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2016 update: I am a former Wikimedia Foundation trustee, but please assume that any edits or statements I make are as a community member, and not in any official capacity whatsoever.

Hello! My name is Phoebe Ayers. I am a long-time editor in English Wikipedia, Commons, Wikidata, WikiVoyage and elsewhere. I am also a long-time participant in Wikimedia Foundation governance, as well as community events (including most of the Wikimanias) and outreach to educators and librarians.

By day, I'm an academic reference librarian in the science and engineering library at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. I used to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Seattle before that.

I love many things about Wikimedia and the Wikimedia projects, but the things that are most important to me are our shared values of consensus, accuracy and fact-finding, and boldly editing things that need to change; and our internationalism and multilingualism. I am proud to know amazing Wikimedians from all of the world: our community is extraordinary.

Wikimania 2015
At Wikimania 2013, Board Q&A
at Wikimania 2006.
By fuzheado, used with permission

Talk to me: leave a message | phoebe dot ayers at gmail dot com

Things I do or have done[edit]

Community member and governance[edit]

  • editor on en:wp since August 2003
  • 2008-2009: writer for the English Wikipedia Signpost
  • 2009: maintainer of the List Summary Service for Foundation-l (since renamed to Wikimedia-l)
  • 2007ish-2015: organizer of events for the San Francisco Bay meetup group and mailing list admin
  • 2016--: Organizer of Wikimedia New England group events and various events at MIT (and mailing list admin)
  • 2006-2007: I was a member of the now-defunct Special Projects Committee
  • 2010-2012 and 2013-2015: I served on the Board of Trustees for the Wikimedia Foundation twice: as an elected member and a chapter-selected member

Researcher, educator and GLAM[edit]

  • I'm interested in and participate in Wikipedia and wiki research. I presented a short paper at Wikimania 2005; recently completed a literature review of ongoing research that will be presented at ASIST'06; and helped with a hugely successful research BoF at Wikimania '06.
  • Finally, I give general presentations about wikis and Wikipedia to various groups, particularly librarians. I am happy to share slides, notes, and thoughts on what works & what doesn't.
  • I've helped out with other various outreach activities, including Wikipedia Library activities, etc.


  • I've been to all of the Wikimanias but one, as of 2016. I also worked on many of them:

Other events:

  • I was a volunteer with both WikiSym (2007 & 2008) and Recent Changes Camp (2008); and was chair of WikiSym 2010 (co-located with Wikimania 2010)
  • I helped run WikiConference North America in 2016
  • I have had the privilege of going to Wikimedia events and meetups all over the world.


  • With Charles Matthews and Ben Yates, I am the author of the book How Wikipedia Works, published by No Starch Press in September 2008. Find out more at the publisher's website.[dead link]

Some things I care about:[edit]

  • Community governance
  • Meetups
  • free content
  • good references

A few pages of interest

Things that are always welcome: coffee, good ideas, enthusiasm