[Wikimedia-l] The Wikipedia Library's Books and Bytes newsletter

Jake Orlowitz jorlowitz at gmail.com
Thu Dec 5 18:16:47 UTC 2013

Books & Bytes

Volume 1, Issue 2, November 2013

by The Interior (talk =B7 contribs), Ocaasi (talk =B7 contribs)

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Read online: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:The_Wikipedia_Library/=

Wikipedia Library Highlights

New accounts survey

TWL is in discussions with several database providers to start new
pilot programs for research account donations. Two of the largest
research database organizations in the world, EBSCO Publishing and
ProQuest, are both interested in learning which of their database
services Wikipedians would be most interested in receiving. TWL has
put together a survey to help with this, as well as gather more
general information about usage, editor satisfaction and the direction
Wikipedians would like to see their library moving in. The brief
Google Forms survey takes 5-10 minutes, and will be sent out this week
to TWL subscribers.

JSTOR expired, extended

The JSTOR pilot program, which gave 100 free accounts to top article
writers, expired this month. Thanks to Steven Walling, an extension
until the end of January was secured. Talks with JSTOR are ongoing to
keep this valuable resource available free of charge to editors. Sign
up for JSTOR.

New Metrics

New data from the Credo Partnership showed a 500% increase in links to
the site in total since the program began. With much larger numbers in
general, and a shorter time frame, the HighBeam increase of 390% as of
May 2013 is also of interest. Special thanks to Johnuniq for compiling
this data. If you are data-inclined, TWL always needs help compiling
statistics. These stats are useful not only to our current partners,
but also to encouraging prospective new partners to make donations.

Help Needed: TWL Account Coordinator

TWL is seeking a manager for the coordinated dispersal of donated
accounts. The role involves watchlisting the application pages,
vetting candidates using a fairly simple set of requirements (1 year
activity, 1000 edits on any Wikimedia projects, having email enabled
and an expressed desire to use the account for article work), and then
emailing the access codes to users. As it stands, this would be not
more 1-2 hours of work a week (though it will when new accounts are
announced). Great communication and responsiveness so that subscribers
get prompt replies to their applications is a must. If you are
interested, please get in touch with The Interior or Ocaasi. Apply to
be the new Account Coordinator.

Wikipedia Visiting Scholars

Along with the announcement of a position at George Mason University,
a second institution plans to host a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar
placement - University of California at Riverside Library.More details
on this partnership should be announced in December and over a dozen
universities are interested in attending an information session about
the program in January. Also in December, George Mason will be seeking
applications for their position. For more information on the Visiting
Scholar program, see http://enwp.org/WP:WVS. Sign up to be a Wikipedia Visiting

TWL presents: American Library Association's mid-winter meeting

The ALA is the largest library organization in the U.S. TWL has been
accepted to present at their mid-winter conference in Philadelphia on
January 25th from 1:30 to 3:00pm. The session will introduce academic
librarians from around the country to the role Wikipedia can play in
learning and research. We will use the session both to introduce TWL's
mission and scope, and then to kick-off the Wikipedia Visiting
Scholars program with an overview of the initiative and plenty of time
for planning and questions. Over a dozen top universities have
expressed interest in attending, which bodes very well for the future
placing Wikipedians in official research affiliate positions.

New Talk: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia

Ocaasi gave the first presentation of The Future of Libraries and
Wikipedia to George Mason University. GMU Professor and THATcamp
coordinator Amanda French brought students and librarians together for
the event. The talk highlights the mission and pillars of Wikipedia,
the Wikipedia Library's 5 goals, and 13 to explore the question, What
if Wikipedia's was the internet's library?

Spotlight on people: Another Believer and Wiki Loves Libraries

Books & Bytes was pleased to interview two of the community's Wiki
Loves Libraries event coordinators, IJethroBT and AnotherBeliever.
This fall, both organised edit-a-thons, one in Chicago, and others in
Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. For this issue, we will
present Another Believer=92s interview. Be sure to catch the December
issue to hear about IJethroBT=92s experiences.

Another Believer is Jason Moore, a Wikipedian based in Portland,
Oregon. He works on articles on music and the arts, among other
topics, and has been editing since 2007. He has organized three
library-related edit-a-thons in the Portland area. His most recent
event was at the Vancouver Community Library.

