Wikipedia:GLAM/SLIC/SLIC residency final report
- 1 Background
- 2 Key Achievements
- 2.1 Training outcomes
- 2.2 Other successes
- 2.3 New training resources
- 3 Reflections
- 4 Future opportunities
- 5 Project legacy
In March 2016, the Wikimedian in Residence at Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) delivered a presentation to the SLIC Digital Champions, outlining her work and highlighting the potential for public libraries to be involved in the programme. This generated considerable interest from services who appreciated the contributions libraries could make to Wikipedia and the resulting benefits to their services from participating in such an initiative. It was recognised that there is a widespread perception that Wikipedia has displaced libraries’ role in providing access to information. Libraries working with Wikipedia to showcase their collections to new audiences challenges this perception and demonstrates the valuable contribution library staff can make to the digital information environment.
Inverclyde Libraries took the project forward with a successful PLIF funding application and Alana Ward, Libraries, Education Development and Arts Manager, as project lead. It was agreed that the project would be hosted at SLIC with Gillian Daly followed by Lindsey Henderson as supervising managers. The project was originally set to run from March 2017 to October 2018, but the start date was delayed until August 2017 when Sara Thomas took up the post of Wikimedian in Residence. The project ran from August 2017 to March 2019 and hosted two Wikimedians in Residence, Sara Thomas from August 2017 to April 2018 and Delphine Dallison from May 2018 to March 2019.
Aims and objectives of the residency (PLIF)
The aims of the SLIC Wikimedian in Residence project were laid out in the PLIF application form as follows:
"To establish public libraries as quality content creators in the digital sphere, and to provide open access to freely usable content about Scottish culture, derived from our rich library collections."
Aims and objectives of the residency (WMUK)
The purpose of the residency was outlined as below as per the residency partnership agreement with Wikimedia UK:
- To work towards the improvement in quality of Scottish-related content in Wikimedia Foundation projects
- To promote digital engagement in areas related to the work of the Institution, specifically the Scottish culture
- To deliver training throughout Scotland
- To raise awareness of the benefits of open knowledge
- To facilitate knowledge exchange and knowledge co-creation
- To collaborate with key partners
- To make (or consider the advantages of making) information or materials held by the Institution available via the Wikimedia projects, e.g. releasing text, images and other multimedia files under an open license
These goals were mapped out against Wikimedia UK's strategic goals as follows:
Strategic goal one
|Increase the quality and quantity of coverage of subjects that are currently underrepresented on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects|
Strategic goal two
|Support the development of open knowledge in the UK, by increasing the understanding and recognition of the value of open knowledge and advocating for the change at an organisational, sectoral and public policy level|
Strategic goal three
|To support the use of the Wikimedia projects as important tools for education and learning in the UK|
Over an 18 months period, the SLIC Wikimedian in residence facilitated training on how to edit Wikipedia and contribute to its sister open knowledge projects for a total of 162 librarians across 23 Scottish local authorities. The gender ratio of the participants was 75.31% female.
The project was funded by the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF), so priority for training was given to public librarians (73.45% of total librarians trained), but opportunities were also offered to public library partners across the library profession including school librarians, HE and FE librarians, specialist librarians, health librarians and law librarians.
In the past 6 months, the project has culminated with a Train the Trainer programme specifically tailored for librarians to enable them to deliver their own Wikipedia related activities with their local library users. A total of 32 librarians have taken up this opportunity from 9 local authorities and will constitute a network across Scotland delivering consistent high quality training and able to collaborate across the library sector as well as with other partners from the Scottish Wikimedia community.
Throughout the residency, a total of 10 editathons were delivered with support from the SLIC Wikimedian in Residence and a further 7 are currently in planning by librarians who have undertaken the Train the Trainer programme. To date, a total of 45 library users have been trained to edit Wikipedia during these events and 55 new articles on Scottish history and culture have been added to Wikipedia using sources from the libraries' rich collections.
