Jimmy Wales visits The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
On Tuesday, September 13, Jimmy Wales visited The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, in what was one of his first tours of a museum that is currently carrying out a Wikimedia partnership. In a discussion with staff, Wales spoke extensively about the importance of museum and Wikipedia partnerships. Specifically, he pointed to the GLAM-Wikimedia movement as important in illustrating what types of collaborations can occur. GLAM-Wikimedia partnerships were described as integral in connecting Wikipedians with museum professionals and serving as a model for global cooperation in sharing and improving information in Wikipedia. He also pointed out the importance of the Wikipedian in Residence model for engaging experts, stating that it can help facilitate cooperation by opening the door to experts and providing the help needed to get started with Wikimedia.
The visit ended with an extensive tour of the museum's exhibits and collections storage. Wales had the opportunity to use QRpedia codes for the first time as he toured each exhibit. He was particularly interested in the ability to connect to the information in Wikipedia while in the exhibit, while pointing out that visitors can once again access this information more fully once they return home. It was also pointed out that the proliferation of mobile access to Wikipedia within museums will make it all the more necessary to improve lead sections of articles to make them more accessible to a wider audience.
Following the visit, Wales gave a keynote lecture to a crowd of around 3,000 at the Connections 2011 ExactTarget Conference in Indianapolis. In answer to a question regarding teacher's perspectives of Wikipedia, he cited The Children's Museum's partnership as an example of an informal learning institution helping to show educators and parents how to best utilize Wikipedia.