Leveraging Wikipedia: Connecting Communities of Knowledge

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  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

The vision statement of the Wikimedia Foundation states, “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.” Libraries need not see Wikipedia as competition; rather, failing to leverage its omnipresence in the online world constitutes a missed opportunity. As a senior program officer at OCLC, Proffitt has encouraged collaboration between Wikipedia and cultural heritage institutions, leading to increased visibility and user engagement at participating organizations. Here, she brings onboard a raft of contributors from the worlds of academia, archives, libraries, and members of the volunteer Wikipedia community who together point towards connecting these various communities of knowledge. This book will inspire libraries to get involved in the Wikipedia community through programs and activities such as  

  • hosting editathons;
  • contributing content and helping to bridge important gaps in Wikipedia;
  • ensuring that library content is connected through the world’s biggest encyclopedia;
  • working with the Wikipedia education community; and
  • engaging with Wikipedians as allies in a quest to expand access to knowledge.  

Speaking directly to librarians, this book shows how libraries can partner with Wikipedia to improve content quality while simultaneously ensuring that library services and collections are more visible on the open web.

Chapter 1    Introduction: Why Wikipedia and Libraries?
Merrilee Proffitt

Chapter 2    What Are Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAM) to the Wikimedia Community?
Andrew Lih

Chapter 3    Connecting Citizens and the Military: The Experiences of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library as a GLAM Institution in Wikipedia
Theresa A. R. Embrey

Chapter 4    Bringing Wikipedians into the Conversation at Libraries
Alex Stinson and Jason Evans

Chapter 5    Minding the Gaps: Engaging Academic Libraries to Address Content and User Imbalances on Wikipedia
Kelly Doyle

Chapter 6    The Wikipedia Library: The Largest Encyclopedia Needs a Digital Library, and We Are Building It
Jake Orlowitz

Chapter 7    Wikipedia and Education: A Natural Collaboration, Supported by Libraries
LiAnna L. Davis

Chapter 8    Wikipedians and New Service Models: An Exploration
Lily Todorinova and Yu-Hung Lin

Chapter 9    Edit-a-Thons and Beyond
Sara Snyder

Chapter 10    Embracing Wikipedia at the New York Public Library: A Personal View
Bob Kosovsky

Chapter 11    Wikidata and Libraries: Facilitating Open Knowledge
Mairelys Lemus-Rojas and Lydia Pintscher

Chapter 12    Wikipedia and Wikidata Help Search Engines Understand Your Organization: Using Semantic Web Identity to Improve Recognition and Drive Traffic
Kenning Arlitsch and Justin Shanks

Chapter 13    Bringing Archival Collections to Wikipedia with the Remixing Archival Metadata Project (RAMP) Editor
Mairelys Lemus-Rojas and Timothy A. Thompson

Chapter 14    “I’m a Librarian on Wikipedia”: U.S. Public Librarianship with Wikipedia
Monika Sengul-Jones

Chapter 15    Becoming a Wikipedian
Merrilee Proffitt

About the Contributors

Merrilee Proffitt

Merrilee Proffitt is a senior program officer at OCLC Research. She provides project management skills and expert support to institutions represented within the OCLC Research Library Partnership. Among her many projects is looking at developing better relationships between Wikipedia and cultural heritage institutions. Proffitt started exploring this connection in 2011, and in 2012 she created OCLC’s Wikipedian in Residence program. Along the way, Proffitt became a more confident member of the Wikipedia community, and she has contributed to dozens of Wikipedia articles and helped to run several edit-a-thons. She is a member of the GLAM US Advisory Group. She is a founding member of the Wikimedia and Libraries User Group.

"Editor Merrilee Proffitt (OCLC Research) offers a unique volume ... This book is certainly a good introduction to its subject and is recommended for all collections.”

"This title distinguishes itself from the many books on the history of Wikipedia by exploring the mutual benefits of Wikipedia and libraries working together. Who better than librarians to provide quality sources to strengthen existing articles? ... A worthwhile resource for all librarians and students.”
— Library Journal

"Many librarians will find something of interest in this wide-ranging work; the entries are also excellent springboards for library-school discussions. A worthwhile purchase.”
— Booklist

"Takes a practical approach ... This volume is recommended for those looking for a starting place and background information on getting their institutions involved in the Wikimedia movement.”
— International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion