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News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement


A GLAMorous romance

This post is available in 2 languages:
English  • Català


QR codes at Joan Miró Foundation, 2011

One of the most fruitful collaborations between the community of Catalan-speaking Wikipedians and the GLAM institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) is taking place at the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona. Let’s peer into this little love story between GLAMwiki pioneers.

The first rendez-vous occurred in September 2011, when the Foundation was preparing the exhibition “Joan Miró and the Scale of Evasion” using QRpedia to offer the visitors QR codes linking to Wikipedia articles. A wikimarathon followed by a translation campaign was organized by wikiGLAM volunteers in order to assure complete articles translated in several languages for the seventeen most remarkable works in the exhibition. The participation in this first experience consisted mostly of core editors who worked on the initial seventeen articles and created fifty more. All these articles, originally written in Catalan, were completed with a range of two to fifty translations. Their effort resulted in more than 12,000 readings of QR codes during the period of the exhibition.

This was the beginning of a great friendship; the GLAMwiki experiment proved that a community of motivated volunteers and the good predisposition from a welcoming institution could bring good results. However, after this first experience together, the volunteers and the institution each followed their own paths.

Miró Editathon, 2013

The next rendezvous would come two years later, in 2013. Espai 13, a space within the Joan Miró Foundation devoted to exhibit works of young and emerging artists, was celebrating its 35th anniversary. Wikipedia volunteers and the institution thought that this was a good occasion to work together again. They ran another wikimarathon together, the longest organized in Catalonia so far, lasting 35 hours, topped by the coincidence of creating the 400,000th article of Catalan Wikipedia during the event.

This time, core Wikipedia editors mingled with a legion of new users who came from universities and the fine arts scene. They created 121 articles (in Catalan, Spanish, English, and even French) about artists and commissioners involved with Espai 13 during its thirty-five-year history. The romance between Wikipedia and the Joan Miró Foundation made clear steps forward. The names of the viquipedistes were listed in the acknowledgments section of the exhibition, and a plaque was hung in the main room to remember the wikimarathon that created Wikipedia articles for all the featured artists.


On Consortium-Based Wikipedian in Residence Positions

After three and a half months at the Metropolitan New York Library Council, I’m still figuring out what it means to be a consortium based Wikipedian-in-Residence (WiR). METRO is a member-resource organization for a large and diverse body of institutions, each with their own interests in Wikipedia. METRO’s members include 150 libraries and archives in the museum, cultural, public and medical sectors in New York City. Members range from the American Museum of Natural History Library, to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, to the Cornell Weil Medical College Library.

Dorothy Howard

There have been only a few consortium WiRs so far, and most of them have been in the UK – perhaps because of its highly governmentally integrated and funded wiki programs. In the US, there has been Dominic McDevitt Parks at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.. The Smithsonian institutions use a shared administrative system, and share outreach and technology resources on the national mall. At the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums consortium in Northeast England, Robert Forsythe presided over 12 Museums and Galleries.

Wikimedia UK recently announced that it is hiring a 5-member consortium WiR position at York Museums Trust, a 4-member consortium at York Castle Museum, York St. Mary’s, Yorkshire Museum and York Art Gallery. Consortium WiRs are not unheard of, but are a more recent development than the single-institution model, which itself is only about three years old.

Since the function of consortiums is almost always to provide resources and technologies to help further their member’s institutional missions, Wikipedia makes for an ideal partner.

That said, consortium WiRs have a different set of tasks and responsibilities than the more familiar WiR model. In the traditional WiR role, the WiR generally presides over the editing activities of a particular institution and creates and edits content about the institution’s history, collections and related topics.

With stronger definitions for particular WiR positions, I think the GLAM community will be able to better connect WiRs that are working on similar projects so they can share ideas, training resources, handouts, help pages and so they can improve collaboration.

A successful “Collection Days” edit-a-thon in Warsaw, Poland

This post is available in 3 languages: Svenska 7% • Polski 100%English 7%


en:Sarmīte Ēlerte from Latvia was one of the VIPs present at the Collection Days’ kick-off event.

Six hardworking Wikip/medians.

Finding great images to illustrate articles were a central part of the event.

It has already been a couple of weeks, but I wanted to explain and share some lessons learned about an edit-a-thon that Wikimedia Sverige and Wikimedia Polska organized in conjunction with the Europeana 1989 Collection Days in Warsaw, Poland.

