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GLAM-Wiki US Consortium meeting report, March 2015

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The GLAM-Wiki US Consortium Advisory Board met March 22-23, 2015 at the National Archives (NARA) in Washington, DC. The meeting was sponsored by NARA with support from Wikimedia DC.



Dominic McDevitt-Parks (NARA), James Hare (Wikimedia DC), Lori Byrd Phillips (Indianapolis Children’s Museum), Sara Snyder (Saturday) (Smithsonian American Art Museum), Pete Forsyth (Wiki Strategies), Alex Stinson (Wikipedia Library, WMF), Jake Orlowitz (Wikipedia Library, WMF), Dorothy Howard (METRO WiR), Adrianne Russell (museum consultant), Phoebe Ayers (UC Davis Libraries, WMF), John Martinez (Saturday) (NARA), Dylan Kinnett (Saturday) (Walters Art Museum), Andrew Lih (Sunday) (American University).



The GLAM-Wiki US Consortium aspires to support cultural partnerships and outreach activities in the United States. It grew out of Lori Byrd Phillips' 2012 role as US Cultural Partnerships Coordinator for the Wikimedia Foundation; until this year, progress toward an active consortium has been slow, but it did formally attain Wikimedia user group status. The advisory group comprises cultural professionals and Wikimedians interested in advancing the Consortium concept. This meeting’s purpose was to clarify strategic goals and identify areas of opportunity.

We began planning our agenda at outreach:GLAM consortium meeting agenda ideas, 2015, and kept notes throughout the weekend here.

The advisory group met once in 2013, and after meeting in winter 2015, will meet again in the fall. We also intend to host a GLAM Boot Camp in fall 2015, to invite other Wikimedians to explore the most effective ways to support and work with GLAMs in the Wikimedia space.

Goals and strategic brainstorming


The group began with each participant discussing their related work and individual visions for the consortium. We then established a vision statement, and outlined strategic goals to set the stage for a discussion of what the consortium should do.

Some ideas that came up throughout our discussion:

  • Incorporating Wikipedia into professional education
  • Expanding this vision into Wikipedia as part of a broader set of things to do/share
  • Framing Wikipedia in the open data movement
  • Imagining the consortium as a hub in a network of hubs (like DPLA, etc.)
  • Forming a standard place to go for information;
  • Re-imagining the WiR position to be broader than Wikimedia, broadly about ‘open,’ figuring out the potential relationship with open data projects;
  • Re-articulating the value proposition for GLAMs and Wikimedians for working with these institutions.

Vision, mission, and goals


We began by revising the GLAM-Wiki US Consortium mission, originally established at our 2013 meeting. We wrote a vision statement and updated and tightened the mission statement. We then developed 5-year strategic goals, and more specific 1-year goals:



To foster knowledge-sharing among US cultural organizations and Wikimedia projects, cultivating expertise and an ethic of sharing in open collaborations that engage the public with its cultural heritage.



The GLAM-Wiki US Consortium brings together knowledge organizations, Wikimedia chapters, and individuals to explore using Wikimedia platforms for sharing knowledge. This network discusses ideas, shares resources, collaborates on projects, establishes best practices, and builds expertise, as communities united by a common interest in open knowledge and culture.

5-year goals

  • U.S. knowledge organizations consider Wikimedia a valuable ally.
  • Knowledge organizations have capacity to implement strategies using Wikimedia tools and resources.
  • U.S. knowledge institutions have access to well-curated educational and training materials
  • U.S. Wikimedians are aware of opportunities to work with knowledge institutions, and have adequate tools and access to knowledge institution resources.
  • The consortium effectively collaborates within itself to complete its stated goals.

1-year goals


We then sketched out concrete next steps relating to the 5-year goals; each member of the advisory group took on goals from this set. Please refer to the hackpad for detailed 1-year goals.

Additional discussion topics


Other topics discussed throughout the weekend included:

Coordination with Wikimedia DC and potential staff coordinator


James Hare presented a plan (and related grant request, in progress) for the Wikimedia DC chapter to hire a part-time, 1 year contract cultural partnerships coordinator. This coordinator would work on events, managing contacts with cultural partners, and potentially other related work such as developing and managing educational material.

The group explored how this position would work with the consortium. The position will report to James, but will also work closely with Dominic at NARA. On Sunday, ideas for a job description and position tasks were discussed, as well as a hiring process. James, Dominic, Andrew and Phoebe volunteered to be on the hiring committee.

Project reports


On Sunday, several participants gave brief lightning talk updates about their recent projects. Jake Orlowitz discussed the Wikipedia Visiting Scholar project from the Wikipedia Library. Alex Stinson discussed the library intern project at the Wikipedia Library. Andrew Lih discussed his recent American University class that created mock-up posters for the forthcoming Wikipedia Space at the Innovation Lab at NARA (which they are hoping to produce as both banners for the space and posters that can be used in other spaces). Dorothy Howard discussed the recent Art+Feminism edit-a-thons, including the great success of the events, and lessons learned from attempting to scale an international campaign with enthusiastic non-editors but a shortage of Wikimedians.

Working with the Wiki Ed Foundation


We discussed possibilities for working with the Wiki Education Foundation, since there is potential overlap in outreach to libraries, academics and institutions.

"Edit-a-thon in a box"


One of the ideas brainstormed at the meeting was an “edit-a-thon in a box” physical kit that could be mailed to institutions who want to hold an edit-a-thon, but don’t know where to start. Contents could include: standard signage, name tags, manuals, brochures and takeaways for attendees, such as stickers and buttons.

Next Consortium meeting


The next Consortium meeting is planned for approximately six months from now, which has to occur before the end of September, in Washington DC.