The synergy and potential for collaboration between libraries and Wikipedia was explored in conversation with attending Wikimedians. Conference presenters also made some interesting points relevant to the engagement of Wikimedia and libraries. During the panel discussion for instance, one speaker noted that the different websites (art gallery sites, library sites, archive sites) do not provide information about one topic (the speaker used the example of Ned Kelly, Australia's most famous bushranger), before going on to say that "customers don't care who has the information - they want to get it all in one place. In curating the information, authenticity counts in terms of experiences, but access to the information is important." It was this sort of comment that showed the usefulness and relevance of Wikipedia to librarians.
"Embedded librarians" and Wikipedians-in-Residence
In another session, a speaker described the role of "the embedded librarian" which bears a remarkable similarity to a Wikipedian-in-Residence. Embedded librarians work in corporations, health and even observatories. In universities, for example, embedded librarians do "research and liaison"; they "develop and deliver information and resources to support teaching and learning," they "teach, consult, write, select, promote and build relationships with the University community". So the work and contributions of Wikipedians began to be recognisable to librarians, and hence familiar to the conference audience.
Gardner commented on the possible peril to Wikipedia as people move from laptops and desktops to tablets. The change in medium has produced an immediate and rapid decline in editing - that is, there appears to be a shift to consumption over production. Such a decline in creative contribution, Gardner noted, is likely to have a bad effect on Wikipedia. She recommended reading The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu (ISBN 9780307269935).
Having explained how it all works and why it is important, Gardner gave practical advice to the librarian audience. She exhorted them to:
explain it to their customers; and
stand up for free and open Internet.
IFLA and WIPO
Another keynote address was given by Ingrid Parent who is currently President of International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). She spoke of the new roles of the librarian: "instructor, author, copyright expert, publisher, curator, information specialist, and explained how the professional librarian was moving away from being reactive to serving the public wherever they are ... connecting people with information". The kind of change being experienced by librarians reflects the purpose and interests of Wikipedians, and this was even clearer when Parent explained efforts made by IFLA to work with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in order to secure a copyright regime appropriate for libraries. Following the Brisbane conferences, Parent discussed the issues with the Director of the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, in a conversation before a group of interested people at the State's biggest library. She said that IFLA provides a voice, and was now setting the agenda with WIPO, whereas previously libraries had been "outside the tent".
The interests of indigenous peoples in Canada and Australia were also considered, especially in light of their expressed desire to control access to their histories and information, restricting it to some, but not all readers.
"Doing it the Wikiway"
At the Info Online session, Michelle Swales of the State Library of Queensland and Rachel Lethem of the Gympie Library presented a paper entitled "Doing it the Wikiway – Giving Local Content Global access, a grass roots perspective". The paper discussed the experiences of contributing local studies information to Wikimedia, and the benefits to the local community that could be had from doing so. The paper noted that while the experience in Gympie had been an extremely positive one, there were pitfalls that new editors had to be aware of, including notability requirements on the English Wikipedia and a strict focus on copyright at Wikimedia Commons. The paper does conclude though that ultimately, "Successful Wikipedia editors however,
could be anyone," and that "It soon became apparent that there is so much untapped knowledge and enthusiasm to share in Queensland communities – people just needed a mechanism to capture their content and make it findable and Wikipedia does exactly that."
Wikimedia Australia's regional workshop programme continued in February with events in the regional Australian cities of Toowoomba and Bendigo. These events were held under the auspicies of Wikimedia Australia's regional WikiAcademy programme, which since 2011 has been holding workshops in regional and rural areas of Australia.
The Toowoomba workshop took place on 8 February, and took place on premises kindly provided by the Toowoomba Regional Council. John Vandenberg and Kerry Raymond presented and took users through creating new articles on Wikipedia, uploading images to Commons, and explaining how the Wikimedia movement in general works.
Wikimedia Finland had the chance to work with the main contemporary art museum in Helsinki, Kiasma. They were interested in having an edit-a-thon on the subject of contemporary art in Finland. The staff there are consummate experts in their respective fields but most of them were new to Wikipedia. We decided to be ambitious and set the participant limit at fifty, with an emphasis on completely new users. The staff would help with the research library and most participants had a strong background in art history or theory of art. Chapter members were present to help with markup troubles, find good templates and other practical things. The whole event ran for 24 hours straight, punctuated by lectures and discussions. We also had a guided tour by night and an introduction to the research library. More on this event on our blog.
