Education/News/June 2022/The Great Learning and Connection: Experience from AFLIA

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The Great Learning and Connection

Author: Ngostary2k

Summary: The inclusion of librarians in Wikipedia's activities created the spaces and learning in information services. The idea is to participate and contribute in enhancing authentic and accurate references in Wikipedia articles. Hence, the librarians in the Nigerian Team embraced the training with candour, showcasing interest in the Edit-a-thon.

It all started with the awareness of #1Lib1Ref which is an annual global Wikipedia activity involving librarians in improving articles. With AfLIA championing the African Librarians' Week, there was massive online training for participation in the #1Lib1Ref. The Library Associations in different countries of Africa acknowledged it and set the balls rolling in their countries. Nigerian Librarians made things happen by giving it visibility and joining in the Wikipedia training sessions. There was also physical training which yielded excellent output in registering new Wikimedians, improvement of articles and creation of new articles.

In Anambra State, South-East, Nigeria, a special training program was planned and implemented at the Professor Kennet Dike State Central e-Library, Awka. The facilitators were Dr Ngozi Perpetua Osuchukwu and Dr Nkem Osuigwe. Twenty-one librarians participated. There were ten new sign-ups while six who signed up earlier made their first edits in the training. The other five participants increased their edits in the historic #11Lib1Ref.

The participants were happy and followed up with effective participation in the Edit-a-thon. The lessons learnt from the Wikipedia Training showed that professionals are willing and ready to participate in Wikipedia activity. What they need are spaces to learn and contribute. They were eager to share their learning and engage interested Library users with Wikipedia concepts. Following up on the pieces of training with the Nigerian Team, some of the librarians trained have become champions, winning prizes in different Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. They have also organized more training and started integrating their students into contributing to Wikipedia.