We learned from conversations with employees of The National Museum in Krakow that the Czartoryski Library is planning a renovation, and as a result, it will be closed for approximately two years. Moreover, next year marks the 160th anniversary of the transfer of the library's collections from Paris to Krakow.
We perceive the temporary limitation of access to the library's collections and the upcoming milestone as an opportunity to instill the idea of open knowledge among the library's staff. Many examples of museums worldwide demonstrate that the closure of an institution's premises can simultaneously open up its collections online. Therefore, just before the approaching changes, we conducted GLAM-Wiki workshops for the employees of the Czartoryski Library and the Education Department of MNK.
Thanks to the invitation to collaborate with Wioletta Matusiak, the Training and Development Manager, it was not a typical training session about Wikipedia and its sister projects. Above all, we employed a workshop method that encourages active participation and full engagement from the meeting's participants, who are experts in collections, cultural educators from the museum, and us - experts in free culture and education from WMPL. Through the merging of these perspectives and drawing inspiration from the presented best practices, we collectively pondered on how the library's involvement in Wikimedia projects could look like, and what form the offering of digital education utilizing Wikipedia and its sister projects could take.
Let's remember that promoting the library's collections is only a small part of the tasks carried out by its employees, who daily work on cataloguing and making the collections available solely for scientific purposes. This fact posed a significant challenge for the workshops because library staff members are very busy, and access to the collections is limited. However, we were determined to show the Library that its temporary closures can also be a new beginning, and that Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects present an opportunity to reach audiences worldwide. Looking at the dynamic process that unfolded during the workshops, I believe that the goal was achieved, and we can expect new, shared challenges in the future, says Kamila Neuman, Open Culture Manager at Wikimedia Poland.
Special thanks to Maria Drozdek for preparing the video recording about the collaboration with the National Museum in Warsaw on the Galeria Faras project, as well as interns Agata Stadnicka and Zuzanna Ligor for researching best practices regarding GLAM-Wiki collaborations with libraries. We would also like to thank Agata and Filip Jankowski for their participation in the workshops.
Work on the GLAM-Wiki Project Page Continues
In May we started the process of rebuilding the GLAM-Wiki Project Page. The aim of this change is to update the content and, above all, improve the clarity of the page while considering user needs. We hope that this will make it easier for us to communicate about GLAM activities, educate about Wikipedia, and engage both experienced Wikipedians and newcomers in GLAM-Wiki projects.
In last two months, the GLAM-Wiki Project Page Team carried out regular online meetings twice a week. The project team consists of Krzysztof Popławski, a Wikipedia editor, and two interns who have been supporting the open culture area for 2 months: Zuzanna Ligor, a student of architecture of information space, and Agata Stadnicka, a graduate in art history.
The involvement and support of Krzysztof Popławski, a long-time Wikipedia editor, are particularly important during the stage of designing the new website. At the recent Wikipedia Conference in Krakow, he spoke about the utility of information in the context of Wikipedia, emphasizing its significance.
One of the outcomes of our work is the development of templates for creating subpages for GLAM-Wiki collaborations, which we will begin working on in July. Simultaneously, we have started intensive design work on the main GLAM-Wiki page, including efforts to develop user profiles for the site.
The work on the redesigning of GLAM-Wiki page is still ongoing and will continue in the coming quarter. However, we hope to be able to gradually showcase its effects in small pieces even before the official completion of the entire project. We already know that it is the biggest project of the year, apart from the GLAM-Wiki collaborations themselves, and we are eagerly looking forward to its final outcome as well.
End of Internship within the "Praktykuj w Kulturze" Program of National Centre for Culture
With the end of June, the first three-month Open Culture internships, carried out within the framework of the National Centre for Culture's "Praktykuj w Kulturze" program, have concluded.
A few words of summary from Kamil Neuman: To be honest, the idea of applying for interns through the NCK program had been on my mind for quite some time, but it was only now that I felt it was the right time to make it happen. When engaging the interns, I knew which projects I wanted to involve them in, and it worked out perfectly that I came across Zuzia and Agata. Zuza Ligor, a student of architecture of information space at the University of Warsaw, and Agata Stadnicka, a graduate in art history from the Jagiellonian University, supported me in the process of designing the new version of the GLAM WikiProject page. In this short period, they were part of the team working on the page, and their knowledge and different perspectives were very valuable and enlightening for both me and Krzysztof Popławski, who is professionally involved in this process.
Additionally, the girls took on various tasks and greatly relieved me in many matters. Of course, it was also a time-consuming task for me, and integrating new individuals into Wikimedia projects and work at WMPL comes with a lot of responsibility. However, I feel that it was time well invested, and both sides benefited greatly from it. I am also pleased that the girls had the opportunity to learn about the specifics of remote work, how to use tools that aid in online work, and, above all, get to know our organizational culture, which will serve as a good reference point for them in their search for their professional path.