The event was ambitious but everything went like clockwork. Early planning and the work of industrious producer Maria Rantamaula ensured that participants had everything they needed and more. We had discussed that participants should be rewarded somehow for taking on a challenge like writing all night for a critical audience. We found that the private night tour and the discussions with artists sparked quite a lot of interest. The best discovery for me was realizing the amount of internal motivation everyone had. There was just enough ambition and pride to take on challenging subjects and enough humility to take feedback on the resulting texts. Even though most participants came in as rookies, the level of their work was surprisingly high.
The Finnish National Gallery organized an event at the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki. This time around, the theme was The Right for Collections!, a hot topic in Finland. Open knowledge is seen as a worthwhile goal, but heritage institutions struggle with issues of copyright, lack of special expertise and insufficient staff. I was asked to give a short speech on the sort of things our Chapter promotes. I chose to title it "The World of Wikis", since many of our members are involved in non-Wikimedia projects as well.
There were good presentations on example cases of museums opening up their collections for use around the world. The response from museum professionals was enthusiastic, but the old problems seem to hinder development. I chose to discuss this issue as my main point: finding ways to release images of artworks is hardly the only way for a museum to participate in the culture of open knowledge. I see the efforts of Kiasma at the edit-a-thon to be exemplary, yet they participated without the benefit of a single free image of a digitized work of art. The net effect was probably better than what would result from simply opening up a portion of their collections. While open data will generally take root on its own, the same isn't necessarily true for digitized art. If simply dumped online without any cooperation with the open knowledge community, the files risk being orphaned and left to languish on a server somewhere.
As opposed to lobbying for open collections, I see projects like edit-a-thons as immediately useful. We can wait for the ten years or so that it takes for copyright reform to pass or we can do something with what we have right now. This has the added benefit for creating practical demand for openly licensed art images in the future.
Wikipedia in public libraries; Borrowing books from public libraries; POTY
Public libraries in Toulouse have 20 "Framakey Wikipedia" USB keys that contain free softwares and Wikipedia offline that can be borrowed by the public. The computers available at the libraries with no internet access also have an offline version of Wikipedia installed. In order to launch the Framakey Wikipedia in libraries Wikimedia France has organized 3 presentations and workshops on the Framakey and Wikipedia in the libraries of Toulouse.
Borrowing books from public libraries
Wikimédia France has now an "institutional" subscription to the public libraries in Toulouse, which allows us to freely borrow up to 36 books for a period of three weeks and to have access to lots of otherwise restricted documents, mainly about local history.
POTY : The Museum of Toulouse wins over NASA image
The Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year 2012 is an image provided by Project Phoebus, a collaboration between Wikimédia France and the museum of Toulouse. The photograph was taken by a curator from the museum who joined the project in 2012 and illustrates the wider range of the project which extended from pictures of pieces from the taxidermy and paleonthology collection to pictures of living animals and plants.
This information was passed on by the local press, from online-only to free daily newspaper to the online edition of the main regionaly daily newspaper.
Photography and future partnership with Notre-Dame de Paris
After discussions with the association Maurice de Sully, which takes care of Notre-Dame de Paris' cathedral, Wikimédia France plans to build a partnership with them, to improve quality and quantity of articles about Notre-Dame with help and contributions by the visitors guides association.
Afrisson project is a new partnership, started on february 2013, related to african music. Afrisson.com is a website dedicated to african music, musicians, musical history and musical instruments. After discussions since july 2012, they decided last month to share a part of their content under a CC-BY-SA license.
All their introductions of pages related to musical styles and instruments are free to be copied on Wikipedia to start new articles about these subjects. All wikipedians are invited to start stubs and share knowledge about african music.
As part of the cooperation we perform with the Museum village of Düppel we held in February our first edit-a-thon. In the end of the day we could happily edit together on the article on the museum itself. And we plan more actions for the future. This is a small progress, indeed. But it is worthwhile as the museum is Europe wide a leading institution in experimental archeology and has particulary in the field of medieval crafts quite some knowledge to liberate. It also interesting as we learn what special needs do silver agers (65+) face when entering the universe of Wikimedia. It simply takes more time to overcome old beliefs and to dare to try something new. We hope that a video documentation of the medieval crafts will spur the cooperation further.
Science 2.0 at the Leibniz Society
Wikimedia Deutschland attended as partner the kick-off for the research Science 2.0 of the Leibniz-Society. Many of the presented 26 research projects will focus in one way or the other Wikimedia projects. Wikimedia Deutschland will cooperate not only as an object of scientific research but as an active researcher. Some of the questions raised are: How does Citizen Science influence modern research? How to deal with social media platforms? And what strategy do researchers apply dealing with Wikipedia as a publication platform? Please read the German blog for more details.