The Collection Days are a series of events continuing through the end of 2014, where the public is invited to come and share their memorabilia of 1989, and have it digitized and uploaded online under a CC-BY-SA license. When I heard about this topic, I thought that the first Collection Days would be a perfect event for the Wikimedia movement to participate in because of the similarities of involving the general public and the use of the license. The idea was that we could try out the concept and see what worked and didn’t work, and by sharing this experience and gaining these contacts, we could help other European chapters in the Wikimedia movement to organize events in connection to future Collection Days.

With this blog post, I hope to do just that.

The goal with the edit-a-thon, in addition to writing articles together and making Wikipedia better, was to get new people and new organizations involved in the work of the Wikimedia movement. The idea is that the people who bring their objects to the Collection Days easily could stop by and learn how to edit Wikipedia and learn that their memorabilia of 1989 also might appear on Wikipedia.

The day before, I arrived with another Swedish volunteer to attend the kick-off event (with a bunch of VIPs present, who now have images on Commons!). We met with the Polish Collection Days’ organizers, prepared the venue and uploaded images that had been digitized during the day. The Polish chapter had been great at promoting the event in advance and had translated the event page to Polish.

On 9 June, six experienced Wikimedians from Poland and Sweden gathered in Warsaw for this international edit-a-thon to write about both Polish history in general and especially about the events that took place in 1989. Our goal was to use as many images that were digitized during the Collection Days as possible. I gave a short presentation about what we hoped to achieve there and then we started with fixing up some of the images uploaded the night before and writing articles (a few more images were uploaded from the event throughout the day that we worked on). The catering had some issues, but we had a great time and we were very productive, with nine new articles and 15 articles expanded on the Polish, Swedish and English Wikipedias.

We hope that other chapters will take the opportunity to organize edit-a-thons in their countries in connection with these events. After Poland, the Collection Days will be organized in the Baltic states (the plan is August, but the exact dates are still to be decided). So Wikimedia Eesti and all you volunteers in Latvia and Lithuania, be sure to contact me and I’ll help you to get in contact with the right people!


Canadian Copyright Collection from the British Library on Wikimedia Commons

This post is available in 2 languages:
Français 7% • English 100%


The dancing pavilion at the Boblo Island Amusement Park, Ontario (1914). Financed by Henry Ford, this was the world’s second largest dance hall at the time, holding up to 5,000 dancers. The music was provided by one of the world’s largest orchestrions (pictured on the right): a 16 foot tall, 14 foot wide, self-playing orchestra with 419 pipes and percussion section.

July 1st is Canada Day, and Wikimedia UK and the British Library are today announcing the release of 2,000 historic photographs of Canada.

Since September 2012, we’ve been working to digitise a collection of historic Canadian photographs and release them onto Wikimedia Commons and into the public domain. The collection itself was acquired between 1895 and 1924 and consists of photographs supplied to support copyright deposits by Canadian photographers between those years. This came about through an arcane piece of colonial law, known snappily as the Colonial Copyright Law, which sought to extend British copyright protection across the empire, while also ensuring the collection of published material from these same areas. In practice, the law was a failure; only a few territories ratified it and even fewer actually deposited materials. Until 1925, however, Canada did implement the law and the Ministry of Agriculture effectively administrated the collection of copyright deposits. A copy of every item was sent to Ottawa and to London, where it was archived by the British Museum and then neglected for decades.

Materials collected from Canada included printed books, sheet music, maps and, of course, photographs. While the photographs were seen as trivial and undervalued at the time, what can now be perceived through the collection is a broad and human view of Canada at a crucial point in its history; a thirty year period when the Confederation developed politically, economically and socially, while garnering an international reputation. The collection itself provides views on this changing nation, from Vancouver to Halifax, with many unknown camera workers alongside well-known figures such as Frank Micklethwaite or William Notman.

All of this combines to create a strange mix of photographic subjects. Photographs of soldiers leaving for World War I are filed alongside images of cute kittens and men wrestling bears; trains are depicted steaming across the nation while boats continue to ply the water-ways; major cities are shown rapidly growing, while new settlements make their first marks in the dirt; and Eastern European immigrants rub shoulders with the First Nations.

Since today (Monday) marks the 146th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, it seemed an appropriate time to note the upload of the collection to Wikimedia Commons. There are currently just over 2,000 photographs uploaded, each with a duplicate full-resolution TIFF copy, with more to come in the following weeks. All the images are in the public domain, and are freely available for use and reuse – please, enjoy!

You can see more details on the collection on Wikimedia Commons.

