The Wikipedia Library/Newsletter/February-March 2018/eo

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The Wikipedia Library
Books & Bytes
Issue 27, February–March 2018

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In this issue we highlight #1Lib1Ref, global developments and, as always, a roundup of news and community items related to libraries and digital knowledge.


2018's #1Lib1Ref campaign built upon the scaffolding of previous campaigns, the ease-of-use of new and improved tools, and a coordinated communication effort. 824 editors made over 6500 #1Lib1Ref edits to Wikipedia in 22 languages, more edits than the first two years combined. Library events – and inter-library competition! – were great drivers of engagement. There were over 30 events hosted by libraries around the world. Highlights included a total of 604 edits from six competing libraries in the Montreal area, and an amazing 1160 edits from the State Library of Queensland. We also celebrated #1lib1ref’s 10,000th edit, made on Serbian Wikipedia. See our wrapup report for more details.

Big news, for the first time you can participate in the brand new #1Lib1Ref in May, scheduled 15 May – 5 June 2018 at the request of contributors in Australia and Latin America.

New collections

The Alexander Street partnership has now expanded to include the Women in Social Movements Library, which "focuses on women's public activism globally, from 1600 to the present. Created through a collaboration with leading historians, the collection contains nearly 400,000 pages of primary source documents and more than 200 related scholarly essays interpreting these sources". Apply today!

The Cambridge University Press partnership has also expanded to include the Orlando collection on women's writing, but there is currently a waitlist for access.


The steering committee election for the Wikimedia and Libraries User Group is over and the results are here! We are grateful to all the candidates for stepping up and boldly throwing their hat in the ring. The candidates who made it to the final eight are:

The steering committee met for the first time on the 12th of March. The user group was officially handed over to the committee by the founding members. After a round of introductions, the committee brainstormed a list of ideas on what the group wanted to accomplish. Following that, the committee decided that there will be an open mailing list for user group members to participate. Two more meetings, one on March 27 and another one on April 9. The detailed minutes of all the meetings can be found on the user group governance page.


Global branches are essential for their potential to transform local language Wikipedias and the community. They benefit the people who are truly in need and cannot afford hefty charges just for the sake of a citation. Regardless of the potential, global branches are particularly hard to manage and run. Every branch is unique and has unique requirements. The TWL team have been working on a new, revisualised strategy to approach global branches. As part of this new process, we intend to focus energy on global access donations. This approach is quite radical to our usual method of focusing on translations and on-wiki content first, and partnerships at the end. We call it the global branch kickstart process. Under this new strategy, we've selected five non-English branches with varying levels of activity on a pilot basis and intend to get them active before the end of the next quarter. We are working closely with the chapters/coordinators of these branches to enact the process. Based on the results, the process may be made the default way of approaching global branches.

Wiki Indaba Wikipedia + Library Discussions

The Wikipedia + Library session at Wiki Indaba 2018 was a chance to meet leaders of the African community who work with libraries, form partnerships, host events at institutions, conduct outreach to national organizations and run international campaigns. Here are some highlights:

  • Participation of WMCI in #1Lib1Ref for the past two years, which has resulted in training lots of librarians about contributing to Wikipedia.
  • WMDE is exploring partnership opportunities with the Goethe Institute.
  • Wikimedia Botswana benefits from the use of library space for their activities.
  • Importing data from libraries through a digitization project at UNESCO.
  • Many other new participants hoping to learn how to approach partnerships with libraries in their countries.

It was a very informative session as participants span a large number of countries, most of which are new to the Wikipedia and Library space. Discussions were more skewed towards forming new partnerships with libraries; the common challenges expressed by the participants included lack of legal identity as user groups and lack of enough information to convince libraries or librarians.

Spotlight: Using librarianship to create a more equitable internet: LGBTQ+ advocacy as a wiki-librarian

An excerpt from the Wikimedia Blog post by Alex Stinson, Wikimedia Foundation

As part of this year’s #1lib1ref campaign, we examined different ways in which librarians can ally with the the Wikipedia community to represent knowledge and topics not well represented in the Wikipedia community.

These topics may be missing from Wikipedia for any number of reasons: Wikipedia’s well documented Gender Gap in both contributors and content; the complication of working with Indigenous or non-Western knowledge on Wikipedia; or that a volunteer simply hasn’t taken the time to pay attention to a locally important topic or concept.

We reached out to a librarian working on underrepresented knowledge on Wikipedia—someone who has been active in this space for a number of years on English Wikipedia. Meet Rachel Wexelbaum, Associate Professor / Collection Management Librarian at St. Cloud State University.

Read Alex's interview with Rachel on the Wikimedia Blog.

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