Australia and New Zealand report
From East to West
Wikipedia Takes Waroona
participants at the Waroona Tourist Centre
Australia experienced its most successful Wikipedia Takes event, this was the result of a number of months preparation and support from the Waroona Tourist Centre and members of the Waroona Historical Society. The event was organised by the Tourism Centres manager and assisted by Wikimedian User:Gnangarra, prior to the event Wikimedia had just 4 photographs from the Waroona region, a region of over 800+ km2. In the preparation the Tourism Centre created packs about the region that included maps, shot lists for photographers to record their efforts, list of goals & inspirational list to help photographers identify potential targets as well information on places of interest to visit. The Tourism Centre was the base for the day where people could enjoy free tea, coffee, and snacks while talking to guides familiar with the region and the needs of Wikipedia articles. As they departed to explore and capture Waroona participants were also given water and sunscreen, then when they returned to upload their photos participants were given a thank you bag of goodies.
Gnangarra has reviewed the 2000+ photographs and selected approximately 100 images to be judged by Bob Litchfield a respected commercial photographer and lecturer in photography for over 30 years, with the final three receiving gifts provided by businesses in the town. For the children that participated the local radio station producer and regional online content producer for ABC Open will help select images that will go into an exhibition during January in the Tourism Centre. This will also include radio and online interview with the children about participating the event which will then be published under a CC license. All of the participants had a wonderful day with many asking to invited to the next one, organisors are currently planning the next one for May 2014
State Library of New South Wales: WWI edit-a-thon and batch upload
An Australian WWI serviceman's portrait, uploaded as part of the edit-a-thon
by User:99of9 and User:Gnangarra
On the 23rd of November the State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) hosted an edit-a-thon focused on content relating Australia's involvement with WWI. This was attended by six experienced editors as well as one brand new wikipedian who has expertise in historical research and WWI in particular. The day was successful in producing content and developing a tool for using images from the Library. The Library shared with the participants their collection of diaries from WWI, and the participants then created an article about Langford Wellman Colley-Priest which later appeared in the DYK section of the mainpage on 28 November receiving 2800 views. Library staff have been proactively working to re-evaluate a restrictive policy requiring permission to use scans of public domain images within their collection, and the website has now been updated to read "This image may be used freely without requesting permission. The State Library of New South Wales requests acknowledgement that the image is from the collections of the State Library of NSW." This simple but major step has enabled a massive change in how historic images of New South Wales will be distributed to a world-wide audience. On the day a number of PD images of photos in their archives were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons using an experimental batch uploading script. The number of images on Commons from their collection previously stood at 304 (substantially due to the State Library's own targeted uploads commenced during their innovation project), but is now up to 4683 and continues to rapidly rise with new batch uploads, 23 of which are already in use on other WMF projects.
SLNSW - Newcastle
The State Library of New South Wales continued with its editing workshop program this time in Newcastle where Users Whiteghost.ink and Ariconte lead participants through an introduction to actively editing articles. The subject area of the articles was broad with user choosing their areas of interest while retaining an association with the region.
NLA - Australian Newspapers Plan
On 29th November, User:Aliaretiree and User:Rubicon49bce (from the State Library of NSW) and myself (Wittylama) ran a full-day training workshop at the National Library of Australia for representatives of each of the other state libraries in Australia. This is part of the project to write articles about digitised newspapers appearing in Trove. The event was under the auspices of the annual 'Australian Newspapers Plan' consortium meeting (a committee of all the state libraries to coordinate their newspaper collecting/preservation).
This training session was significant, not only in terms of the fact that there are now a couple of trained Wikipedia editors among the staff of each state/territory library in the country, but also because this was the culmination of the SLNSW Wikipedia project (which included the Wikipedian In Residence with Whiteghost.ink earlier in the year). The project was always hoping to be able to develop enough skill and confidence within the SLNSW that editing WP became part of 'business as usual' for their staff, and that they could then train other state libraries too. So, to sit up the back of the room and watch two of my former 'students' deliver their own WP training day was brilliant!
Thanks especially to User:99of9 (also one of the original SLNSW trainers) for helping out remotely during the day and over the weekend in ensuring the articles we created were given the once-over and all our new users were welcomed.
You can see the practical results of the day, in terms of new users and new articles created, here: w:Wikipedia:GLAM/State Library of New South Wales/NSLA Training November 2013
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