Philip Hatfield (Curator, Canadian Collections, British Library) and Andrew Gray (former Wikipedian in Residence, British Library) Funding for the project was given by Wikimedia UK and by the British Library Eccles Centre for American Studies.

  • Aeroplane Picture of 1000 Islands No 1500 (HS85-10-38114).jpg
  • The Honourable Sir Wilfrid Laurier Photo A (HS85-10-16871).jpg
  • The farewell (HS85-10-30885).jpg
  • Cree Indian (HS85-10-13885) edit.jpg


Viquimodernisme, not just another GLAMwiki project

This post is available in 2 languages: català  • English

In English

Catalan Wikipedia is especially active with GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) projects, but beginning in summer 2012, we started developing “Viquimodernisme“, an unprecedented wikiproject in Catalonia. For the first time, a research group on contemporary design and art history — Universitat de Barcelona’s GRACMON — and around 100 art history students at the same university have made a combined effort to improve Catalan Wikipedia’s content related to their area of expertise, Catalan modernism.

“El drac”, Park Güell’s (Barcelona) iconic mosaic salamander

A preliminary audit (in Catalan) revealed that from both a quantitative and a qualitative point of view, modernism articles on the Catalan Wikipedia needed serious improvement. And we took other key factors into account. First, Wikipedia’s prominent position among the main reference sources when information is sought on the Internet makes it reasonable to work to provide Wikipedia readers with high quality content. Second, Catalan modernism is one of the main assets of our artistic heritage, and Wikipedia is a very useful tool to explain Catalonia to the world. Also, we cannot forget that free knowledge projects in public education entail an important social return, which makes them even more valuable. Finally, plunging on such a wikiproject involved adopting a new paradigm of academic work: assignments became an open task, a permanent, free and widely available work in progress.

The wikiproject planning was based on data provided by the preliminary audit, and once devised, it was presented to students enrolled in several subjects related to Catalan modernism (plastic arts, theatre, design…). Each student commited to edit a Wikipedia article related to the subject they were learning, aiming to obtain or get as close as possible to a featured article. We reached a lucky crossroads: students acquired new knowledge and improved their command of references; professors — members of the research group — provided the needed criterion to assess the assignments and also optimised their research by providing Wikipedia with new data, while the community had an active participation by helping inexperienced editors and intervening when it was necessary. Despite that the experience was positive, several tense situations arose among students and the community, mainly due to a lack of knowledge of Wikipedia’s working dynamics by novice editors. Also, this experience helped us to spot a flaw we need to improve as soon as possible: the need to clarify Wikimedia Commons’ operation and special features, as their command was one of the most difficult issues students had to cope with.

Sagrada Família’s (Barcelona) nave roof

Currently, we can only provide preliminary results of this wikiproject, as we have just started phase 2, which will last until June 2013. During this second semester we will be glad to welcome a fourth actor, Barcelona’s Museu de les Arts Escèniques, which will participate of the wikiproject by offering students a backstage pass to high quality references. But we can state that the results of the first phase of the wikiproject have been very satisfactory and have exceeded even the most optimistic estimates. The signs determined in the preliminary audit show an astonishing growth of Catalan modernism-related articles in Catalan wikipedia, either by number and quality.

Most assignments involved creating new articles, and Catalan wikipedia currently has 416 articles about Catalan modernism available, while in late summer 2012 there were 372! Also, a survey among phase 1 students revealed they were mainly satisfied with the project and their results. Among the most interesting comments, we must stress their willingness to take part again in a similar experience and their satisfaction to know that their assignment has been something useful to the society since the very beginning.

Most of phase 1 students are willing to continue editing

Viquimodernisme is a milestone-setting project among GLAM wikiprojects. Once finished, we will be able to determine protocols and mechanisms that will serve as a reference for future similar experiences. This unprecedented collaboration between academia and Wikipedia has revealed an amazing potential, but we are only on the tip of the iceberg: things are changing, and this is a shared success!

Esther Solé (User:ESM), Amical Viquipèdia


Walters Art Museum: A case study in sharing

The Ideal City, attributed to Fra Carnevale, created between circa 1480 and 1484. This was the first image contributed to Commons by the Walters Art Museum.

The Ideal City, attributed to Fra Carnevale, created between circa 1480 and 1484.This was the first image contributed to Commons by the Walters Art Museum.

This blog post originally appeared via the OpenGLAM Blog.

