The Wikipedia Library/Newsletter/October-November 2017/eo

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The Wikipedia Library
Books & Bytes
Issue 25, October–November 2017

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

OAWiki and 1lib1ref

For this year's Open Access Week, we launched a new campaign called OAWiki to encourage contributors to add open access citations to Wikipedia. Building on the success of the 1lib1ref initiative, this campaign used the hashtag tool to track edits, and also had a gamified interface: OABot, which uses Dissemin to find open access versions of existing paywalled citations. The campaign was so popular that OABot actually ran out of suggestions! Significant improvements were made to the tool during and after the campaign, and we hope it will be even better next year.

Read more about the campaign in the Wikimedia Blog.

Don't forget to check out 1lib1ref in January!


The user group rename poll per the interests of the user group and founding members was run for 10 days and was closed with majority of users supporting the name Wikimedia and Libraries User Group. Affiliations Committee has been notified of the result and the rename will be done officially on the go ahead of the committee. Also, per the response received from the members on whether to endorse or not endorse the Wikimedia 2030 Strategic Direction as a user group, the user group has endorsed the strategy. The user group founding members met on 3 November to discuss the selection of the steering committee, amongst other things. As per the discussion, the steering committee will have 5 to 7 members. Interested user group members will nominate themselves and the members will vote for their preferred candidates. The TWL team will not be part of the steering committee, but will act as facilitators and will not have voting power. An announcement will be made soon regarding the steering committee election and the deadlines.


The constantly evolving needs of Global Branches require new strategies and approaches to complement and create relevance for the work of coordinators. In view of this, The Wikipedia Library team has rolled out its first support for coordinator participation at TWL related conferences, to inspire pitching with relevant local publishers or gaining partnerships with libraries and librarians for the benefit of the local community. Geraki, the first recipient of such support, represents the Greek TWL Branch at the Panhellenic Conference of Academic Libraries.

Signups from French Wikipedia have now been moved to the new Wikipedia Library Card platform.

Spotlight: Research libraries and Wikimedia

An excerpt from the Wikimedia Blog post by Stacy Allison-Cassin, York University

In August of last year, representatives from the Wikimedia community, the Wikimedia Foundation, and the Association of Research Libraries came together to determine common goals and find areas to collaborate. During two days of discussing our respective cultures and roles in the open knowledge landscape, several themes emerged, two of which provide the framework for a new collaborative project with indigenous and tribal communities in the United States and Canada:

  1. The potential for linked open data to connect information from different, typically disconnected data sources, and mutually enrich libraries' and Wikipedia content
  2. An overarching commitment to increase diversity and inclusion in library and Wikipedia culture and content.

This project, Advancing Reconciliation and Social Justice in Libraries through Research Library and Community Collaboration in Wikimedia Projects, uses a case study approach to model community collaboration in the creation of linked open data, in this case related to archival and special collection materials related to Indigenous communities in North America. The project focuses on getting local communities access to documentation related to their own local news and culture. These materials carry much cultural value for these communities, but are frequently under-described, held far from the communities they originated from, are not digitized, and/or suffer from contested or problematic concepts of ownership and custodial history.

Even if the content is accessible, under-description can be reflected in how information is organized and structured. Metadata describing content may be minimal, incorrect, exclusionary, or absent altogether, thereby obscuring the content's contextual importance. Traditional library and archival practices of description, as well as other power dynamics, reinforce this structural exclusion. This project will contend with these problematic aspects of library and archival professional practice and bring them into conversation with Wikimedia community practices to demonstrate how a more inclusive and community-engaged approach can more accurately tell stories about Indigenous communities' notable accomplishments and impact in the world.

Goals for the project include:

  1. Creating and cultivating existing pathways for community participation and agency in the description of archival documents and special collections
  2. Encouraging alignment between the development of structured data within the Library, Archives, and Museum (LAM) community and social justice work
  3. The creation of referenced structured data that can be used to connect reliable sources with topics to help justify "notability" in Wikipedia in order to redress a known diversity gap in Wikipedia's coverage.

Bytes in brief

Community roundup


Worth reading (or watching)

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