More than 1000 pennies linked to Wikipedia
Sometimes cooperation is not a glamourous show but simply transforming Wikipedia links into the most normal routine in basic research tools. Some Wikipedians around Mathias Schindler developed a sober tool called BEACON. This tool enables now the Berliner Münzkabinett, that holds more than 500.000 historical coins in its valuables collections to link her collection to the Wikipedia. As every coin has its master, and almost every known master has his identifier in the catalogue of persons of the German National Library it is possible to link every recognized master by its identifier to the Wikipedia-article on that person. Over a 1000 persons have been linked by now and the picture of the coins are available in Wikimedia Commons. The effect of the transaction is fair enough. Researchers will be informed by Wikipedia as a first source.
From February 22-24, about 100 participants gathered at the University of Prishtina to work on Wikipedia articles related to Kosovo. The program also featured a photo contest, a panel on GLAM-Wiki collaborations as well as talks on QRpedia and Science GLAM.
Mexico is one of the 18 megadiverse countries of the world. With over 200,000 different species, Mexico is home of 10–12% of the world's biodiversity. The National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) is a permanent interdepartmental commission, created in 1992, who promote, coordinate, support and carry out activities aimed at increasing awareness of biodiversity and its conservation and sustainable use for the benefit of society.
With the invaluable support of Dr. Carlos Galindo Leal, head of Scientific Communication of the commission, we're performing the first stage of an agreement for create and improve the biological diversity contents about Mexico in the Wikimedia projects, and support the mission of the commission in the WM-MX activities.
CONABIO was conceived as an applied research organization, sponsoring basic research that generates and compiles information regarding biodiversity, developing capacity in the area of biodiversity informatics, and to act as a publicly accessible source of information and knowledge. For that reason, their presence in the Wikimedia projects will be crucial and we know that will enrich decisively. Besides the fact that much of the content they produce was released already under Creative Commons licenses.
WWF/Earth hour collaboration
Wikimedia Mexico are in talks to start a partnership agreement with World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature, chapter Mexico, aiming to improve the contents on conservation, research and restoration of the environment in Wikimedia projects. Moreover, WM-MX has served as a contact between WWF and Iberocoop chapters and working groups to build a partnership between WWF and Latin American chapters in the coming months. At this point, Wikimedia Argentina are in contact with the local chapter of WWF, expecting more contacts in coming weeks.
The first activity of this agreement will be the support for improve the Earth Hour article in Spanish Wikipedia.
Ibero 90.9 collaboration
In March 7h Ibero 90.9 -a radio station sponsored by the Iberoamericana University based in Mexico City- turns 10 year on air. As a part of the 10th anniversary, Wikimedia México will support to the staff of the station for create and improve the related articles in Spanish and English Wikipedia. Also, we will be appearing in the next weeks in SonicBoom, a program conducted by Agustín Peña, talking about Wikipedia, free culture and free knowledge.
Plus, in a couple of months, Wikimedia Mexico will co-produce a program in Ibero 90.9. The audience’s profile ranges from indie kids to people engaged in cultural life, sharing a common interest in having not just entertainment, but an in-depth information both on specialized topics and music.
Wiki Loves Monuments exposition
The exhibition of the winning photos continues to its next stage, the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN), in where will be exposed by three months in different schools of midlevel superior and higher. The Department of Cultural Diffusion of the institute, the leading polytechnic in the country, asked WM-MX have the photos in their schools for a long time, so the photos will be presented in at least 10 schools in Mexico City. Thanks to our chapter member, Omar David Sandoval Sida, for make all the necessary arrangements.
Translathon in Mexico City
In commemoration of the International Day of Mother Language past February 23, we conducted a Translathon in cooperation with Mozilla Mexico and NacNati A.C., in the Mediateca of Centro Cultural España of Mexico City, supporting to the indigenous translators who performed at different times in the same week, localization in native languages. The event was attended by Sergio Sevilla, professor of Nahuatl, who was trained in the use of localization tools. Also members of Wikimedia México edited about native languages themes in Spanish Wikipedia. The event was supported by Mozilla Foundation with swag and meals for attendees.
Together with the National Committee 4 and 5 May, Wikimedia Nederland started a cooperation regarding war monuments. The National Committee 4 and 5 May is a foundation set up by the government to organize the Remembrance of the Dead on 4 May and the Liberation Day on 5 May. The committee has also a database of many war monuments in the Netherlands and wants to cooperate with Wikipedia and Wikimedia Nederland to make the war monuments more visible for the public and having the information about the monuments easier to find. The committee gave Wikimedia Nederland a large part of the database to use it on Wikipedia. Likewise as been done with the rijksmonumenten with Wiki Loves Monuments, lists of all war monuments were created on Wikipedia with all the 3645 known monuments. After that, a lot of users have added pictures, links and more to the lists.
On 15 February 2013 the National Committee 4 and 5 May and Wikimedia Nederland organized a photo tour to make pictures to have the lists of war monuments filled with more photos. This photo tour was organized in the area where in World War II the Battle of Arnhem took place. Images of this photo tour can be seen at Commons:Category:Photo Tour War Monuments in Arnhem 2013.
Viquimodernisme: +100 students & a research center working together
This wikiproject is based on the fact that Modernisme-related contents on Wikipedia, one of the crown jewels of Catalan art-especially in Barcelona, needed an urgent improvement. Considering that Wikipedia occupies the top positions on Internet search engines, it is normal that Academia agrees that the information presented in this online encyclopedia should be correct and adequate. Who better than the members of GRACMON, world authorities on the Catalan Modernisme, to help us in this goal?
First we did a previous Wikipedia audit, conducted in the summer of 2012, which allowed us to determine the status of the issue and draw the lines of action to propose a methodology and indicators to assess the wikiproject. The audit is available (in Catalan) here. This experiment represents a milestone in the whole of Barcelona & Catalan GLAM projects, and is done with the will of establishing working mechanisms and protocols that will be a reference for future experiments of a similar nature
Calling teachers and students
On the other hand, GRACMON researchers decided to make an innovative turn on the way of teaching art history subjects in the University of Barcelona, which meant that students would have a specific active role in the realization of this wikiproject: instead of performing traditional course work in the form of stapled sheets of paper that ended up probably in the trash bin, students must edit Wikipedia articles, based on a wikiproject page.
This paradigm shift led to a rethink on how to tackle a task, doing it in an open way, as a constant work in progress. It caused a big change in mind both for students and teachers.
Few aspects of a traditional “homework” remained intact, beyond the search for references and bibliography. Thus, participants were immersed in a world of encyclopedic language, where the code-wiki-syntax is strange, where the community of Wikipedia editors was actively involved and participated and intervened in student's articles. In addition, the work done by students acquired great outreach: rather than regular course works, that may only have two readings (from the student and the teacher), it had changed to produce a text that will be read by thousands and sometimes-great virtue of Wikipedia- could be translated and spread like wildfire worldwide.
How we did it
During the first semester of the academic year 2012-2013, more than one hundred students from three subjects from art history degree and post-degree from the University of Barcelona participated in this wikiproject. Most of them were completely novice to wiki-world, but this has not meant that the result is unsatisfactory: they have created and improved over one hundred articles related to Catalan Modernisme (biographies of artists, research publications of the time, articles on works prominent modernists, etc.)
Articles have been improved mainly on Catalan Wikipedia, but depending on student's language preference, some of them has also been created or improved on Spanish, French and English Wikipedia. Most of them did not even exist on any Wikipedia, or if existing, they had a room for significant improvement. Our expectations have been surpassed by far, even before wikiproject has come to an end (planned for June 2013).
Teachers did the avaluation in collaboration with Wikimedians, who did a recommendation on how the Wikipedia articles were evolving. The project is still ongoing and now we are about to start our second semester.
When we finished the first semester, we did a survey to the students. Full version in Catalan can be read here. We did a short version in English with some Interesting results
The work with creating a database of public art in Sweden has started. During the month the basic database infrastructure was set up, an API was created and the first ten municipalities were contacted about releasing their datasets of public artworks (that can be found in the municipalities). Also a cooperation with the National Public Art Council Sweden was initiated where the Council will be supplying the database with metadata about their artworks.
This is the first time a structured effort of collecting datasets from municipalities all over Sweden has been done. The idea is not only to create a fantastic database resource that is beneficial for Wikipedians, researchers, the municipalities themselves and the general public but also to take this as an opportunity to inform the municipalities about the value of open and structured data. By doing so we hope to create internal discussion within the municipalities about this and of course make them aware of Wikimedia Sweden's existence and work in the area. The project is funded through a grant from Vinnova. The project page can be found here (so far only in Swedish).
The practical work started for an image donation from the Nordic Museum
In February the Nordic Museum started working on scanning and gathering metadata for a second image donation of around 700 images. The first one was done in July 2010. This time the pictures will have fashion as the common theme. Around 350 pictures have been prepared so far and the first test upload to Wikimedia Commons will start in early March.