The Walters Art Museum, located in Baltimore  Maryland, is a model OpenGLAM institution. With a forward thinking staff aimed at opening their collections in unique and innovative ways, and a collection consisting of over 35,000 objects that are public domain, the Walters is prime real estate when it comes to OpenGLAM.

In early 2012, the Walters started partnering with volunteers from the Wikimedia community. The idea for the partnership was hatched out of GLAM Baltimore 2011; a series of events that brought volunteers from the Wikimedia community to the Walters to present about GLAM-Wiki projects. GLAM-Wiki is a project that focuses on fostering relationships between cultural institutions and the Wikimedia community, the community that maintains websites like Wikipedia.

This case study, written by myself and Dylan Kinnett, Manager of Web and Social Media at the Walters, showcases the projects that evolved out of this ongoing partnership. It summarizes key aspects of this partnership:

    • The image donation of over 18,000 images to Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository that supplies websites like Wikipedia with images. These images are used in thousands of Wikipedia articles in over 40 languages. They have been viewed on Wikipedia over 10 million times and additional metrics are included.
    • The changing of licenses on the Walters website to be more open, allowing the public to utilize the Walters website, or Wikimedia Commons, as locations to collect media and curatorial descriptions without copyright restriction.
    • An internship modeled after the Wikipedian in Residence concept. This internship is structured for museum studies students interested in new media and open culture. The first Wikipedia intern wrote numerous articles about artworks in the museum, and learned skills focused around art history research, Wikipedia mark-up and policies, collaborative editing and other skills.
    • The importance of outreach events in bringing together GLAMs and OpenGLAM community members. Without the GLAM Baltimore event, this partnership may have been delayed or not have happened.

The case study will be expanded to include coverage about the newly developed transcription project, which has the Walters working with Wikimedia community members to transcribe and translate rare Latin documents in the museum collection. These documents will then be shared via Wikisource, a free online library.

We hope that this case study will inspire and engage others to develop open sharing projects and programs. Please forward, share, and brainstorm how your GLAM can share its collections and knowledge holdings to provide further access to the public through OpenGLAM and GLAM-Wiki.

–Sarah Stierch, Wikipedian and US OpenGLAM Coordinator for the Open Knowledge Foundation

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum announces first Wikipedian in Residence

(This blog post originally appeared on the GLAM-Wiki US blog, under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.) 

Graduate student and Wikipedian Michael Barera became the first Wikipedian in Residence at a U.S. presidential library last week. Barera, who attends the University of Michigan’s School of Information, is serving as resident at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum, which is located on the university’s Ann Arbor campus.

This fresh partnership is a wonderful example of how outreach and education about Wikimedia projects can be key components for fostering opportunities such as this. Barera, who has been editing Wikipedia articles and uploading photographs to Wikimedia Commons for over five years, joined the Michigan Wikipedians, a student club on campus, and the first of its kind in the United States. Through the club, Berera attended a seminar held by the Wikipedia Education Program in the fall of 2012. The seminar educated attendees about the opportunities for using Wikipedia in the classroom as a learning tool and showcased partnerships being held around the country.

Little did Berera realize that the woman who would spearhead the development of his future residency was also in the audience: Bettina Couisneau, Exhibit Specialist at the Ford Library & Museum.

Berera and Couisneau connected at the seminar and Barera started volunteering at the Ford Library, using his skill set to categorize images that the Ford had uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, which totals over 11,000 images to date. Berera also created WikiProject Gerald Ford, a project that brings together Wikipedians from around the world to edit content about the 38th president of the United States. The opportunity for a more formal partnership was clear; Berera would be the natural choice for a Wikipedian in Residence at the Ford.

“This position is perfect for me,” said Barera, “It combines my academic passion for history, archives, open source advocacy and technology. I see my role as a facilitator, helping to bridge the gap between those who have the content and those who have the technical skills to make that information accessible to the whole world.” Barera will do just that by serving as a liaison between the international e-volunteer community of Wikimedia and the collections and staff at the Ford. By working with both parties, Wikipedians will gain more access to collections to improve Wikipedia and its sister proejcts, and staff will gain further awareness and knowledge about how Wikipedia works and how to better work with it and it’s community.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum

With a collection that comprises almost exclusively openly licensed content – federally created public domain materials – the Ford’s collection and resources are a perfect match for Wikimedia projects, which require freely licensed contributions. “With these core similarities, I believe that this collaboration can be rewarding for both parties, as well as the Ford’s visitors, Wikipedia’s readers and the general public,” said Barera.