Successful residency handover
In April 2018, Sara Thomas stepped from her post as Wikimedian in Residence at SLIC in order to take on the role of Scotland Programme Coordinator for Wikimedia UK. The SLIC post was readvertised and after a selection process awarded to Delphine Dallison, who took over the residency on the 30th April. This is the first time that a WMUK residency has changed hands halfway through its agreed duration and we are happy to report that the transition went well. The new resident Delphine Dallison had previously been a volunteer for Wikimedia UK for 5 years and had undergone Wikimedia UK's Train the Trainer programme. Thanks to her prior knowledge of Wikipedia editing and the Wikimedia community, Delphine was able to familiarise herself with the project over the first two weeks in post then fully engage with the programme of training sessions for librarians scheduled throughout the month of May. Sara Thomas led those training sessions in partnership with Delphine Dallison, which allowed her to complete a thorough handover and to signpost Delphine towards some of the tools and strategies she had been using when engaging with an audience of librarians. By the time all five sessions had been delivered, Delphine felt confident in her post and was able to start focusing on new ideas and directions in which she wanted to direct the residency. Despite the success of the handover, we must note that the change in wikimedian in residence may have affected the development of a couple of projects where the results might have been mitigated with a better understanding of broader context of the projects. These incidents are further expanded upon in the Wikimedian in Residence Reflections - Challenges section of the report. Delphine and Sara have continued to collaborate well for the duration of the residency, coordinating together some of the larger Scotland-wide Wikimedia campaigns such as the Wiki Loves Monuments and 1Lib1Ref campaigns. Delphine attended all the semi-regular ScotWiki partners meetings organised by Sara as Scotland Programme Coordinator, which kept the SLIC residency embedded as part of the larger ScotWiki community. Sara also joined the SLIC residency's steering committee for the remainder of the project and provided valuable input and advice.
Up and Coming Wikimedian of the Year award
On 14 July 2018, during the 2018 AGM, Wikimedia UK awarded Up and Coming Wikimedian of the Year to the SLIC Wikimedian in Residence, Delphine Dallison. The award was given in recognition of her enthusiasm and hard work to date, engaging librarian in how to edit Wikipedia across Scotland. The award also gave some recognition to her previous work as a volunteer and certified trainer for Wikimedia UK.
Libraries engaging with Wikimedia Campaigns
Introducing the concept of Wikimedia Campaigns to librarians as part of the residency has been one of the key successes, which we hope will continue to develop as a legacy of the residency. Librarians are already used to running key events dedicated to specific themes as part of their calendar year such as Book Week Scotland, National Poetry Day or World Book Day, so the concept of Wimedia Campaigns fitted in well with their work practise. As part of the residency, we introduced 3 campaigns (Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Loves Libraries and 1Lib1Ref), which each yielded different positive results.
Wiki Loves Monuments
Wiki Loves Monuments 2018 was promoted across the Scottish library sector thanks to SLIC's contacts and network. A number of libraries were active in promoting it locally to their library users via social media and through their staff. One of the key successes in getting the message out was running a live demo of the WLM website and tool at the quarterly SLIC Digital Champions Meeting on the 5th of September. The libraries that ran activities related to WLM reported that they were well received and a volunteer who took part with support from Arbroath Libraries won the first prize for Scotland. Arbroath Libraries plan to continue working with him to incorporate some of his Wiki Loves Monuments photos into Wikipedia articles. Wiki Loves Monuments was also an opportunity to run heritage related editathons in partnership with the Scottish Civic Trust. Originally, three editathons were planned targeting areas with low engagement from librarians in the Wikimedia residency (Dumfries and Galloway, Glasgow and Aberdeenshire), however due to short planning lead time, we were only able to go ahead with the Glasgow editathon. Nonetheless, the plans and discussions to try and get an Aberdeenshire editathon off the ground still had an impact. It opened up the conversation with the Aberdeenshire Libraries team and lead to their team progressing on to complete a one day Introduction to Wikipedia training session and the Train the Trainer programme. With more planning time for 2019, we hope that the Scottish Civic Trust can be teamed up with our network of librarians trained to deliver Wikipedia events in order to run a wider programme of heritage editathons during Wiki Loves Monuments.
