Wikipedia:Wikipedia Loves Libraries

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Shut not your doors to me proud libraries,
For that which was lacking on all your well-fill'd shelves,
yet needed most, I bring,

—Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Wikipedia Loves Libraries is a general initiative for improved Wikimedia engagement with libraries (and archives), and more concretely an annual campaign of wiki-workshops and edit-a-thons at libraries around Open Access Week in October/November.

The first Wikipedia Loves Libraries campaign was in 2011 across North America, and it's coming roaring back in 2013 worldwide.

It has been modeled on the summertime Great American Wiknic (multiple wiki-meetups on a single day), the broader WikiProject GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) collaboration effort, and the June 2011 edit-athon at the British Library, where Wikipedians gathered at the library, and were given access to library resources in order to expand Wikipedia articles about miscellaneous topics.

The advantages of the Wikipedia Loves Libraries model:

  • easy to organize, even at small public libraries
  • welcoming to everyone, Wikipedians, Librarians and all library patrons
  • it's "the living reference section"
  • also, it's fun!

Sign up to bring Wikipedia Loves Libraries to your institution! (bit.ly/wikiloveslib)

Planned United States 2014 library events[edit]

Wikipedia Loves Libraries events can be held on any day anytime in the Fall, mainly centered around Open Access Week in October/November 2014.

With grassroots organizing help from local Wikipedia:Meetup groups, and WikiProject United States Wikimedians/Wikimedia United States Coalition.

Everyone is free to start a Wikipedia Loves Libraries page for your local institution, and please sign up at your event's meetup page:

Northeast[edit]

The Northeastern United States comprises the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Midwest[edit]

The Midwestern United States comprises Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

South[edit]

The Southern United States comprises Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

West[edit]

The Western United States comprises Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

History[edit]

Click on the following links for details by year:

Potential participants[edit]

Wikipedians and library staff collaborating in Portland, Oregon in 2012
Libraries
  • home libraries (invite friends over for your own)
  • public libraries
  • school libraries
  • research libraries
Groups + organizations
Individuals

Individual participants might include, for instance, Wikipedians and/or non-Wikipedians, working offline and/or online.

Types of events[edit]

"Behind-the-scenes" tour at the Central Library in Seattle in 2012

Events can be organized by Wikipedians, or by librarians or any interested members of the public.

Possible program activities for the day:

  • meetup of local Wikipedians and friends;
  • Academy-like editing workshop, with experienced editors helping beginners (library professionals and patrons), teaching them (1) what Wikipedia is; (2) the basics of editing and (3) how their community can collaborate with the Wikimedia Foundation projects (primarily Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons);
  • librarian-Wikipedian panel discussions and Q&A, with a discussion on issues such as copyright, Wikipedia's reliability and how Wikipedia can help publicizing library collections and make them more visible to online communities;
  • train-the-trainers: library staff expand their skills as front-line trainers of new Wikipedians and strengthen the participatory media skills of library staff, who are then better equipped to respond to patrons' Wikipedia-related queries

In short, Wikipedia Loves Libraries can be a great easy-in to building the relationship between Wikipedia and this part of the cultural world it shares so much with, and lead to greater Wikilove/Librarylove in your region!

How to get involved[edit]

Wikipedia Loves Libraries at Wikimedia DC's Library Lab in 2011
Advice for everyone

Check the list to see if there is already an event in your area. If not, go ahead and add one! Another good place to check is at Wikipedia:Meetup to see if there have been other wiki-meetups in your area in the past. If so, you could post there and ask if anyone is interested in a library meetup in October.

Advice for librarians

The best advice here is, "Plan it and they will come." If you schedule a wiki event at your library and list it here, chances are excellent that experienced Wikipedians will notice it and sign up, and then you can coordinate with them about panels and Q&A sessions. You might also like to check whether there is a Wikimedia chapter active in your area: they'd love to help as well. Libraries should ideally have some computers available for accessing Wikipedia, or wi-fi access so that participants can bring their own computers. Libraries may also wish to compile a short list of special resources that they have available which could assist researchers. For example: Are there National Historic landmarks in your area that could use more information in their Wikipedia articles? Your library might have a wealth of books or other research materials which Wikipedians could use to expand those articles. There are many topics where research at a bona fide library would probably be more useful than just doing online web searches for sources. For example: Local history of towns, biographies of notable individuals in your area, histories of schools, local geographical features, or any other topic you can think of!

Questions? Let's talk!

If you have questions, please click on the "Discussion" tab at the top of this page and ask whatever you want. You should get an answer back within hours, or even minutes!

Start a new discussion on the discussion page for help with planning your own event, please include as many details as possible.

See also[edit]

Examples of past events

Further reading[edit]

Background

Coverage of WLL events