I am Max Klein new Wikipedian in Residence with OCLC. My dedications for
the next few months will be in trying to bridge some divide Wikimedia
In response to Bob's insight that "GLAM formulation is Wikimedia's own,"
and that "*librarians* in museums, many I've encountered see themselves
as part of the special libraries sphere." I think it very important that
Wikimedians start to treat Librarians in a more nuanced fashion, and
acknowledge their distinctions. (Just as I'm sure those Wikimedia
Commons contributors would not like to be bundled with Wikipedia
Copy-editors.) The title of GLAM as an package of institutional types
was probably necessary at some early stage, but now it doesn't serve us
as well because Museums and Libraries will need their own tailored
approaches to integration.
What are those levels of integration? So far we've seen work from
Wikipedians in Residence at museums creating and editing actual pages
based on the housed works. That model will work to some extent for
Libraries that have special collections. For other less specialist
libraries, that model would result in a lot of WIRs just twiddling
That is not to say that there would be no purpose in collaboration. Alex
Hinojo (a Catalan WIR) informed me of his idea of *Librarians as
Wikipedia Ambassadors*. I'm interested to get a feeling from the
Librarian community about how excited they would be to trained in
Wikipedia Literacy as a trainers themselves to their patrons? From my
experience in the Education Program (training students) the hard parts
were explaining the technical knowledge, and then a crash course in
Information Literacy. Librarians are already extremely information
literate in what would qualify as reliable sources, so they are actually
more natural fits to be in person contacts for Wikipedia help. This is
approach is more "teach a man to fish," (or "teach a man to teach
fishing," rather) than the classic approach, and relies on the
willingness of Librarians.
What are the feelings on this proposed paradigm?
Wikipedia in Residence
Having worked in galleries, museums, public libraries, research libraries, library special collections, and archives, I would suggest that the relevance of Wikipedia varies for each, depending on many factors. For instance: What types of patrons are served? Is the institution publicly funded? What are its institutional priorities? How flexible is its institutional planning? How do decisions get made? How is it adjusting to the tectonic shifts in technology, media consumption, and participatory culture?
Showing the relevance of Wikipedia to GLAM institutions might be achieved quickly, with a one-size-fits-all approach. But more likely it'll happen gradually, one convert at a time, depending on context.
The American Library Association, for instance, is a big, complex organization with some 61,000 members. Here are just a few of the sub-groups within ALA, each very different, and suggestive of the diverse ways ALA members might relate to Wikipedia:
- American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
- Assn. for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS)
- Assn. for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
- Assn. of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)
- Assn. of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends & Foundations (ALTAFF)
- Assn. of Specialized & Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA)
- Library & Information Technology Assn. (LITA)
- Library Leadership & Management Assn. (LLAMA)
- Public Library Assn. (PLA)
- Reference & User Services Assn. (RUSA)
- Young Adult Library Services Assn. (YALSA)
And ALA is merely one of the many professional organizations that address GLAM concerns. That said, Wiki-GLAM partnerships have so much potential. It's totally worth the effort.
All the best,
(apologies for meta-cross-posting)
Let me forward an Open Access petition sent originally by Dario
Taraborrelli, from the Wikimedia Research Committee.
If you wanna know more, here there some comments form our Daniel Mietchen
(the document is uberdetailed :-):
(apologies for cross-posting)
A petition you should care about: require free access over the Internet to
journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research.
25,000 signatures in 30 days (by June 19) gets an official response from
the White House.
I don't know who wrote this over this weekend:
> I think a separate libraries list is important; I've asked librarians
> > in Australian partner institutions if they want to join the
> > cultural-partners mailing list, and they arnt interested because its
> > too broad, and doesnt focus on issues that libraries are grappling
> > with.
> > I wasnt aware of the separate libraries list until phoebe's email.
> renaming it to open-access would be a good approach to keep a list
> > that is more focused on issues librarians face. open access
> > initiatives are very important to libraries at the moment.
I'd be disappointed if this "Wikimedia & Libraries" list was renamed "Open
Access." While OA is certainly a valid topic, I suspect it is not the
primary concern of all librarians who would be interested in being involved
The only way I found out about the Wikimedia & Libraries list was because I
joined cultural-partners and went to the root directory to see what other
lists are on the server. Whoever is the listowner: if you want to have an
active list, you need to have appropriate publicity (not just a one time
blast, whenever that was).
