Four more days at the largest book fair in Northern Europe
As we've reported before, the literary world in Sweden has a massive book extravaganza in the city of Gothenburg during the month of September. This is the 10th year in a row that Wikimedians have attended, with the explicit focus of taking pictures for Wikipedia and talking to people about Wikipedia and its sister projects. We even had a couple of photographers accredited as journalists.
The result was, as usual, a flurry of photographs (around 200 at time of writing this, but expected to increase a bit more) and videos (more than 20 interviews). Also, hundreds of meetings with the book reading public, politicians, journalists, authors, comic book artists, and of course other Wikipedians. More lessons learned can be found at the previous report, but a very important point is that local and national Wikipedians can meet, discuss strategies, talk shop and spread information in an easy-going and fun way. This year, more than a dozen Wikipedians volunteered to come to the Book Fair, took turns handing out materials (and candy) and answering questions about everything under the sun. Wikipedians, it turns out, know so much more than just how Wikipedia works. Twice, the group also met socially, after the Fair closed for the day. The dinners were excellent times to further discuss Wikipedia related questions.
When it comes to GLAM, the Gothenburg Book Fair is one of the biggest campaigns Wikimedia Sverige launches each year. All the major libraries go there, as well as the National Archives and other GLAM related institutions. This means that we can meet them outside the office environment, which makes it easier to start a social connection with the staff at the institutions. Letting them know we are friendly and engaged, makes it easier for GLAMs to contact us in various small ways, which can then turn into collaboration. It pays off to have distinct t-shirts. Our t-shirts this year had a larger text than usual: "You can make Wikipedia better" on the front and "Curious about Wikipedia?" on the back. They were distinct enough that Sweden's largest evening paper took a picture of two Wikipedians and tweeted about it (with the caption "Of course we agree with these activists"). We will report further on the results as the cooperations unfold.
The Swedish Exhibition Agency celebrates 50 years this fall, and their main focus for the celebrations will be to get more info on exhibitions up on Wikipedia. One day every week until x-mas an edit-a-thon will be hosted at a new museum around Sweden, starting October 14 at Gotlands museum in Visby. Staff from the Swedish Exhibition Agency has started to learn to edit and contribute with material from previous exhibitions, and they have also started to clear rights for old digitized posters to be able to upload material to Commons and use it to illustrate articles.
More maritime material
The previously reported cooperation between Wikimedia Sweden and the National Maritime Museum ended with a workshop September 11. The total number of uploaded images were 592 and on Wikidata more then 630 items were enhanced with over 3000 statements/sources. At the workshop 25 staff members from the three museums got an introduction to the Wikimedia projects and the use of the images and data they contributed with. They also got some training in adding images and sources to articles, categorizing and improving descriptions on Commons and adding properties and statements on Wikidata.
Examining archaeological findings at Birka outside Stockholm.