Final results for Wiki Loves Monuments:
- 27,333 new Wikidata items created
- Worked with partners SLIC, University of Edinburgh, Museums Gallery Scotland, Archaeology Scotland, Dig it!, Built Environment Forum Scotland, the Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust, the Scottish Civic Trust and Doors Open Day
- 4,374 photos contributed for Scotland out of 13,184 total for UK
Wiki Loves Libraries
Wiki Loves Libraries is a campaign that has been run previously predominantly in the United States to encourage libraries to engage in Wikipedia related activities around Open Access Week in October, but has been dormant for the past few years. We contacted the previous organisers and were given permission to use the campaign name and adapt it to our needs to engage librarians on a local level in Scotland.
The focus of the 2018 Wiki Loves Libraries campaign in Scotland was on creating new pages on Wikipedia for some of our historic libraries. Librarians could sign up to edit pages and pitch libraries in their local authorities which met Wikipedia's standards of notability. To avoid any conflict of interest editing, librarians were teamed up in pairs so each librarian worked on a library page outside their local authority.
The numbers to sign up for the event were small, only 8 local authorities, but the project still had a strong impact. All of the librarians who signed up to take part in the campaign had previously taken part in the one day Intro to Wikipedia training, so this was a great opportunity for them to practise their editing skills. Arbroath Library took the opportunity to train another member of their staff team in how to edit Wikipedia. Both members of staff from Arbroath have continued to contribute to Wikipedia and have also since completed the Train the Trainer programme. Another 3 local authorities also progressed with their staff onto the Train the Trainer programme. A number of these librarians are now looking to replicate the Wiki Loves Libraries campaign in the lead up to August 2019, as a way to create more pages about Carnegie Libraries as part of the Centenary commemorating Andrew Carnegie's death.
2019 is the first year that Scotland has run a coordinated 1lib1ref campaign on a national scale across all the library sectors. Sara Thomas had planted the seeds in the previous year with an awareness raising campaign during her time as the Wikimedian in Residence at the Scottish Library and Information Council. Delphine Dallison, after taking over the residency, took on the role of 1Lib1Ref ambassador for Scotland and coordinated the 2019 campaign. The role of 1Lib1Ref ambassador is a new one trialled by the campaign organisers in a bid to get wider community involvement in the planning of the campaign. The aim of 1Lib1Ref Scotland 2019 was to activate librarians across the entire library sector in Scotland. In order to do so, the WiR advertised the campaign using SLIC's key contacts list in all the Scottish local authorities as well as boosting the campaign on social media with the help of campaign amplifiers such as CILIPS, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland, the Scottish Health Information Network (SHINE) and the SLIC social media team. 1Lib1Ref was framed as a professional development opportunity and underpinned with training opportunities for librarians in the form of free 1 hour webinars delivered by the SLIC Wikimedian in Residence. There were 5 webinars in total and those were attended by a wide range of professionals across the library sector including school librarians, public librarians, law librarians, FE and HE institution librarians and health librarians. Two of the webinars were specifically tailored to health librarians in response to a demand for Wikipedia specific training after the SLIC Wikimedian in Residence delivered the key note speech at last year's SHINE conference. In support of the webinars, the WiR also built a dedicated 1Lib1Ref Scotland 2019 event page with additional resources for librarians to access while taking part in the campaign. The webinars were recorded and widely shared for any librarians unable to attend the dates of the live events. The campaign's metrics were recorded using the outreach dashboard as an individual programme nestled under the global #1Lib1Ref 2019 campaign. In total, 46 editors enrolled as part of the campaign, 10 new articles were created, 249 articles were edited, with a sum total of 586 edits.
Wikiproject Women in Red
Although Wikiproject Women in Red is not a campaign as such, it provides another template of event that libraries can adapt to their needs when organising an editathon. A number of Wikiproject Women in Red events were run during the SLIC residency, including:
- The Lost Poets of Scotland editathon at the Scottish Poetry Library, focused on improving the coverage of Scottish women poets.
- The Protests and Suffragettes editathon with Strong Women of Clydeside at the Mitchell Library, focused on improved the coverage of Scottish and Glaswegian suffragettes.
