GLAM/Case studies/State Library of Queensland/1LibRef Case Study

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State Library of Queensland: #1Lib1Ref Case study 2017




Anna Raunik and Jacinta Sutton

State Library of Queensland

@annar @jjsttn



This case study reflects the development and implementation of State Library of Queensland’s (SLQ) participation in Wikipedia’s #1lib1ref campaign, in which SLQ committed to contributing 1000 citations to the initiative.



State Library of Queensland (SLQ) is the main reference and research library provided to the people of the State of Queensland, Australia, by the state government. It contains a significant portion of Queensland's documentary culture and heritage, major reference and research collections, and is an advocate of and partner with public libraries across Queensland.

Our participation in #1lib1ref was endorsed by State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald and was identified in the following statements.

  • Wikipedia is a first stop for researchers: let's make it better!’ [i]
  • #1lib1ref supports SLQ commitment to free access
  • Exposes SLQ content and collections to Wikipedia (5th most visited website)[ii]

· Opportunity to increase staff information and digital literacy skills



Executive Directors were requested to identify a ‘champion’ from each Directorate of the library. The role of the champion was to assist with the #1Lib1Ref activities in their directorate. Our Discovery Services team coordinated SLQ activities including establishing an internal online presence and liaising with Kerry Raymond from Wikimedia Australia (ex Wikipedian in Residence at SLQ).

The following activities were undertaken:

  • Awareness session for all staff held two weeks before the campaign. State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald provided the context for the session and Kerry Raymond provided some tips on editing. 41 staff attended.
  • This was followed by a training session conducted by Kerry Raymond for staff who required a refresher or were first time editors. 18 staff attended.
  • 6 editathon sessions were scheduled onsite for staff who elected to edit as a group. 1 was cancelled due to low registrations. 18 staff attended the remaining sessions.
  • 35 staff added citations. Citations were tracked via Google Drive and a number of staff undertook editing work during their own time.
  •  Information about #1Lib1Ref was distributed to Queensland Public Libraries and ALIA Qld.
  • Staff were kept informed via SLQ’s weekly staff newsletter, internal collaborative software Confluence (CWS) and social network Yammer. Regular updates were also distributed via SLQ’s social media accounts.

All staff who edited Wikipedia content and/or attended the training session were asked to contribute feedback on the initiative, including – what worked, what could be done better and any personal observations. 12 staff provided feedback. Kerry Raymond also provided feedback.



Attendance and citations increased slowly over the three weeks, spiking during the 6 editing sessions held at SLQ, and we met our goal of 1000 citations on the last day of the campaign. The statistics for the 3 week campaign are as follows:

  • 1,028 citations added (25% of the total numbers across the global campaign)
  • 97% Queensland topics/content
  • Most edited page – Muttaburra 46 citations
  • 148 pages – single citations added
  • Content focus – Queensland places, people, War Memorials and Schools
  • 30 citations on Queensland War Memorials pages
  • 41 (including 2 staff from the Justice and Attorney-General’s department (JAG)) attended awareness sessions
  • 18 staff attended training
  • 18 staff attended mentoring/edit sessions
  • 35 staff added citations (including 2 field work students and 1 volunteer

Reflection and lessons learned


What Worked:

  • State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald endorsing staff engagement with the campaign
  • Being part of an international activity
  • The awareness session for interested staff
  • Active engagement of three Executive Directors
  • IFLA White Paper on Wikipedia and Libraries released during campaign and shared with staff
  • Kerry Raymond – supportive, experienced, engaged Wikipedia editor. Kerry presented at the awareness and training session and attended 5 mentoring sessions.
  • Three week period allows staff to participate at different stages. A number of staff joined in the last week
  • Flexibility in participation
  • Kerry provided lists of wiki pages that required citations, which made it easier to find relevant content requiring citations
  • Kerry sending thank you notifications to edits made on pages she was ‘watching’ gave participants a sense that what they were doing was being acknowledged and appreciated
  • Opportunity to link to SLQ content and to use SLQ resources to create citations
  • Use of the collaborative working software (CWS) – easy central, accessible location for documentation including registrations
  • Use of Google Drive to keep track of citations
  • Blog post /Yammer/In Touch posts to keep all staff engaged
  • Linkages with external stakeholders, i.e. ALIA Qld
  • Many staff who participated reported that it was ‘enjoyable’ and ‘empowering’ and a morale boost to be involved in this work. An Information Services staff member created a new Wikipedia page on the William Street, State Library of Queensland building, art mosaic using existing research undertaken for a client.
  • Good social media engagement – providing an opportunity to expose SLQ to the GLAM sector
  • Opportunity for SLQ staff to increase their skills. Adding citations allows staff working in Wikipedia for the first time to develop their skills and increase confidence. A number of staff worked on enhancing content on existing pages, and one staff member created a new page.

What could we do better next time

  • January timeframes (linked to Wikipedia birthday) – made it difficult to engage staff before the event – many were on leave and lower numbers in teams may have had an impact on staff availability. There was no opportunity to engage with managers and supervisors and get their involvement during Christmas period. This also applied to the broader library sector.

Suggestion: Provide feedback to 1Lib1Ref regarding timing. Share the outcomes of 2017 session with staff to ensure that there is a better understanding for future activities. Consider opportunities to engage with Wikipedia throughout the year.

  • Timing did not help engagement with public library network.

Suggestion: Share the outcomes of 2017 session with staff to ensure that there is a better understanding for future activities. Consider opportunities to engage with Wikipedia throughout the year.

  • Use the CWS for registrations – is a new tool for a number of staff and may have had an impact on engagement.

Suggestion: Provide more details with links to CWS (i.e. first time user – use network login)

  • Identifying content for citations was not straightforward. Citation hunt – a wiki tool identified content. Often this content requiring citations was complex, requiring in depth research. During the week staff identified different tips to assist – Education Queensland list of schools opening and closing dates was used by a number of staff as citations. Another tip was to review pages of Queensland places.

Suggestion: Identify a range of resources that would be useful to assist with citations. Resources include online and physical texts. Identify key themes – i.e. Schools