The Wikipedia Library/Newsletter guide



Why write a newsletter? As a library coordinator, it is very important to keep your community informed about what is happening on your branch. Some points:

  • Editors won’t sign up for new partnerships if they don’t know about them!
  • When editors feel connected with their library, they are more likely to help out
  • It’s fun! It keeps you engaged with the larger library world, and informed about library trends that may affect Wikipedia

Before you start:

  1. Decide what frequency is best for your community (English publishes every two months). Too many issues creates too much work for you, and may cause readers to ignore notifications or remove themselves from your signup page. Too few issues leaves your editors uninformed about new developments.
  2. Designate one person as editor - they will be responsible for choosing content and getting the issue out on time. However, it’s good to let everyone on your team have a chance to contribute if they want to.
  3. Create a signup page for editors who want talk page notifications for new issues.
  4. Find a good name for your newsletter. uses “Books & Bytes”, but feel free to choose one that sounds good in your language.

Writing the newsletter


Announce new partnerships - this is an important function of the newsletter - to let editors know about new resources.

[Screenshot: New partner announcement from B&B]

Update the community on developments at your branch - new coordinators, pages, outreach efforts, etc. This helps editors feel informed and connected, and gives you a chance to praise your fellow volunteers for their work.

“Feature” or “Spotlight” story

Try to find a “feature” story. This will be a longer piece that will engage the readers on library themes. Some ideas:

  • Editor stories - let an editor write about their experiences using a library resource
  • Partner stories - let a new partner write about why they wanted to work with the library
  • Library stories - write about important news about libraries and the internet that would be of interest to readers

[Link to a good “Spotlight” section from B&B] “In brief” section

To make your newsletter more informative, a quick way to include more information is to include a section of very brief, one line entries with links to library news around the web. Editors are especially interested about news about new open-access initiatives. There are some good English-language websites that aggregate library stories.

Useful sites:


Example “In brief” item:

Steal from Books & Bytes!

Read the latest issue of TWL’s English newsletter, Books & Bytes. Feel free to borrow stories and “in brief” items from B&B for your newsletter. You can also contact the editor, User:The Interior, and ask him if he has any story ideas or links to big news that are in the drafting phase.



The TWL layout is creating by a HTML header. The markup is here. [Should we push editors to use our layout?]

Getting readers