International Volunteer Day 2015

Graphic by Aga of the OTW logo and the logos for AO3, TWC, Open Doors, and Fanlore

Since 1985, the United Nations has designated the 5th of December as International Volunteer Day, a day to celebrate and honour volunteerism around the world. As many of you know, the Organization for Transformative Works is run entirely by volunteers.

The OTW committee staffers and volunteers who maintain and improve the Archive of Our Own, handle support requests from users, wrangle tags, enforce the terms of service, and wake up at three am to troubleshoot are entirely unpaid. They donate their time because, like you, they love fandom and they love AO3.

You can thank the AO3 team by sending us a tweet to share with Abuse; Accessibility Design & Technology; AO3 Documentation; Support; Systems (who maintains our servers); and Tag Wrangling.

Our Legal Committee, which proactively protects the rights of fanwork creators, makes time to draft and submit briefs in major cases while also working as attorneys, teaching at top tier universities, and taking care of their families.

You can help Legal by participating in the Save the Link campaign.

The Wiki Committee works tirelessly to nurture a valuable and often under-appreciated resource. Fanlore, the OTW’s wiki of fannish history and culture, can serve as an introduction to fandom or a guide to lesser-known communities and works.

You can help Fanlore by adding relevant articles or expanding existing stubs.

It’s always exciting to watch fans find out about Transformative Works and Cultures, maintained by the Journal Committee.

You can help Transformative Works & Cultures by submitting your own work.

The Translation Committee staff and volunteers translate content for the OTW’s projects, a crucial process for an international nonprofit. They translate live during public support chats, coordinate and process huge amounts of content for our drives, and work year-round to make the OTW accessible for readers of languages other than English.

You can help the Translation Committee by responding to the next call for volunteers, which will be published both here and on AO3 as well as on the OTW’s social media accounts.

The Election Committee, which organises the OTW’s annual Board of Directors election, has received some attention lately for their willingness to go beyond the call of duty in service to the OTW. You can thank them by tweeting at them directly or visiting their blog.

These are just some of the OTW’s more public-facing committees. Many of our committees, such as the amazingly dedicated Volunteers & Recruiting Committee, work mostly behind the scenes. This International Volunteer Day, we would like to thank each and every OTW staffer and volunteer for their work. The OTW and its projects wouldn’t exist without you.


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