What first attracted you to organising WLL events?

My introduction to "real life" Wikipedia activity was an invitation to
participate in an outreach project at the Wikimedia Foundation offices
in San Francisco in 2010, followed by the Wikipedia 10 celebration in
Portland, Oregon in 2011. From then on, I was hooked. I had found a
community where my obsession with research, writing and the mission of
Wikipedia required no explaining. I continued attending meetups and
networking with Wikipedians, both online and offline. It was at
Wikimania in Washington, D.C. where I received a thorough introduction
to the GLAM-Wiki initiative, which promotes collaboration between the
Wikipedia community and cultural institutions. Later that year, I was
invited to help Multnomah County Library host an edit-athon at
Portland's Central Library. The opportunity was appealing, giving
purpose for a local meetup and a way for me to trial collaborating
with a cultural institution.

In your opinion, are library edit-a-thons a good way to recruit new editors

Absolutely. There are always challenges with recruiting and retaining
editors, but it certainly makes sense for the largest and most popular
reference work on the Internet to collaborate with institutions that
exist to collect and make information resources available to the
public. People who visit their local libraries might be the type of
individuals who enjoy conducting research, or see value in sharing
information. Libraries and Wikipedia both have an educational
component, and partnering with cultural institutions certainly brings
legitimacy to the latter. Even with limited resources, libraries have
the ability to assist with outreach efforts and organizing meetups.

At your events, do you see more brand new editors, or editors with
some prior experience?

Events tend to attract both new and experienced editors. Often I
distribute invitations to meetups on-wiki, which obviously attracts
people who have already created accounts and have a habit of checking
their talk page, even if only occasionally. Brand new editors are
usually attracted by the institution itself, whether the participants
are curious staff, volunteers, or members of the public. Generally,
forms of outreach by the library include event listings on the website
and event calendar, on-site signage, and perhaps a regional library

What can libraries do to make WLL events more successful?

Offer incentives to increase traffic. These do not have to be costly
or complicated. Perhaps a behind-the-scenes tour of the library, or a
promotional partnership with another institution. For example, how
cool would it be if a library associated with an art museum offered
free admission to a special exhibit? Or a staff member offered a
private tour of the permanent collection, followed by an edit-athon
where Wikipedians wrote articles about notable artists or works of
art? There are ways to make editing interactive and fun. At the
library events I have attended, librarians have been great about being
prepared and having select resources pulled from the shelves and
available for attendees. This eliminates the need for editors to spend
time searching for materials.

You have organised several events over the years. How has your
methodology changed since your first event?

My methodology has changed little. The process begins with contact and
planning with the institution, outreach and invitation distribution to
Wikipedians and the public, and a request for educational and/or
promotional materials from the Wikimedia Foundation. It is important
to make sure the event space can accommodate a group of reasonable
size and provides enough electrical outlets. Refreshments and extra
laptops are not required, but always appreciated. The day of the
event, I greet my contact(s), set up the space, distribute materials
and generally make myself available to participants. Sometimes there
is a specific agenda, but often there are enough new contributors that
much of my time is spent answering questions, registering new users,
providing an overview of Wikipedia, and helping with first edits.My
methods have not changed, but I have learned that sometimes it can be
beneficial to market some events to experienced Wikipedians and others
to new users; mixing the two groups is never problematic, but new and
experienced contributors have different motivations for attending. A
group of experienced users can quickly generate content and
collaborate on more challenging tasks, while new users often require
lots of attention. I appreciate both groups, but recognize that mixing
them does not always create the most productive environment.

How have library staff responded to your event proposals?

Librarians have responded positively, but I must confess that for each
of the three library events that I have hosted, I was invited by the
librarians themselves. I am willing to conduct outreach, but more
often my problem is that I receive more invitations than I can
accommodate. Regardless of the method of contact, the librarians I
have worked with express an appreciation for Wikipedia and an
understanding that this online reference work is unavoidable, serving
an important purpose in our society. In each case, I felt that the
librarians trusted my abilities and appreciated my willingness to
collaborate with their institution.

Which works better a focused approach. We will work on X,Y, and Z
during the edit-a-thon. or a looser approach, Just drop by and work
on what you want to?

This is a great question, but one I find difficult to answer. Both
approaches can work well, depending on who is in attendance and the
general purpose of the event. If content generation is the goal, focus
is better. For a general meetup, or an advertised "introduction to
Wikipedia," a looser approach is more appropriate.

What are some things to avoid when hosting an event?

When I host an event, I assume the role of facilitator. I do not
dictate how the meetup should be, or set firm expectations. I would
never make anyone feel out of line for expressing their opinion, or
stupid for asking questions.

If you had one piece of advice for a new WLL event organiser, what would it

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to attend GLAM Boot Camp in
Washington, D.C., where a guest speaker expressed the following words
of wisdom that resonated with me: "one is better than none." In the
context of event organizing, this means that there is nothing wrong
with simply proposing and time and location for a meetup and then
seeing if others are willing to join. It might take a few attempts to
mobilize a small community. If I had a second piece of advice, it
would be to have a good relationship with the librarian(s) or other
contacts involved, make sure expectations are set, and align your
reasons for hosting the event.

Upcoming in December: Wiki Loves Libraries events

Open History: Queens and Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon - December 6 at Queens
Library, New York, NY

If you're hosting a library event in December or January, please add
it to collaborations page on Outreach Wiki and we'll put it in the

Books & Bytes Briefly

LOC considers Wikipedia's disambiguation: The Library of Congress
Subject Headings, an authoritative classification system in use in
libraries all over the world, is an ever-evolving entity. In an
article in the e-journal Library Philosophy and Practice, the author
suggests that the LCSH should adopt Wikipedia-style disambiguation
terms. Read the full article here via the University of Nebraska
Library. (PDF)

Dewey Deleted? An interesting Articles for Deletion discussion for our
article List of Dewey Decimal classes explored aspects of copyright
relating to the venerable library system. In related news, OCLC has
begun to consider broadening Dewey's license from CC-BY-NC-ND
(non-commercial, non-derivative) to CC-BY.

CC 4.0: Creative Commons, which created and maintains Wikipedia's
CC-BY-SA license, released version 4.0 of their widely used protocol.
The Open Knowledge Foundation highlighted the key changes.

OA Button Goes live: Open-Access Button, a new lightweight set of
browser extensions to highlight when readers hit academic paywalls was
released this month. You can get the button and let the world know
when journal paywalls inhibit the free flow of knowledge and research.

OAuth released: The Wikimedia Foundation finished it's implementation
of OAuth. This has big implications for TWL research access
integration, because it would let editors sign into third-party
websites using only their Wikipedia login. The WMF blog the details.

TWL Logo? A discussion was started about a TWL Logo, thinking about
adapting existing community logos or starting from scratch. TWL would
like to host a new logo competition in the next few months. Please
join the discussion.

December GLAMOUT: Wikipedia's GLAM consortium is hosting an online
discussion Friday, Dec. 6 at 3pm (EDT). There is one spot left to
participate, and anyone can listen in through Google Hangouts.

The Wikipedia Adventure game goes beta: A new game which teaches how
to edit Wikipedia in about an hour was released this week. TWA may be
useful to librarians, education classes, and editathons as a friendly
and interactive introduction to Wikipedia's technical, social, and
policy best practices.

Diversity Conference in Berlin: Hosted by WMDE, the event kicked off a
global push to add Diversity to Wikipedia contributors and content at
the first ever Wikimedia Diversity Conference. WMF blog has a nice
overview of the event. You can sign on to the intiative at
Meta:Diversity. TWL is always interested in ways to broaden our
community and our content with better outreach and research.

Free textbooks: ChemWiki, a program to create free and open chemistry
textbooks received a grant of $250,000 from the National Science
Foundation. The site nets over 2 million visitors a month.

Open access and museums: The Mellon Foundation published Images of
Works of Art in Museum Collections: The Experience of Open Access A
Study of 11 Museums.

Further reading

There's lots of great digital library information online. Check out
these neat resources for more library exploring.

The Digital Shift: http://www.thedigitialshift.com
In the library with the lead pipe: http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.o=
Code4Lib: http://code4lib.org/
Digital Public Library of America: http://dp.la

The Wikipedia Library


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To suggest items for the next issue, please contact the editor, The
Interior at https://Wikipedia:The_Wikipedia_Library/Newsletter/Suggestions.

-Jake Orlowitz (Ocaasi)
jorlowitz at gmail.com

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