Wikimedia Nederland Library project

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Wikimedia Nederland and public libraries in the Netherlands have initiated a joint project to promote the quality and use of Wikipedia. The project aims at establishing a structural and lasting cooperation between Wikimedia and the public libraries sector. The activities will focus on media literacy and local cultural heritage.

The Netherlands Public Library Association supports the project and has formally commissioned the library of VLissingen to establish the cooperation and develop and test materials and best practices. The project will address proper (active and passive) use of Wikipedia, careful and accurate content creation and the development of library services to foster the quality of Wikimedia's projects.

All materials and best practices that will be developed and tested in the pilot project in Vlissingen are designed to be adopted by other libraries.

Media literacy[edit]

Fostering media literacy, in particular among students, is part of the strategic goals of the public library sector. Libraries and Wikimedia moreover share the mission of providing access to information for the public. Considering the large role Wikipedia plays in public information, a cooperation seems natural.

The media literacy part of the project aims at:

  • Developing materials to inform students and others on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects. (How to use it as a source for information, how to assess quality and reliability, how to re-use, how to contribute).
  • Developing methods to address these themes in a school context. (What should a school presentation on Wikipedia look like, how to address students on these themes etc)
  • Test these materials and methods in guest lessons in school.
  • Provide information to teachers in order to allow them to use the materials and information in class themselves,
  • Provide information about these themes to the general public (e.g. through presentations or lectures in the library).

Cultural heritage[edit]

Libraries generally have rather strong connections with local cultural heritage organisations - professional and volunteer. Both Wikimedia Nederland and libraries want to improve public access to valuable local heritage collections and help cultural institutions to bring their collections closer to new and larger audiences.

The project aims at building partnerships between public libraries, local cultural heritage institutions and Wikimedia Nederland. Methods and materials will be developed to inform cultural institutions about free licenses and the opportunities and challenges of making collections freely available. Libraries can facilitate this process, through their own expertise and contacts and by bringing (local) Wikimedia volunteers, library staff and cultural institutions together.