Jones said ibiblio hosts a variety of projects, including Project Gutenberg, one of the biggest online text archives. ibiblio also hosted the first radio livestream on the Internet.
Fred Stutzman, a UNC alumnus who worked on ibiblio from 2001 to 2005, said he first met Jones in 1998 as an undergraduate.
“If you were a programmer or someone interested in open source software, Paul Jones was almost the center of the universe,” Stutzman said.
Born in Hickory, but raised in Charlotte, Jones was one of the first people to graduate from N.C. State University with a degree in computer science in 1972.
But, in addition to his passion for technology, Jones’ other great love is poetry, which he writes and publishes.
“One of the reasons I like poetry is language is hard for me in the first place, so it makes it more interesting,” he said.
Sex, food, passion and travel are the prevalent themes in Jones’ poetry.
Jones, who also has a poetry Masters of Fine Arts from Asheville’s Warren Wilson College, has been publishing for years. His recent works include a poem in a cookbook called “The Sound of Poets Cooking” and a piece in the anthology “The Best American Erotic Poems: From 1800 to the Present.”
Jones said he has been too busy recently to write much, but he continues to be an avid reader and lover of poetry.
“It’s like breathing air. You have to like it. It’s human,” Jones said.
In the early ’70s, he ran a poet’s lecture series in Carrboro, which is where he met Betty Adcock, a fellow poet and now long-time friend.
“I admire his gift for imagery, his compassion, which is there, his belief in humanity and his humor,” Adcock said.
Both Adcock and Jones have been involved with the North Carolina Writers’ Network, a group that supports writers from various genres. Adcock said she admires Jones’ style of writing.
“I love (Paul) to death, and we fight all the time,” Adcock said. “Paul always says he loves everybody, and he does.”