Books and Bytes
Volume 1, Issue 1
by The Interior (talk · contribs), Ocaasi (talk · contribs)
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Greetings Wikipedia Library participants. Welcome to the inaugural edition of Books and Bytes, TWL’s monthly newsletter. Lots of news this month for the Wikipedia Library, including new accounts, upcoming events, and new ways to get involved.
Wikipedia Visiting Scholars
TWL is very happy to announce its first Visiting Scholar (WVS) placement, with George Mason University in Washington, D.C. The WVS program allows an experienced Wikipedian full access to George Mason Libraries’ online holdings, as well as borrowing privileges to its physical holdings. Applications for the position will be accepted in mid-October, and the position will be filled in November/December. We ask that TWL volunteers help get the word out about this position, and apply themselves!
Volunteer Wikipedia Librarians
In August, TWL started a new volunteer signup form. Volunteers can create a profile, choose from several roles, and share their areas of expertise. We encourage anyone interested in TWL to create one. These profiles will help TWL coordinators to organize different efforts, and better match tasks with skillsets.
Wikipedia Loves Libraries
WLL is off to a roaring start this fall in the United States: 29 events are planned or have been hosted by volunteers in libraries across the country. These range from edit-a-thons to staff training sessions to informal meetups. If you have organized an event, Books and Bytes would love to hear about how it went. Challenges and successes should be shared with other organizers. Pictures of the event should be uploaded to Commons. For those of us not in the United States, we’ve got some catching up to do! See the WLL outreach page for tips on planning your own event.
Upcoming WLL meetups
- New York, Jefferson Market Library (NYPL) - Greenwich Village Editathon - November 2 - Event Page
- Washington, D.C., George Mason University, October 22nd 3pm talk hosted by the GMU Center for History and New Media on several ongoing initiatives between Wikipedia and Libraries, featuring TWL's own Ocaasi
- Washington, D.C., Friday, October 25, Smithsonian Libraries Editathon 2013, hosted by the American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery library branch of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries
- Chicago, Illinois, Saturday, October 26th at the Pritzker Military Library from 10AM - 5PM. See WP:Meetup/Chicago 8 to RSVP and get info, and see WT:Meetup/Chicago 8 for discussion. Contact: I JethroBT (talk · contribs)
- Cincinnati Wednesday, October 16th at The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County through October 27th
- East Grand Rapids, Michigan Saturday, October 19 at the East Grand Rapids Library 2- 3 pm. Edit-a-thon to improve Ramona Park article. Contact Bdcousineau to RSVP. Expanded information here.
- Ann Arbor, Michigan from 4pm - 6pm, Wednesday, October 23 at the University of Michigan, Gallery Lab, 100 North Hatcher Graduate Library. Edit-a-thon to improve articles relevant to the UM libraries's collections. Contact ChemLibrarian (talk) for more information.
- Atlanta - Saturday, November 16 at Athens-Clarke County Library, Athens, GA
- Arlington, Virginia - Tuesday, October 22, 7 PM at the Cherrydale Branch Library of Arlington Public Libraries
- Baltimore, Maryland - October 21 or 28 at Enoch Pratt Free Library
- Nashville, TN - Vanderbilt University (October 23)
- Vancouver, Washington: 2:30–4:30pm on Sunday, November 17 at the Vancouver Community Library (901 C Street)
- Moscow, Idaho: October 23 at the University of Idaho
- HighBeam Round 8
The eighth round of accounts for HighBeam Research is currently open. In May, HighBeam renewed its partnership with TWL, offering 1000 more accounts. If you wish to renew your existing account, or want to get access to the database, please add your name to the list. Let other Wikipedians know about the resource as well.
- Questia Round 4
The fourth round of accounts with Questia Online Library is currently open. Questia donated 1,000 accounts, and both new signups and renewals are available
- Cochrane Round 2
The second round for accounts with The Cochrane Library is currently open. Cochrane is a medical library that donated 100 accounts and all active medical and science research editors are invited to apply
- New York Times/LexisNexis
TWL has approached representatives of The New York Times and LexisNexis to obtain accounts for editors. The NYT accounts would have full access to the Times' archives, which date back to 1851. The Lexis-Nexis accounts would have access to one of the world's largest databases, containing large collections of legal articles and public records from all levels of government. Its content covers France, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa and the United Kingdom, as well as extensive coverage of the United States. TWL will update as negotiations progress.
TWL is excited about some recent innovations by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). The e-Switch API, currently under development, would allow readers and editors to access full-text versions of sources within reference templates. Read more about OCLC’s Wikipedia-related work here:
VisualEditor Reference Dialog Workshop
For those of us who are citation nerds, there is a discussion on MediaWiki about how the new VisualEditor should handle reference editing - i.e., should it emulate the existing RefToolbar? Which citation styles should it support? What should the workflow look like? The developers would very much appreciate your feedback and detailed use cases to help them make design choices.
Photo contest idea
There is a nascent discussion about starting a photo contest, along the lines of Wiki Loves Monuments, for libraries. Get involved here.
News from the library/archives world
- The Library of Congress’ website, an essential resource to many cataloguers, researchers, and library professionals, is closed as a result of the US federal government shutdown. The Internet Archive is maintaining links to archived versions of much of the website: Internet Archive blog post
- Update: As of Friday, October 18th, the LOC website and catalogues are back online.
Announcing WikiProject Open
WikiProject Open kicked off in October, with several brainstorming and co-working sessions led by User:Peteforsyth. The WikiProject has two main goals: first, to improve Wikimedia content with the help of openly licensed materials, and second, to improve Wikipedia articles related to openness (including open access publishing, open educational resources, etc.). WikiProject Open is a big tent organizing portal for open access, open data, open science, and open educational resources.
New ways to get involved
Please give feedback on Wikipedia Visiting Scholar requirements, such as tenure, edit count, content writing experience, etc., at Wikipedia talk:The Wikipedia Library/Wikipedia Visiting Scholars.
- Subject Guides
To realize TWL’s goal of being a research hub for editors, we would like to start curating subject guides or pathfinders for topics. These guides would list established reliable sources within the topic area, as well as useful databases and serial publications. The idea here is that an editor wishing to work on, say, articles about geology, would be able to get a good list of reliable geology sources from TWL. This is a big project - however, if we enlist the help of expert editors through posts to WikiProject talk pages, and utilize existing bibliographies, the work is not so daunting.
- Subject guide resources
New subject guides can be created using the “WP:Wikipedia Library/Subject Guides/Topic name” naming scheme. Please add “Category:TWL subject guides” to your page after starting it, and be sure to post a link to the relevant WikiProject talk page to bring in more helpers.
- New initiatives
TWL succeeds because of innovative ideas. Please feel free to float ideas for new database partnerships, software improvements, and WP/library partnerships at the main TWL talk page.