Education/Newsletter/September 2012/Wikipedia de la A a la W by Tomás Saorin of the University of Murcia

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Knowing about Wikipedia is not only cool, is a necessity in the information age. Professor Tomas Saorin of the University of Murcia in Spain has published a book on Wikipedia entitled Wikipedia de la A a la W (Wikipedia from A to W) in Spanish. The purpose of the book is to align with the Wikimedia Foundation’s strategy of promoting collaboration in Wikipedia with educational and cultural institutions.

This book aims to cover Wikipedia from all sides, presenting it both as an information source and as a community. Wikipedia de la A a la W targets librarians, teachers and communication professionals, to give them an easy reference and introduction into the “Wiki-World.” The book joins practical advice in article writing with historical background of modern encyclopaedias, such as Britannica online and Encarta. In a single place, readers can learn how to ask for help, update articles sections, make a template or upload a media. A book is also the kind of thing that may help them realize that it's time to start editing Wikipedia.

As an information literacy tool, as a cultural artifact made collaboratively and as an information resource to improve, it is time to understand it in depth, and this book can guide in this never ending path. As the book is published in Spanish, it focuses Spanish Wikipedia’s community and norms. This is important because despite Spanish’s status as a widespread language spoken on at least four continents, Spanish Wikipedia only ranks sixth in number of articles.

Originally, the book was going to be entitles Wikipedia, a través del espejo (Wikipedia, through the looking glass), an allusion to Alice in Wonderland, as Alice’s second book. The point of this title was to show that Wikipedia is much more than a web site. It's a thrilling adventure where every single scholar, teacher, professor or curator can share their knowledge worldwide and construct a never before seen set of millions of weaving pieces of content, data and ideas.

Note: Proceeds from the book will be donated to the Wikimedia España.

Publisher’s description (Editorial Universitat Oberta de Calalunya

Reviews of the book: