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Wikimania ran from 18 to 22 July in Cape Town, South Africa. This year's conference theme was "Bridging knowledge gaps, the ubuntu way forward" – a focus on addressing gaps in coverage. The conference had more than 700 attendees from over 80 countries. The Preconference this year included Wikipedia 101 for Librarians, a workshop on 19 July to train librarians and library staff on how to contribute to the Wikimedia projects. The session included a #1Lib1Ref edit-a-thon. Facilitators for the event were Jake Orlowitz, Felix Nartey, Alex Stinson, and Samuel Guebo.
The #1Lib1Ref session described the campaign to have librarians around the world add a single citation to Wikipedia, resulting in over 15,000 edits in 24 languages across the three years that #1Lib1Ref has run so far. It highlighted the Citation Hunt and hashtag tools, and discussed methods of promotion and engagement.
"WikiCite: Lifting a veil on the sources of free knowledge" discussed how the WikiCite initiative "has brought together community members, librarians, researchers and developers to build a structured knowledge base of sources, leveraging Wikidata as its infrastructure". It outlined tools, workflows, and strategies for potential participants to engage with this initiative.
A third libraries-related session showcased the the Library Card, a TWL platform to streamline the provision of database access to Wikimedia editors. The demo walked through the site's current features and upcoming development, particularly plans for the "bundle" to provide immediate access to a set of sources for qualifying editors.
The Wikimedia and Libraries User Group wrapped up its month-long poll gathering input from user group members to help steering committee plan activities for 2018. Engage with libraries in communities with historically low participation in Wikimedia projects received the most support with 57 responses. The steering committee is analyzing the results and exploring ways to reach out to projects with low participation. The user group also organized a book swapping campaign at Wikimania in Cape Town; participants submitted 50+ books to be swapped or picked up by anybody who wished to read them. The remaining books were donated to a local public library.
CIS-A2K led a Wiki Advanced Training for the India community which featured a TWL session for the various language leaders. The Global Coordinators of TWL joined remotely to provide insights on the TWL Program and to inspire activities around the creation of branches for the various Indian languages. This event follows a growing interest in TWL-related activities in India which has stemmed from the second round of #1Lib1Ref campaigns. By the end of the second round of the #1Lib1Ref campaign, 1462 edits had been completed in 12 languages, 32 countries had made 1200 posts, reaching 1.8 million people, 3.6 million times.
Lastly, the quest of improving sources on Hindi Wikipedia has resulted in the creation of the first TWL Branch in India. Congratulations to all coordinators of the Hindi TWL Branch and welcome to the family of TWL Global Branches!