I am an academic reference, instruction and collections librarian at the MIT Libraries, where I specialize in electrical engineering and computer science, and am the librarian for Course 6. You can see my profile & guide for EECS here.
  • I was previously at the Physical Sciences & Engineering Library at the University of California, Davis, specializing in electrical engineering, physics, computer science, earth sciences and atmospheric sciences. You can see my research guides for these areas here.
  • I was a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees from 2013-2015 and from 2010-2012. My first term I was selected by the chapters; my second, elected by the community. The Board is the governing body for the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts Wikipedia and her sister projects.
  • I help libraries work with Wikipedia. See our outreach wiki and my 2013-4 project at the UC Davis libraries.
  • I was general conference chair for WikiSym 2010, the sixth annual International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration, held in Gdansk Poland with Wikimania. WikiSym is an annual symposium about wiki and collaborative technologies, held in Europe and North America.
  • I was the 2011 chair of the Sierra Nevada chapter of the Special Libraries Association, and am still involved in various capacities (especially as web manager). The SLA is an international professional library association; our chapter covers the Sacramento Valley/Western Nevada.
  • find me on Wikipedia here. I also, to a lesser extent, regularly edit Wikivoyage, Wikimedia Commons, Meta (the Wikimedia coordination wiki), and Spanish Wikipedia.
  • I've been involved with most of the Wikimania conferences as an organizer, presenter, and bid jury member. And I have attended all of them: 10 years as of London 2014!
  • C.V. (as of 2012)

Bios for talks

(current as of 2015)


Phoebe Ayers is a librarian at MIT, where she specializes in electrical engineering and computer science. Prior to that she was a science and engineering librarian at the University of California Davis. She served four years on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia and its sister projects. She is the co-author of a book about Wikipedia, and is a long-time member of the project's community.


Phoebe Ayers is a librarian at MIT, where she specializes in electrical engineering and computer science, working with students, faculty and researchers on their information needs. Prior to MIT, she was an engineering and science librarian at the University of California, Davis, where she specialized in physics, electrical engineering, computer science and earth sciences. Ayers has an MLIS from the University of Washington. She has been involved with Wikipedia since 2003 as an editor and community member, and has helped organize Wikimania, the Wikimedia community annual conference, on five continents. In 2008, Ayers co-authored a book about the English-language Wikipedia called How Wikipedia Works: and How You Can be a Part of It (No Starch Press, September 2008). The book covers using, understanding, and contributing to Wikipedia; it is freely licensed and was only the second how-to book to be published about the site. In 2010, Ayers was selected as a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, which governs the non-profit foundation that runs Wikipedia and its sister projects; she served from 2010-2012 and was re-elected by the Wikimedia community to serve an additional term on the Board from 2013-2015. During her terms, she served as secretary and vice-chair of the Board. She has also been involved in efforts to help libraries and cultural insitutions understand the Wikimedia projects and efffectively share their expertise with the projects. Ayers' interests center around open access and open science, engineering and science information resources, the effective use of collaborative tools (such as wikis) within communities,and how trustworthy information and knowledge is created both on- and off-line.

phoebe.ayers at gmail dot com