User:Peaceray

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Peaceray
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20 May 2015
  • We are a passionate community of volunteers who are trying to create a free encyclopedia for every single person on the planet.
  • We are Wikipedians. This means that we should be: kind, thoughtful, passionate about getting it right, open, tolerant of different viewpoints, open to criticism, bold about changing our policies and also cautious about changing our policies.
This editor is a Veteran Editor and is entitled to display this Iron Editor Star.

Why (I) edit Wikipedia[edit]

Like you, I have a unique set of knowledge that includes things that few other people know or connections of which others are unaware.

Nearly everybody has interests. I am no different. In my late teens, I helped to run coffee houses. When I started college, I took great pleasure in roaming the university library stacks and perusing microfilm spools, in search of the history of coffee houses. I learned that:

A recent vegetarian at that time, I also researched vegetarianism in the U.S., and learned that Dr. John Harvey Kellogg's vegetarian recipes were purloined by his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, and a former patient, C. W. Post, which they used in forming their respective corporations, the Kellogg Company and Post Foods.

Of course, I learned much more over the years, both substantive and trivial. Yet with whom could I share this? When I was young, the only means of sharing was by word-of-mouth, mimeograph, or by writing something and getting it published as an article or a book.

Then, several years ago, while looking for analysis of a Shakespeare play that I had recently seen, I began perusing Wikipedia and other texts, happily exploring the former by following link after link and enjoying serendipity. Then one day, I realized that there were missing articles, and that I could write them. Just like you, I could share my knowledge and research with the world. As someone who studied Library Science and English, I could also add or improve citations and do grammatical copyedit. Moreover, I did: Analysis of Peaceray's Wikipedia / Wikimedia contributions

Why I am volunteering for the GLAM-Wiki initiative (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums)[edit]

If I have spent anytime in your town or city, I have most certainly visited a museum or attraction there. Sometimes while traveling, I make a detour just to see a museum that I have not visited. Once I settled down, also started joining museums.

I was fortunate to have a local YMCA that sponsored day trips for preadolescent boys. Among the places they took me were the Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Aquarama, Independence National Historical Park, the USS Olympia, the Philadelphia Zoo, and Gettysburg National Park.

I grew up within bicycling distance of Archmere, Arden, Brandywine Battlefield, the Brandywine River Museum, the Darley House, the Delaware Art Museum, Hagley Museum, and Winterthur Museum, and an easy drive to Longwood Gardens.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Centennial exhibition, Masterpieces Of Fifty Centuries, began a life-long love of art museums and galleries for me. At this point in my history, it would simply be too long a list to recount the museums, buildings, historical parks, libraries, galleries, and monuments that I have visited.

Once I became a parent, I took joy in sharing my fondness for museums with my kids. I like to think that all the visits to art museums helped supplement my younger son‍ '​s natural inclinations towards art. He now attends the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

My affection for museums is only part of my motivation for volunteering for GLAM. I have spent a lot of my life in libraries, have an M.S. in Library and Information Studies from Drexel University, and worked 8½ years as a part-time university reference librarian.

I moved to the Seattle area in mid-2014 and immediately became part of the nascent Cascadia Wikimedians User Group, subsequently becoming a board member and officer. I am pleased to have filled a contact vacancy for Washington on the GLAM/US/Connect Information by state list. I am excited about working with area institutions to improve their presence and integration with Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

On citations[edit]

Доверяй, но проверяй [Trust, but verify]

—Russian Proverb

Having been a part-time university librarian and instructor, I am acutely aware of the need for proper citation for verification and avoiding plagiarism. I am also concerned with access to knowledge.

An informational page describing a communal consensus on Wikipedia:Free speech states that "Wikipedia is dedicated to expanding access to the sum of human knowledge." Citations are a vehicle to knowledge beyond what is contained in Wikipedia. I attempt to first find free online sources, or print sources available in libraries, or both. For print sources, I try to provide the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) Number. A reader can click on the OCLC Number and will be taken to WorldCat.org, "a union catalog that itemizes the collections of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries and territories ..." Given a reader’s location, WorldCat will then display a list of the nearest libraries that hold that publication in their collection. If there are multiple online sources (free or subscription), WorldCat usually links to those as well.

For online sources that are subscription only, I will mark them as a requiring subscription. i.e., setting |subscription=yes in a citation template. I also add a {{Closed access}} template, which displays the Closed access icon. WP:PAYWALL advises to "... not reject sources just because they are hard or costly to access." WP:RSC opines that "The costs or difficulties of verifying a source do not impact its reliability, so long as it is possible for someone to verify it within a reasonable time." Links that are behind pay-walls are often available to university personnel or students and to library patrons, when those institutions have subscribed to the online service that hosts the source.

There is an axiom that a good librarian is not necessarily someone who knows the information, but rather someone who knows how to find the information. A good citation enables the reader to find the source as directly as possible.