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Best practices in teaching library classes

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Public libraries may be interested in Wikimedian volunteers teaching classes to library patrons, similar to existing technology classes they already offer on Google or Internet Search Strategies, and the first classes of this type were held in July 2009 at the New York Public Library.

Having classes taught by volunteers is advantageous to the library, because it allows them to schedule on an evening or weekend and so to expand their audience.

Classes should be organized through the library's educational or technology departments. It is helpful to have a team of two or three Wikimedians to volunteer, and the librarian may be interested in co-teaching or monitoring the class as well because they are also interested in learning from the content, and to later be able to teach such classes on their own.

It may be more difficult to have hands-on classes, especially when there are issues of multiple user registrations or library IPs being unable to edit. In teaching a lecture-style class, one interesting topic, that is also close to the hearts of librarians, is to approach the teaching of Wikipedia through a media literacy lens.

Teaching library classes may also open the way for other forms of collaboration with the library in future.

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