This year I have attended two events that discuss Wikipedia and Libraries working together: ‘Wikipedia and Libraries’ in March and ‘Wikipedia and Libraries Info Evening’ on the 10th, October. Both sessions have been promoting how Librarians and Wikipedians can work together and the values we have in common.
It is known that many people use Wikipedia as a reference tool, including library users, so why not link the two? Libraries have the best resources, while Wikipedia has the greatest reach – Wikipedia can lead users back to library sources.
Here is a list of Wikipedia projects (and future ones) that hope to do just that:
- Host a ‘Wikipedian in Residence’ as these places have done – British Museum, Smithsonian Institute Archives, State Library of NSW
- “Ask a Librarian” features in some Australian Wikipedia articles’ which links to NLA & state libraries
- The holy grail project – one click on a wiki citation takes you straight to a quality resource in your local library
Wikipedia’s five pillar values include:
- Civility & openness
- Freely share in the sum of human knowledge
The last two in particular sound very similar to a few librarian values I know:
- Promotion of the free flow of information and ideas through open access to recorded knowledge, information, and creative works.
- Connection of people to ideas.
- Commitment to literacy, information literacy and learning.
- Respect for the diversity and individuality of all people.
- Preservation of the human record.
- Excellence in professional service to our communities.
- Partnerships to advance these values
Just looking at these lists of values, it seems clear to me that Wikipedians and Librarians can mutually benefit each other. Along with the 3 projects already mentioned above, there are a number of things you can do individually to become involved:
At the very least I hope you take an hour or two to explore Wikipedia and learn exactly what Wikipedia and Library movement is all about.
Till next time!
DFTBA (Don’t Forget to be Awesome)
PS: Found a recording of the Wikipedia and Libraries event I attended in March. Enjoy!