During an edit-a-thon jointly organized by Wikimedia Sweden, Europeana, Europeana Fashion, Stockholm University and the Nordic museum that will take place in March the pictures will be used to illustrate new or expanded fashion articles written by GLAM experts and fashion students from Stockholm University.
Pilot Project with Zurich's Central Library: Picture Upload Started
Wikimedia CH is proud to announce that the pilot picture upload by Zurich's Central Library has started! - After a few weeks of iterative development of an upload script in close cooperation with Emmanuel Engelhart from the Wikimedia community, The Central Library's staff is now able to batch upload scans of their public domain works to Wikimedia Commons, along with the metadata. The pilot project foresees the upload of 100 high resolution scans in four tranches over the next few weeks; the first one centers around broadsheets from the 16th century that were used to illustrate important events or strange phenomena. One of the most notable sources of prints from that time is "Wickiana" by Johann Jakob Wick from Zürich (1522-1588), a collection of notices assembled in 24 volumes between 1560 and 1587.
Zurich’s Central Library is the city’s cantonal, municipal, and university library. With over 5 million items, it is one of Switzerland's largest libraries. It collects scientific literature as well as travel guides, novels and guidebooks. As the city’s oldest cultural institution, it also possesses numerous historic inventories going back to the Middle Ages. Its five Special Collections – Graphics, Manuscripts, Maps, Music, and Old Prints – boast a wealth of historical and current archives, bequests, image and sound documents. It is also one of the first Swiss institutions to cooperate with Wikipedia and has been a sponsoring member of Wikimedia CH since 2008.
Have a look at the pictures that have been uploaded so far, and help us integrate them into the different Wikipedias!
The cooperation's main objective is the donation of the scientific bulletin of the LabiSAlp and of all research reports released by this institute since 1996 .
A second objective is the publication of the most important books about the history of the Alps on Wikisource. A scientific committee of the IAAH has selected a short list of relevant books published in the 16th century.They will be identified in the European libraries and published on Wikisource.
A third main objective is the identification of all relevant iconographic material retained in Swiss universities and libraries (an example) in order to publish it in Wikimedia projects.
A fourth objective is the use of all these materials on Wikipedia and related projects in order to improve the quality of the content.
The project is managed by Andrea Caracausi, a researcher at the Universities of Padua and Venice and an expert in Alpine history. His first task has been the identification and the census of the material present in Wikipedia and online in order to prepare the next steps concerning the donations.
All results have been grouped on a project page on the Italian Wikipedia in the sections "Biblioteca" (Library), "Archivi" (Archives), "Link utili" (Useful Links), "Risorse in rete" (Online Resources), and "Mappe" (Maps). So far, the most relevant material about the history of the Alps has been specified and mapped.
The major piece of organisation in the UK this month has been the planning for the GLAM-Wiki 2013 conference. A very strong call for submissions closed on 15th February, and a schedule was published at the end of the month.
The conference will run over three days - the first day will focus on talks and reports of partnerships to date, while the second day will be a more practically-oriented series of workshops and panel discussions, both for individuals from the cultural sector interested in learning more about working with the Wikimedia community, and for a more experienced audience wanting to look at some of the new tools being developed to help with collaborations.
The conference will be held at the British Library, London, from 12th-14th April, and Wikimedians as well as cultural-sector organisations are warmly invited. For more information, see wmuk:GLAM-WIKI 2013, or register here.
The Civil War and American Art Meetup & Edit-a-thon at the Smithsonian
On February 15, 2013 the Smithsonian American Art Museum hosted The Civil War and American Art, a meetup and edit-a-thon even that brought together nearly thirty Wikimedia contributors and Smithsonian staff. The participants enjoyed an in-depth tour of the "Civil War and American Art" exhibition, led by senior curator Eleanor Jones Harvey. They then went to work on creating and expanding articles related to the Civil War and American Art, which resulted in 6 new hi-res works of art and 36 event photos on Commons, 13 new articles, and 27 expanded articles (for details, see results of the day).
The event was the sixth Wikipedia meetup & edit-a-thon hosted by the Smithsonian Institution as part of the ongoing WikiProject GLAM/SI cooperation project.
February 8: The BaGLAMa reports with page view stats for January are out, indicating 42 million visits (up from 21 million last January) across 203 Wikimedia projects (up from 142) to a total of 39k article pages (up from 19k) that use images or media from the Commons category Open access (publishing).
The following files represent a selection of what has been uploaded by the Open Access Media Importer this month. If you can think of wiki pages where these files could be useful, please put them in there or let us know.