ALA and IFLA are this summer; it's a pity an effort wasn't made to have
more of a WP presence at ALA (I don't attend IFLA). Nevertheless there are
venues where I (and hopefully others) can publicize activity in
anticipation of Wikipedia Loves Libraries this fall.
Bob Kosovsky, Ph.D. -- Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts,
Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
blog: http://www.nypl.org/blog/author/44 Twitter: @kos2
Listowner: OPERA-L ; SMT-TALK ; SMT-ANNOUNCE ; SoundForge-users
- My opinions do not necessarily represent those of my institutions -
I agree with Nemo and Dominic.
[sorry, this is long and just my 2 cents]
Few years ago, we started working with museums because of some proactive
Wikipedians and chapters
saw a void which needed to be filled: Liam, Lori, Sarah, Kippelboy and many
others had competences and interest in bridging the
gap between Wikimedia projects and museums. They did (and are doing) good,
interest is spreading, and now there are success cases, history,
experience: we're building an infrastructure.
I think that the world of libraries is gonna be next, but I see a lot of
libraries are in the middle of a disruption, the Internet has been really
"though" on them.
Librarians need to shift and adapt to survive (as a profession) an so do
libraries themselves. (if you want to read something (I didn't) --> David
Lankes "Atlas of New Librarianship")
Moreover, there is the ebook issue, and all the changes and consequence it
In this sense, as many other profession, I think that (statistically)
librarians see Wikipedia more as a threat than an opportunity
(I see a pattern here :-), and in my personal experience they are really
interested in understanding it better,
but often they do lack the skills.
I'm not a librarian and I'm not sure which kind of partnership could be
organized with libraries:
I can imagine workshops and lessons for librarians (we did it with
Wikimedia Italia few years ago), or for patrons,
and digitization patnerships for uploading books on Wikisource (as
Wikimedia France did with Gallica).
A more complex relationship is yet to be build (and thought),
but we can ask our librarian Phoebe for some insights :-)
For IFLA, we have contact (I personally do),
but we should think very well waht to say and propose them.
Right now, I don't know.
2012/5/15 Federico Leva (Nemo) <nemowiki(a)gmail.com>
> I think IFLA loves us, we have many friends there. Not many wikimedians
> attend it becaus it's very expensive, but some wikimedians volunteered in
> it (Aubrey for instance, when it's been in Milan; I think he's not been
> able to speak although he tried?). If you can get access you're lucky and
> you shouldn't miss the opportunity.
> On the other hand, at least in Italy we regularly attend free librarians
> and publishers events (it's particularly easy in Milan, where most of the
> publishing world and of Italian wikimedians are).
> cultural-partners mailing list
Sorry for forwarding this,
but I thought it was worth it.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lars Aronsson <lars(a)aronsson.se>
Subject: [cultural-partners] IFLA
In August, the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA)
holds its 78th annual conference, this year in Helsinki, Finland. Does
the Wikimedia Foundation have any representation there? I guess not,
or that it is very limited. When I look at the program, I'm surprised
how they can fill a week with program details about everything from
literacy and reading to statistics and evaluation, all aiming to supply
information and knowledge services to the common people, without being
more in touch with Wikipedia. At best, we can hope that there are
wikipedians in residence at a handful libraries and museums worldwide.
Surrounding this full week August 9th to 17th, are satellite conference
and pre- and post-meetings. What caught my eye was one across the water,
in Estonia's capital Tallinn, on August 17-18, on the topic of "subject
metadata in the digital environment and semantic web".
The letter sequence"w-i-k" doesn't appear anywhere in these two programs.
Is Wikipedia a marginal, fringe interest, similar to Esperanto poetry
or scale model trebuchet competitions? If Wikipedia were the largest
encyclopedia ever written, one might guess libraries would show interest.
If we were at war with libraries, bitter enemies, trying to put them out
of business, the lack of contact between our communities and our lack of
presence at the global library conference couldn't be any greater. So if
it looks like a war, is it a war? Even if we haven't realized it yet?
Lars Aronsson (lars(a)aronsson.se)
Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se