A Wikipedia workshop tailored especially for librarians held at the Metropolitan New York Library Council
Wikipedia is the world's single most requested, published, accessed, and consulted source of information. What does it mean to librarians at your library? Consider organizing a chat among library staff about Wikipedia.
Check whether your city has an active Wikipedia community which could assist with an in-person presentation at your library, or otherwise participate in an online discussion. The topics of the discussion could include Wikipedia's place in global media, national media, local media, and your library's media. It could also review options for how your library and community can use Wikipedia to your benefit.
Editathons in libraries
An editathon is a community meeting wherein people gather in person to edit Wikipedia together. Frequently these events happen in libraries, because there people can check books for information then add that information and associated references to Wikipedia articles.
If your library is friendly to hosting these sorts of events then local Wikipedians would like to use your library as a research community and collaboration center.
- Here are some ideas for how librarians and patrons can contribute to Wikipedia and to other projects during an edit-a-thon.
Librarian as Wikipedian in Residence
People in every community with Internet access use Wikipedia. When people have questions about Wikipedia, who could be better as the local in-person Wikipedia expert than a librarian at the local library?
Consider encouraging your library to have at least one staffperson be a contact for Wikipedia-related issues. For libraries which have done this, this has been a great way to rally the community around the library for research meetings, editathons, and otherwise raising community interest and ability to work with each other in the library for education sharing.
Librarians as campus ambassadors
The Wikipedia Education Project is an effort to increase collaboration between university students and Wikipedia to everyone's mutual benefit. In this project students integrate contributions to Wikipedia with their regular learning exercises, and the result is that students learn more with less effort than they would otherwise and the Wikipedia project expands.
The collaboration with classrooms is facilitated by someone in the role of "campus ambassador", and frequently, librarians adopt this role. Students appreciate the increased access to librarians and use libraries more often and more efficiently when participating.
Librarians as organizational contact points
When a librarian learns Wikipedia the possibility of the library becoming a contact point for local educational organizations increases. Since the advent of Internet, more organizations have become interested in library research as more community members have begun doing research.
Some examples of the kinds of research people which people seek online include healthcare information; explanations of city government and taxpayer projects; published stories from local history, organizations, and people; and background on local monuments, parks, or attractions. Any organization which exists to teach a community about these things wants their information to have a broad audience, and if a librarian is knowledgeable about Wikipedia, then organizations which do public education are likely to include the library as one of their organizational partners as they make an effort to organize the community in talking among themselves about the important issues for that area. When people talk together, they often want to share information with each other. And when people are able to share information online with the broadest possible audience, they often take the time to do so. Wikipedia is one of the friendliest platforms for this when people are assisted by a knowledgable experienced Wikipedian who knows how to use a library.
Working on articles
There are some articles that librarians may be particularly knowledgeable about. Consider contributing to articles about reference works, academic journals or authors. More ideas for things to edit.