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CEE/Newsletter/October 2017/Contents/Serbia report

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Serbia report: Digitization is coming to Serbia and it’s here to stay

By Ivana Guslarević, Blog of Wikimedia Serbia
Translated by Miroslav Loci
Photos: Wikimedia Commons

During the three-day workshop in the Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information, Wikimedia Serbia had the opportunity to present the ways of contributing to free content, free licenses, the importance of sharing knowledge and increasing the visibility of cultural heritage on the Internet in front of 60 representatives from 29 cultural institutions.

The workshops were held for the employees of various notable museums, archives and libraries in Serbia, and the importance of organizing this event was proved by the fact that each workshop had larger number of participants than originally planned. The audience was greeted by Dejan Masliković, Assistant Minister of Culture for the development of digital research infrastructure in the field of culture and art, who announced the beginning of successful cooperation and the greater presence of cultural institutions on the Internet and Wikipedia.

Dejan Masliković at the GLAM Presentations at Ministry of Culture and Information
Dragan Satarić

Each workshop involved the introduction about Wikimedia Movement, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Serbia, the differences between Wikipedia and Wikimedia, and finally the main focus was on the presentation of the GLAM program and its results in Serbia and worldwide. Dragan Satarić introduced free licenses and copyrights on wiki projects, and the practical part of the workshop consisted of basic training in Wikipedia editing, as well as editing on Wikimedia Commons, with adequate examples of the material under Creative Commons and public domain. On the third day, the workshop for Serbian libraries was enriched with the presentation of the project called "Wiki Librarian", whose success was presented by Aleksandra Popović, Head of the Scientific Information and Development Department of the University Library "Svetozar Marković", who is also the leader of this project.

Assistant Minister of Culture, Dejan Masliković expressed his belief that it was necessary to have relevant and verified content on the Internet in order to position our culture to be more visible in the world and to be more accessible to the general public, adding that the interest in these workshops was great.

Natalija Vulikić from the Museum of Vojvodina pointed out that the workshops were very significant and added that the Ministry of Culture organized serious seminars and workshops applicable in practice for the first time in recent years, which means a lot for the employees in cultural institutions.

Slađana Bojković from the Historical Museum of Serbia agreed with her colleague and noticed that "digitization is coming to Serbia and it’s here to stay".

"This is a proper step to really do it, to be accepted, understood and implemented in the right way," Bojkovic concluded.

Digitization is the future of heritage preservation, especially bearing in mind that anything can happen like fires or floods. Society does not benefit from the fact that collections are stored in archives and depots. It is a free culture and it should remain such", emphasized Ivana Guslarević, GLAM coordinator of Wikimedia Serbia. She believes that the Wikimedia team succeeded in bringing the world of free knowledge and the importance of sharing free content closer to cultural institutions, as well as encouraging them to work independently on wiki projects.

All the participants received the certificates of attendance at the course. The participants and organizers recorded the workshop atmosphere, and the photos can be seen on Wikimedia Commons.