In Italy, March has been a great month for the "L" in GLAM. Various issues of common interest between wikipedians and librarians have been discussed in a joint dedicated mailing list. Below a summary of some conversation going on.
Wikidata is receiving great attention from librarians, especially in issues regarding authors and books metadata. One of the main discussion in the mailing list is about authority control identifiers: a deep and extremely rich conversation (whose details will not be discussed here) resulted in the proposal of a new property identifier.
At the Annual Conference of the librarians at the Stelline in Milan (March 14-15, 2013), met some of the protagonists of the Italian project GLAM's libraries. The meeting was an occasion to deepen vaious conversations started online the discussion list email@example.com. The interest of librarians and Wikipedians is the identification of the most effective and fair partnerships between the two worlds, both strongly interested in checking out all the potentials offered by the technologies of Linked Open Data (LOD) to enhance their services and increase their impact among web users. For example, Wikipedians are trying to add coherence and structure at the network of Wikipedia items and articles (eg. Wikidata). On the librarians side, libraries are opening to LOD within their traditional national library services. The National Central Library of Florence (BNCF) has designed a thesaurus containing 46,000, terms organized according to the categories and reports required by ISO thesauri ISO 2788/1986 and ISO 25964/2011 and derived from authoritative sources, including Wikipedia itself. Many terms are related to the equivalent Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). Since 2010, the Thesaurus metadata are exportable in RDF SKOS, to promote interoperability even fields and institutions not library-related (see http://leo.cilea.it/index.php/jlis/article/view/5474).
The presence of Frieda Brioschi, Cristian Consonni, Andrea Zanni from Wikimedia Italia and Anna Lucarelli and Elisabetta Vichi from the National Library of Florence was essential to give substance to the possibility of setting up a partnership between Wikipedia and the Thesaurus of BNCF that allows a semantic navigation between Wikipedia entries parallel to the current categories navigation system. Further meetings will serve to clarify the project which will be presented for discussion in Wikipedia, but the project is being presented to the community, reaching consensus.
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