Wikipedia:Workshop/ACRL 2013

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Libraries in the age of Wikipedia:
Understanding & Contributing to Wikipedia

A hands-on workshop
Indianapolis, IN
April 10, 2013

Workshop details[edit]


IUPUI Library


  • The workshop is free but we ask that you register here
  • Attendance at ACRL is not required! Everyone is welcome.
  • We are also looking for volunteers to help out with the hands-on portion. Are you already an active Wikipedian and want to help out? Please contact Phoebe.



Have you always wanted to edit Wikipedia but aren't sure how to get started? Have you tried to edit but haven't had a good experience, or gotten confused? Have you thought about making library resources or special collections more visible via Wikipedia? Do you need tips on how to teach information literacy with Wikipedia, or had faculty ask about teaching with it? Do you simply want to learn more about using and contributing to the largest and most-used reference work in human history? Join three librarians who are expert Wikipedians as we give an overview of the project, guide you through a hands-on editing session, and answer your questions.

Full description[edit]

This workshop will help collaboratively answer this big question: what will the next decade look like for Wikipedia's future, and what should the role of academic librarians be in it? It will cover the world of Wikipedia, ways librarians can participate in Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, and ideas for doing outreach and instruction. Participants will learn the strengths and weaknesses of Wikipedia, and why librarians should be involved in shaping the site's future.

Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, will be 12 years old in 2013. The project has gone from an experiment that few people thought could work to becoming the largest and most widely-read reference work in human history, encompassing hundreds of languages, tens of thousands of volunteers, and leading a global free knowledge movement.

As Wikipedia has matured over the past decade and faced the challenges of a growing, collaborative project, ways of engaging with it for universities, libraries, and cultural institutions have changed as well. There are currently hundreds of professors incorporating Wikipedia into their classrooms, dozens of archives that have shared their collections with Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons (Wikimedia’s free photo and media repository), and libraries and museums around the world that have on-site Wikipedians-in-Residence. Outreach projects in these settings have included installing QR codes in museums that link to Wikipedia articles, on-site "edit-a-thons" and article writing contests, and training instructors on incorporating Wikipedia into a classroom assignment. Working well with Wikipedia goes beyond teaching what the site is and when it's appropriate to use it -- though that is still very important.

Wikipedia edit-a-thon at the British Library

This workshop will cover the world of Wikipedia and the various ways that librarians can participate, including editing an article, using Wikipedia in information literacy lessons, making institutional collections more visible, and working with classroom outreach efforts. Participants will gain a better understanding of Wikipedia and be able to separate fact from fiction when evaluating Wikipedia. They will learn the strengths and weaknesses of Wikipedia and why librarians should be involved in the shaping the future of the project.

We will give an overview of Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and the Wikimedia Foundation, and then provide examples and hands-on activities related to each potential outreach area, including tips, best practices and potential pitfalls. Participants will learn about Wikipedia and its sister projects; become familiar with contributing to Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons; and learn how Wikipedia relates to the library world, including faculty outreach and the realm of open access and scholarly communications issues. If there is time and interest, participants will also have an opportunity to create a lesson plan for including Wikipedia in a one-shot library instruction session. We can also work with workshop participants to develop a plan for having their library participate in the informal, nationwide “Wikipedia loves Libraries” event in October; participants will be able to leave with ideas and resources (including example projects and how to get help from the Wikipedia community) that they can use to help create a timely and engaging community outreach project or event.


draft schedule
  • 9:30 - 10:00am: Check-in and refreshments
  • 10:00 - 10:15am: Welcome and introductions / background
  • 10:15 - 11:15am: Wikipedia & Libraries
  • 11:15-11:20: Break
  • 11:20-noon: How Wikipedia Works
  • noon - 12:30pm: Break (refreshments courtesy of OCLC)
  • 12:30 - 1:15pm: Getting started editing
  • 1:15-1:50pm: Editing workshop
  • 1:50 - 2:00pm: Wrap-up, closing and evaluations



Related WikiProjects and editing resources[edit]

Article editing ideas

Need some ideas for what to edit?

Education and outreach resources[edit]

Resources mentioned[edit]

Want more help?[edit]

  • You can visit the Teahouse for friendly help
  • contact us via our userpages