By improving coverage about President Ford on Wikipedia and related projects, and by educating staff about open sharing, the Ford will be able to expand it’s mission to provide the public increased access to their collections and resources. “Our goal is to have our content accessible to everyone, everywhere,” said Couisneau. “Wikipedia is a new outreach venue for us. Not everyone can visit our museum and library in person, but everyone can visit us online.” With the skill set of Barera, and the advocacy of Couisneau, the Ford will be able to provide online access to their collection via the world’s 5th most popular website, Wikipedia.

Elaine Didier, Director of the Ford, hopes that Couisneau – who went from Wikipedia reader to Wikipedian over the course of developing the residency project – will inspire others to get involved. “I hope that this partnership also inspires more people like her to join with us, become Wikipedians, and help broaden our perspectives and our horizons to inch us ever closer to our goal of collecting ‘the sum of all human knowledge,’” she said.

Sarah Stierch, Wikipedia administrator

Bring on the Chicks with Glasses!: Why Wiki Loves Libraries & GLAM-Wiki can help address the Wikipedia gender gap

Participants at the recent Wikipedia edit-a-thon at the Smithsonian

(This is a guest post from Sara Snyder, the webmaster at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.)

Librarians and archivists in the United States have been, and will continue to be, mostly female. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 81 percent of current students pursuing a Masters in Library and Information Science (MLS) degree are women. As of 2011, women accounted for 83 percent of all librarians in the U.S. Archivists—a closely related profession, which also frequently requires an MLS degree—are also female. As of 2004, 64 percent of archivists were women.

Wikipedia editors have been, and will continue to be, mostly male. The Wikimedia Foundation’s 2011 editor survey reported that 92 percent of Wikipedia editors are male. Though important work is being done to try and close the gender gap, the disparity will likely continue to be pretty significant in the immediate future.

Yet—other than gender—librarians and archivists and Wikipedia contributors share much in common. Both groups are motivated by a deep desire to share knowledge with the world, to the point that they have committed their free time to working on the encyclopedia, or have chosen to focus professionally on helping researchers. Both groups have a strong understanding of how to conduct research and how to evaluate and cite authoritative sources. Both frequently have technical expertise with markup languages, metadata standards and information design. But most of all, both groups tend to hold strong beliefs that all people have a right to accurate, unbiased, high quality information, free from barriers and paywalls.

Phoebe Ayers, one of Wikipedia’s best-known and most eloquent advocates, is an academic librarian by profession. In her essay “Why Work on Wikipedia?” she describes the connection between her profession and her contributions to Wikipedia:

For me, the answer is a matter of scale. As a librarian, I am in the business of helping make sure that people get the information that they are looking for in order to do their jobs, educate themselves, satisfy their curiosity and live a fulfilling life…. [Wikipedia] is also working towards these goals, but on a global, multilingual and hitherto unprecedented scale…. It’s a simple matter of efficiency—I work on Wikipedia, and try to make it better, in order to reach as many people as possible.

This desire to maximize the impact of her work as an information professional is one that many of Ayers’ professional colleagues probably identify with. However, many librarians and archivists may not yet realize that the Wikipedia community welcomes and values their contributions.

A backstage pass tour was also a part of the edit-a-thon event

Given the demographics and goals of workers in these professions, recruiting a greater numbers of librarians and archivists to contribute to Wikipedia is a smart strategy to help close the gender gap on Wikipedia. I have some additional, anecdotal evidence for the wisdom of this strategy: me. I am an archivist by training, and if it weren’t for outreach on the part of Wikipedians allied with the GLAM-Wiki project, I would not be writing this blog entry. Even though I created my first Wikipedia article over six years ago, I only began to contribute to Wikipedia on a regular basis after two very talented Wikimedians–Katie Filbert and Sarah Stierch–reached out to me and my Smithsonian colleagues in the spring of 2011. They worked to demystify the platform and the community, and explained how institutions like the Smithsonian could partner with Wikipedia in a relationship of mutual benefit. Their efforts led to the ongoing Smithsonian GLAM-Wiki Partnership, which at this point has yielded two Wikipedian-in-Residencies, hundreds of edits and Commons contributions, five Smithsonian-hosted edit-a-thon outreach events and myriad new and recommitted Wikipedia editors.

