TWL NOTES: Inspired the creation of the Hindi Wikipedia Library Branch, the first ever Wikipedia Library Branch in India; engaged in several outreach and partnership activities that are springing up other new TWL Branches in India.
Krishna recalls to have discovered The Wikipedia Library right about the time he started editing Wikipedia, he explained that this was as a result of his quest to contribute to military history on Wikipedia. Upon discovery of TWL he was first a user before volunteering to become a coordinator of the program, he remembers to have been granted access to more than 4 publishers through which he was able to accomplish the need to write about military history. Krishna through the Wikipedia library wrote several articles about military history with at least one featured article and several A-Class articles.
He then realized after a while that there were no Indian publishers who had partnered yet and so signed up as a Partnership Coordinator. In his capacity as the partnership coordinator, he spoke at several conferences including the Hindi Wikipedia Conference and OpenCon 2018 New Delhi which he organised. He also started discussions around a couple of partnerships and tried to rekindle the partnership with CREDO.
Krishna later changed his role to an outreach coordinator in order to create more awareness about the need for reliable sources and to generally share more about The Wikipedia Library. He has through his activities been able to inspire the first Hindi Wikipedia Library Branch with 2 more in the preliminary stages of setting up a branch. He is currently also in talks with the British Council (India) for a visiting scholars program and leading two 1Lib1Ref trainings in India.
TWL NOTES: Helped revamp the Arabic Wikipedia Library Branch; helped translate the Wikipedia Library Card platform; helped coordinate Wikipedia Library global branches.
Join us in congratulating Bachounda for winning the Star Coordinator for the 4th Quarter of 2017 (October – December). We wish to congratulate him for his immense support to both the Arabic and French TWL branches. His focus on increasing the activity level of contributions on Arabic Wikipedia encouraged his later joining The Wikipedia Library in an attempt to provide more sources for the community. In his own words “I focused on contributing to Arabic Wikipedia as the participation rate was too low and it was not progressing enough like the other Wikipedia, despite a substantial Arabic-speaking population and a rich and developed language.” He also mentioned that “The flagrant lack of sources for writing reliable and consistent articles in the encyclopedia” is one of the reasons he discovered The Wikipedia Library in 2015.
He discovered the lack of resources for the Arabic TWL branch so he assisted in compiling a list of Arabic online libraries for the Wikipedia Library team, through which they gained access to three of these libraries. He recalls the rapid response of the TWL team won these partnerships and has contributed to an immense distribution of resources to the Arabic community. He is lead for the translation of The Wikipedia Library newsletter, Books & Bytes, and has been crucial in sharing updates with the Arabic community. His hope is to finally see the Library Card Platform of The Wikipedia Library bring what he calls “an authentic Wikipedia Online Library Card which will provide access to a unified world library”.
TWL NOTES: Helped launch GLAM projects in Tunisia; helped translate the Wikipedia Library Card platform; helped coordinate Wikipedia Library global branches.
I am Houcemeddine Turki and my username is Csisc. Work on the Tunisian TWL Branch began when we tried to ameliorate the coverage of Tunisia in Wikipedia. In fact, we found a lack of online references about Tunisia-related topics. This lack of online references for Tunisia-related topics had limited the quality of Wikipedia articles about these important topics. This is what motivated us to find a way to provide offline locally existing references to Tunisian contributors to Wikipedia so that they can ameliorate the coverage of Tunisia in Wikipedia.
In 2014, the Wikimedia TN User Group had tried to make the offline references of the National Library of Tunisia available to Wikipedia users by providing easier access to the members of Wikimedia TN User Group to the Library (GLAM Outreach). The project unfortunately failed due to the fact that Wikipedia users do not have the means to go hundreds of kilometers to read books in the National Library of Tunisia. After a year, the MedinaPedia was created, Wikipedia users tried to find online and offline references about the Medinas (old cities) of Tunisia. They found limited information when they searched for online references and for offline references in the National Library of Tunisia. This problem remained for months and had even harmed the efficiency of MedinaPedia Project to ameliorate the coverage of Medina-related topics in Wikipedia until Carthagina members (Emna Mizouni, Zeineb Takouti and Sami Mlouhi) found the existence of old libraries within the Medinas of Tunisia (mainly the Diocesan Library of Tunis) that could provide useful historical and architectural features of the Medinas of Tunisia.
I found out later that these libraries could also provide some references about old Tunisian personalities, about the history of Tunisia, and even about the linguistics and history of the under-resourced languages of Tunisia. Knowing the usefulness of these libraries and that not all the Wikipedia users can reach these libraries, the Carthagina Association (the co-organizers of the MedinaPedia project with Wikimedia TN User Group) proposed to Zeineb Takouti (who already works in the Diocesan Library of Tunis) to be a Wikimedian in residence in the Libraries of the Medinas of Tunis and provide an electronic edition of the needed references that exists in these libraries to Tunisian contributors through email messaging.
In 2016, I and Derja Association (An association that tries to promote the use of Tunisian dialect and its online coverage) tried to ameliorate the description of Tunisian Arabic in Wikipedia. We needed references for that. We found that these references exists in specialized libraries like IBLA. So we created a team of active Derja Association members (I, Ramzi Cherif, Ramzi Hachani...) who could provide us electronic editions of the needed references from such libraries when we ask for them in the mailing list of Derja Association. These initiatives were the first steps to create the Tunisian branch of TWL. In 2017, I proposed to Wikimedia TN User Group, to MedinaPedia users and to active Derja Association members to reunify our group initiatives into a structured Wikimedia TN User Group. The proposal was happily agreed. Consequently, the TWL Tunisian branch was founded to provide access to the books and manuscripts (mainly old ones) existing in local libraries to Wikimedia users. Further than the functions that any branch of TWL can do (providing access to digital libraries and to needed references from offline libraries), this branch will work on uploading old books with free license to Wikisource and adding OCR layers to them so that all Wikipedia users can use them as references."