- The Brave:Edit editathon with Amnesty Scotland at the Glasgow Women's Library, focused on improving the coverage of women international human rights activists.
- The Women of Skye editathon at the Portree Community Library with Atlas Art, focused on improving the coverage of notable women from the Isle of Skye.
The Women of Skye editathon provided a good engagement model for future editathons organised with libraries. The event was organised in partnership with Atlas Art, which resulted in a 1 day training session for librarians and archivists on the 9th October, followed by a 2 day editathon on the 19th and 20th October. The roles and responsibilities for running the event were split between Atlas Art who provided the event planning and social media coverage and the Portree library and archives team, who provided the venue, identified gaps in Wikipedia and did some advance research to provide necessary sources to create the biographies of women fulfilling Wikipedia's notability standards. One of the obstacles identified for libraries running Wikipedia events is having the capacity or time to organise these types of events. The model provided by this partnership with a local events organisation like Atlas Art could help remove this obstacle.
During the course of the residency, a total of 48 new images were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons during training sessions and editathons, outwith any Wiki Loves Monuments events.
A number of the libraries involved in the residency have also been looking at the licenses on their digital collections and started conversations with senior management about opening up the licenses on their collections. In July 2018, the Glasgow School of Art Library, following discussions with the SLIC Wikimedian in Residence, agreed to open up the license on a collection of scanned book which they had hosted so far on the Internet Archive under a CC-BY-NC license. The license was converted to a CC-BY-SA license and 72 books were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons using the IA-Upload tool and can now be found under the Wikimedia Commons category: Images from Glasgow School of Art Library. Four of the books have also been uploaded to Wikisource and are currently in the process of being transcribed and proofread.
New training resources
All the training resources gathered during the residency can be found at Resources for Librarians.
1Lib1Ref 2019 Webinar for Librarians
1Lib1Ref Scotland 2019 Webinar for Health Librarians
SLIC WiR Train the Trainer handbook and presentation slides
Wikimedian in Residence
This residency has been a great opportunity for personal development for me and I feel that I have greatly developed my skills both as a wikimedian and as a trainer over the past 11 months. Taking over a residency in progress from an experienced resident like Sara Thomas was a daunting prospect, but I think my previous experience as Wikimedia UK volunteer and certified trainer greatly help smooth the transition. The fact that I'd started volunteering with Wikimedia UK at a time when I was a SCONUL trainee at the Glasgow School of Art Library also meant that I had a prior understanding of the benefits and challenges for libraries when engaging with Wikipedia activities. I also feel lucky to have stepped into this residency at a time when Sara Thomas was taking on the role of Scotland Programme Coordinator as the role permitted her to facilitate a smooth induction when I first started in the role and to support me throughout the first training events delivered in the first month of my residency, which meant that the plans that Sara had developed in her time as SLIC resident could be delivered without undue delay and left me in a strong position for delivering the second phase of the residency. Sara Thomas also acted as a mentor throughout the rest of the residency, which meant that I felt well supported by Wikimedia UK as project partners.
The residency itself can be broken down in three phases:
- Phase 1 (August 2017-March 2018) - delivered by Sara Thomas: This first phase had three objectives: to advertise the residency and recruit volunteer libraries, to demonstrate the potential of the residency through a number of editathons and to develop a pilot training scheme with a sample of partner local authorities (Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire). Sara Thomas made use of library networking opportunities such as the CILIPS Autumn Gathering, SLIC's Digital Champions quarterly meetings and SCURL events to successfully drum up enthusiasm for the residency. With the partner local authorities, Sara developed suitable training resources and a proven training pathway taking library teams from a 1 day Intro to Wikipedia session to identifying a group of volunteers associated with the library to running their first editathon. Inverclyde and North Lanarkshire libraries successfully completed this pathway and it was replicated in phase 2 with the library teams in Dunfermline and Skye. North and South Ayrshire completed their 1 day Intro to Wikipedia training, but struggled to find a local group of volunteers and move on to running their first editathon. Their difficulties can be linked to two potential factors: changes in the staff team and internal restructuring and loss of continuity in the residency when the changeover of WiR took place.
