Aaron Swartz Posthumously Awarded ALA’s James Madison Award | Occupy America
On Friday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) posthumously awarded internet activist Aaron Swartz the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2013 James Madison Award during the 15th Annual Freedom of Information Day in Washington, D.C. According to the American Library Association, “Swartz will receive the award for his dedication to promoting and protecting public access to research and government information.
“Aaron loved libraries. I remember how excited he was to get library privileges at Harvard and be able to use the Widener library there. I know he would have been humbled and honored to receive this award. We thank you,” said Robert Swartz, Aaron’s father in reaction to the award. “Aaron’s goal was to make knowledge freely available to everyone and we can all further his legacy by making this happen.”
Before his suicide in January, Swartz was a co-founder of Demand Progress, an advocacy group that organizes people to take action on civil liberties and government reform issues. Swartz was also a leader in the national campaign to prevent the passing of the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill that would have diminished critical online legal protections.
The James Madison Award honors individuals who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know national information. ALA has long been a supporter of open access policies that increase the amount of research made available to the public.