CEE/Newsletter/November 2018/Contents/Bulgaria report

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Bulgaria report: Eastern European Editation in Goethe Institut Sofia[edit]

By Vassia Atanassova and Justine Toms

On November 10, 2018, in the cosy building of the Goethe Institut Sofia, a massive international wiki training and editathon took place in the frames of the Erbstuecke initiative in this European Year of Cultural Heritage. The Eastern European Editathon was organized, hosted and funded by Goethe Institut, with the support of the local wiki community and the "Global Libraries Bulgaria" Foundation. Invited by Goethe Institut Sofia were Wikimedians from Germany, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine came, as well as Wikimedians, librarians and other interested newbies from Sofia and the Bulgarian towns Dupnitsa, Hisarya, Tryavna, Lovech and Silistra.

The day started with two parallel sessions - "Introduction to Wikipedia for newbies" by Vassia Atanassova and Justine Toms, and "Wikidata for advanced Wikimedians" by Matti Blume. Then the lecturers swapped halls and Matti introduced the newbies to the brave new world of Wikidata, and Vassia presented to the experienced Wikimedians the lessons learnt from the 2018 trainings of librarians in Wikipedia and Media Literacy (see our June report). Samira Zahra from Goethe Institut Sofia also had the floor to present the Erbstuecke initiative.

The afternoon was dedicated to the editathon and creation of articles related to libraries and cultural heritate. In the end of the day, the editathon resulted in 18 new articles in Bulgarian, 2 in English, 3 in German, 8 in Greek, 6 in Macedonian, 9 in Romanian, 7 in Serbian and 5 in Ukrainian, or 58 new articles all together. Since we had some paper sources and two portable scanners in the room, we used the opportuniity to train the librarians in the audience how to use the devices, and digitized more than 15 public domain photos from the sources, which illustrated several existing articles.

Thus, the rooms of Goethe Institute Sofia were filled with a vibrant atmosphere, feeling of friendliness and strong Wikipedian spirit! Following a long-term tradition in the wikiverse, everyone brought and shared delicacies from their home countries, thus supporting the creativity and good work.

In the days before the editathon on 10 November, two more accompanying events took place, involving our foreign Wikimedian guests. On November 8 an 9, the "Global Libraries Bulgaria" Foundation had its annual national conference of librarians, and the foreign Wikimedians were invited to attend. On November 9, in New Bulgarian University there was a public lecture for Justine's students in mass communication in New Bulgarian University, and the Wikimedians from Ukraine and Greece were invited to present their local experience and projects. For ice breaker in the beginning, we played the Line Up game with different questions related to students' and editors' experience of the Free Encyclopedia.

With this wiki training and editathon, Goethe Institut Sofia proved again as a reliable partner of the Bulgarian wiki community, and Wikimedia in general. The Eastern European Editation is the second event they are hosting for us, after the "Notable Women" editathon on 11 March 2017, in collaboration with the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee. In addition, Goethe Institut Sofia declared insterest to continue the partnership with the Bulgarian Wikipedians, and to offer us a place for regular meetups and editathons. We also hope that the collaboration formed in Bulgaria, will serve as a good example and will propagate to other CEE wiki communities.