- Phase 2 (April 2018-September 2018) - planned for by Sara Thomas and delivered by Delphine Dallison:
Statement by Scottish Library and Information Council, provided by Lindsey Henderson, SLIC Head of Programme:
SLIC excitedly welcomed a Wikimedian in Residence in August 2017 as host organisation following a successful PLIF bid by Inverclyde Libraries. Libraries are the trusted places many visit to access accurate and invaluable information, often to be found within its rich collections. The Wikimedian in Residence project has given staff the confidence to look beyond the collections they hold on their shelves and see themselves as key content creators, able to steer visitors to high quality digital resources. The residency also focused on the development of Open knowledge and the value it has in the library sector. The feedback from participants at the wide range of sessions has been fantastic with 82% feeling more confident bout explaining open knowledge to others and 88% more confident in spotting the potential of open knowledge for different areas of library work. Not only did the programme train library staff but it included train the trainer sessions to ensure there are an engaged network of librarians involved in the Wiki community now that the residency has ended. The participants survey shows we are already seeing the impact of the training with 60% of attendants already planning future wiki events and 93% of participants having been left inspired to continuing developing their contribution to open knowledge. To have 119 librarians trained in editing Wikipedia and 32 trained as trainers who will be able to upskill and encourage more library staff to get involved is a massive achievement for public libraries in Scotland. Over 40 librarians out with the public library sector have also benefited from the residency paving the way for some exciting cross sectoral work. The project has also created 55 new articles on Scottish history and culture, the creation of these pages by Scottish Libraries and their communities is a very special output from the project. The achievements of the project and the legacy created would not have been possible without the knowledge, passion and dedication of the two Wikimedian’s in Residence who led the project. The geographical reach of the project has been excellent and although we may not have a wiki champion in every little corner of Scotland we might like to, it has certainly paved the way for the wiki and open data movements to grow.
Feedback on the project was sought from librarians via a Survey Monkey questionnaire and a sample of 35 responses were collected.
Feedback from the residency has helped highlight the fact that open knowledge projects are still a new area for librarians in the Scottish library sector to explore. Across the sample of respondents, only 17% were aware of any open knowledge projects having previously taken place within their organisation and only 8.5% had been directly involved in those projects. Whilst all the participants regularly accessed Wikipedia for information, only 32% had used or accessed any of the other Wikimedia open knowledge projects (e.g. Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource, Wikidata...) and only 20% had previously attempted to edit Wikipedia.
Survey respondents mainly participated in the SLIC Wikimedian in Residence by attending the 1 day Intro to Wikipedia for Librarians training sessions offered by the WiR throughout the project, but they also reported taking part in a variety of other opportunities that were offered including attending an advocacy session, participating in one of the Wikimedia campaigns (Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Loves Libraries, 1Lib1Ref) and either organising or participating in an editathon.
Since taking part in those activities, 83% of respondents have reported feeling more confident explaining the principles of open knowledge to others. 70.5% reported feeling more confident about working on open license projects. 76% reported feeling more confident about overcoming arguments against open knowledge and 88.5% felt more confident about spotting the potential of open knowledge projects in different areas of library work. 80% of respondents have recommended using Wikipedia to one of their library users since taking part in the project.
Librarians gave the following examples of how taking part in Wikipedia activities has been beneficial to their work:
"Through Wikipedia we as an organisation will be able to improve the open access information already available and add to any gaps. We intend to do this with colleagues and with our volunteers. For example, research that is currently being carried out on our collections by volunteers can be made accessible to everybody."
"[Now that I have a] better understanding of how Wikipedia works and how reliable it is, I feel confident in recommending this source to library users."
"We organised Wiki Loves Monuments activities for groups of our users to introduce them to open data, heritage and digital technology - they loved it!"
"I am better able to explain how pupils can effectively use wikipedia as a research tool."
"I have supported a colleague who has created a page for another library service. His contribution reflects well on our service and hopefully will encourage others to add pages for our libraries. I believe that any positive promotion of Wikipedia is beneficial to all that use it and contribute to it."
"[This project is helping] to change teaching staff’s negative perceptions of Wikipedia as a source of information and explain its potential as a valuable teaching tool especially in relation to information literacy skills."
"The Editathon [we ran] was useful for engaging with library users in the local studies library" .
Train the Trainer feedback
40% of the questionnaire respondents completed to Trainer the Trainer programme offered as part of the SLIC residency. Feedback on the training and resources provided in the programme was that it either answered most or all of their questions in regards to delivering a Wikipedia related event. 60% of respondents reported feeling somewhat confident about delivering their first Wikipedia event and 25% reported feeling very to extremely confident. Most respondents felt that their confidence would increase with more editing practise and after delivering their first event. Respondents also reported that they felt confident about who to contact for support from Wikimedia UK if needed when running future events.
When asked about future plans, all the respondents fed back that they are either currently planning future Wikipedia activities (60%) or would like to (40%). Between 70% and 75% said they would be likely or very likely to be involved in the 2019 Wiki Loves Monuments campaign, to take part in a future Wiki Loves Libraries campaign and to participate in 1Lib1Ref. 66% are also likely or very likely to run a WikiProject Women in Red event. Some of the current projects planned include: - Some staff development sessions with Wikipedia training delivered within their own staff team - More advocacy sessions with library users - Some local studies themed editathons - Editathons with local history groups, similar to the project delivered with the Shotts local history group - A Wikiproject women in red editathon on the theme of Fife witches remembered - Wiki Loves Libraries project to commemorate the centenary of Andrew Carnegie's death and create more pages for Carnegie libraries in Scotland.
When asked about any obstacles, that may prevent them from running future Wikipedia events, respondents identified the following: - Issues with workload and building sufficient time in their work schedule. - Access to IT resources and making those available to volunteers/editors. - Difficulties cascading knowledge and training to the rest of the staff team. - Concerns over job security with upcoming organisational reviews and budget cuts. These can lead to low moral and loss of skills within staff teams. - Difficulties recruiting volunteers and participants to take part in events.
Project legacy feedback
All the questionnaire respondents were asked to give feedback on the overall impact and legacy of the SLIC Wikimedian in Residence project, focusing on how the project had helped them, their organisation and the wider library sector develop awareness and skills related to open knowledge.
93% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that the project had addressed their concerns or questions over open knowledge, that the project had inspired them to keep developing their contributions to open knowledge and that the project had been useful to their continuing development in the library sector. Respondents also acknowledged that the project had had an impact on the organisations their worked for, with 80% agreeing or strongly agreeing that it had helped their organisation develop new digital skills, 75% that it had increased their organisation's expertise in relation to copyright and open licenses, 70% that it had increased senior support for open knowledge projects and 62% that it had encouraged an organisation-wide buy-in to the benefits of open knowledge.
Librarians still felt that there were barriers to overcome in developing a culture of open knowledge in their library, highlighting the following:
- Issues around capacity, staff skill levels and time input
- Issues around engagement or resistance at a senior staff level
- More work needed to develop staff knowledge and expertise on copyright and open licenses
- More time needed to roll out training across their wider staff team
- Structural issues such as the separation of libraries and museums, when they should be working together
- Organisations sticking with the better known paywall system for digital collections rather than considering the benefits of open licenses
However, librarians also related the many benefits to the wider library sector that this project had helped highlight:
- "Libraries are about access for all and [open knowledge] supports this ideology."
- "[Open knowledge helps] promote local resources that we hold, which people may not know about. [It also provides] a place online, which we can contribute to and supply quality information, which is also well regarded, easy to find and searchable and that we don't need to host ourselves."
- "[Open knowledge] makes libraries more accessible."
- "[Open knowledge] enhances the reputation of libraries as providers of trusted and transparent information."
- "[...] Addressing the fear that knowledge being open does not necessarily mean that it is not quality information. It means in the long-term that we can benefit from the work each other are doing, rather than staying in silos."
- "Open knowledge is an exact fit with the original ethos of the library service."
- "[Open knowledge provides] opportunities to become creators, contributors and to collaborate."