Two years later, Smithsonian librarians and archivists are the ones demystifying Wikipedia and promoting its ideals of openness and the free sharing of knowledge to our colleagues and to the public. On October 12, 2012 the Smithsonian Libraries and Wikimedia DC jointly sponsored “Wikipedia Loves Libraries: Backstage at the Smithsonian Libraries,” which took place in the main library in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. It was our largest edit-a-thon at the Smithsonian to date. The results of the day included a Wikipedia training session for over 40 staff members and volunteers and at least seven new user accounts registered. But the best part of the event for me was looking around the room and not seeing “92 percent this” or “84 percent that.” The room was filled with people of diverse genders, ages, and backgrounds, united in their enthusiasm for learning new skills and for sharing what they know with new audiences around the globe.

That is the Wikipedia community that I am proud to be a part of.

Sara Snyder (User:Sarasays)

(You can read more about the recent Smithsonian edit-a-thon: [ Editing Wikipedia: Better with friends, and best with librarians!” also by Sara Snyder)

Why Wikipedians should love librarians

Merrilee wants YOU to work with your local libraries to improve Wikipedia!

Last year marked the start of Wikipedia Loves Libraries (WLL), and in 2012, WLL activities are in full swing, with many events planned in the coming month. WLL was originally conceived as a way of celebrating Open Access Week, but we now have WLL events throughout the year. As a librarian who is interested in seeing more coordination between libraries and other cultural heritage organizations (i.e. GLAM), I’d like to offer some perspectives on why libraries and Wikipedia are so well aligned with one another.

The bottom line is that we share a common mission. We are dedicated to providing free access to information and knowledge. Wikipedians want to strengthen their articles by citing credible sources. If those sources are in print, or hidden behind paywalls, it undermines the important tenant of free access.

Libraries collect those same credible sources and make them freely available to patrons. Partnering with libraries helps keep sources free. Librarians value “information literacy,” which means teaching the general public to recognize, appreciate and rely on credible sources. Sound familiar? Teaching basic Wikipedia editing skills can be a great, practical way to re-enforce information literacy skills.

Encouraging more librarians to become Wikipedians will also help address the gender gap. Librarians are an almost mirror image of Wikipedians in terms of gender – a March 2012 survey of members of the American Library Association found that 80.7 percent of those in the profession are female (versus about 10 percent of Wikipedians).

So, if you haven’t already, reach out to your local librarian. Suggest a WLL event, or find out if you can use library space to hold an editathon on a topic of local interest. Ask for help from your library in promoting events, not only to library patrons, but also to staff. Be patient, and recognize that librarians may move at a slower pace than Wikipedians (and that they have a range of other events and activities on top of their day-to-day duties). Be complementary to see if you can find a way for Wikipedia activities to harmonize with areas where the library is already investing. If you make the effort, I think you’ll have a good shot at creating a beautiful partnership, and creating some new Wikipedians in the process.

-Merrilee Proffitt, Senior Program Officer, OCLC Research (User:Mlet)


A whole network of public libraries begins Wikipedia collaboration in Catalonia

This post is available in 4 languages: Français 7% •  Català 7% • Español 100% • English 100%

Librarians during a Wikipedia workshop

150 librarians from all over Catalonia have been trained about Wikipedia to spread it among library users.

Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain, with its own language, culture and history. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona.

During the months of June and July 2012, 150 librarians from all over Catalonia have received training about Wikipedia so they can later inform their library users. Meanwhile, the Catalan Ministry of Culture has reprinted 1,500 copies of the Welcome to Wikipedia guide for distribution through the network of libraries.

It is a pioneering collaboration between the Catalan Ministry of Culture and Amical Viquipèdia. The partnership is based on the principle that Wikipedia, as the online door to knowledge, and libraries, as the offline door to knowledge, should work together to provide new levels of access.

Engaging librarians and library users

One of the attendees to a Wiki Workshop in Palafrugell’s library is now a local-focused active Wikipedian

Wikipedia is hugely popular, but how it works internally is a mystery for many. Amical Viquipèdia chose to demystify the inner workings of Wikipedia by organizing Wikipedia workshops for librarians in five of the main cities of Catalonia. During these workshops, librarians learned about the wiki interface and the benefits of open knowledge. They also became familiar with ongoing GLAM-Wiki projects (collaborations between the cultural sector and the Wikimedia movement) from around the world, and were taught how to edit Wikipedia. The librarians now not only understand how to contribute to Wikipedia, but also how to use it as a tool for engaging their users and to reassess their collections and local funds. These newly-trained librarians will now return to their libraries and encourage users to expand their experience by contributing knowledge acquired through their research into Wikipedia.

One of the pioneering experiments within this collaboration has been at the local library of Palafrugell, a municipality on the Costa Brava. (more…)