The Wikipedia Library – #OAWiki
#OAWiki (Open Access for All) – an annual fall event.
Let's take a Coffee Break and contribute to #OAWiki!
Libraries are central hubs to the many information and knowledge communities. #OAWiki is a great opportunity to gather with other librarians to participate with Wikipedia in enriching the information ecosystem. We recommend pulling together a small gathering of your librarian peers for an hour or two to share a pot of coffee while contributing to transparency in information for #OAWiki: share your own knowledge while working in community.
And, remember, this gathering doesn't haven't to take place physically. You can always meet online!
This guide is designed to help plan a 45–90 minute "coffee hour" or "lunch break" collaboration for #OAWiki.
Two to three weeks before the event
- Choose a date, time and place for the event
- Reserve a space in the local library or someone's living room or virtually with Google Hangouts or Facetime.
- No other equipment is needed but a computer and wifi connection. You can share information with each other by working together on a Google doc or other share program. If you have access to a projector that connects to your computer, you can share ideas that way as well.
- If you don’t have Wikipedia experience, you might want to reach out to find local Wikipedians who can assist or ask questions. We recommend getting help with that at https://www.facebook.com/groups/WikiLibrary/. You can also check out these websources (but remember, working with wikipedia is not hard, and we will take you through the process).
- Create a public announcement, flyer, facebook page and even a twitter hashtag for your event and list it here
- Start to publicize your event among your colleagues and other local libraries
In the week before the event
- Pull together editing and research resources. You might even send a text or email to your participants with links to these resources.
- Prepare an example of checking open source to share at the gathering
- Arrange refreshments if you’re planning on having them
- Prepare signage and handouts
- Send out event reminders
- Tweet about your plans using the #OAWiki hashtag
- Important: There is a limit on the number of Wikipedia accounts that can be created from one location or IP address per day (normally 6). To get around this, you have several possibilities:
During the day of the event
- Send a reminder the morning of your event
- Welcome and introductions (2-3 minutes)
- Basics of editing Wikipedia (10-20 minutes)
- Demonstrate checking a source
- Demonstrate using OABot
- Note: Remember to demonstrate adding #OAWiki to the edit summary
- Note: It's much easier if you have a citation prepared ahead of time to contribute
- Open editing (20-30 minutes)
- If possible, have experienced editors circulate to answer questions and troubleshoot problems. Otherwise, be ready to learn together as a group or partner-up for editing help
- [Optional] Open discussion (15-30 minutes)
- How does Wikipedia, and its referencing affect the library profession?
- How does Open Access affect libraries and information access?
- Could you imagine teaching your patrons about Wikipedia? How can we teach other skills with Wikipedia, such as digital or information literacy?
- What different kinds of knowledge does Wikipedia try to share? How might that be different from the kinds of information library patrons look for?
- What are the misunderstandings that library patrons likely have with the free encyclopedia? What learning or research strategies might need to be taught to folks, to help them better understand research in the context of Wikipedia?
- In light of Wikipedia’s process for adding references, what are the connections with other problems accessing research, in light of the high cost of publisher databases, hard to use discovery tools, and other concerns?
- Now that you understand Wikipedia’s process, what kinds of topics appear to be missing or undercovered? How could you add knowledge relevant to your work and community?
- Wrap-up (2-3 minutes)
- Make sure to take pictures of the event, and share it on social media under the hashtag #OAWiki.
- Write both the #OAWiki hashtag, and a link to oawiki.org on a whiteboard or on a computer screen, to remind people how to keep track of and share their contributions
After the event
- Record outcomes as much as possible: how many attendees, how many articles edited, etc. Outcomes help make the case for future activities, and are a great way to share with others what you did and why your work mattered!
- Make sure to share what you did social media under the hashtag #OAWiki and at the events page. Social media and the events page provide the main ways we are tracking the event and help organizers report outcomes.
- If you publish a blog post, or find coverage of your event in other venues, share the link at on the Press page
- If the event created interest among your colleagues, consider planning more editing events around your institution's collections. These events are called editathons, an editing event focused on a certain theme or topic. Learn more on how to run editathons.
- Participate again: in March, the Art+Feminism community will be hosting a Global Editathon focused on writing content about Women in the Arts on Wikipedia: http://art.plusfeminism.org/ These events are regularly hosted by libraries. You should join!