Grants:IEG/The Wikipedia Library/Renewal

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

The Wikipedia Library connects editors with libraries, open access resources, paywalled databases, digital reference tools, and research experts


In the past 6 months we laid the foundation for The Wikipedia Library's future growth and expansion. We built a team of volunteers and a hub for connecting the Wikipedia community to the library and its research access opportunities, and have laid the groundwork for partnerships with many key research databases and university libraries. We also produced a code specification for a reference tool script we are developing which will place links to full-text sources next to references in Wikipedia articles. There is so much more we can do. A six month extension is necessary to fully realize the potential of this project.


Phase 2 involves expansion of existing successful programs, integration of volunteers, creation of usable deployed reference tech tools, deeper outreach, and new experiments.

Priority Goal Needs
Move from existing pilots to robust programs: Donations, Visiting scholars Growth and sustainability Personnell: Jake, Pat, Merrilee, Account coordinators, Metrics coordinator
More donation partners and more accounts: Expand the number of partners we approach and pitches we make Growth Jake and Pat
Technical infrastructure : Eswitch alpha implementation and promotion, OAuth spec for account management Ditial tools Nischay, OAuth expert
Regularize metrics - regular database link dumps for partners, consolidate into pamphlets and wikipages designed for promotion Impact assessment Jake and Patu, maybe funds for regular reporting from a current volunteer
Community organizing: develop portal further, investigate ways to surface recent activity, highlight calls to action Internal outreach, broadening contributors Pat
Defined and filled roles for volunteer coordinators Participation and sustainability Jake and Pat, coordinators
Promote TWL broadly outside of Wikipedia External outreach Jake and Pat, travel, talks, articles, blogs, social media, and conferences
Build strategy to go global: pilot with at least 1 other language of Wikiedia: DE/ES partnership, Cochrane Library spanish, Non-US Visiting scholar, seek diversity of sources (news, science, humanities, access to sources that address systemic bias) Diversity Jake and Pat, partner language, chapter, university
New pilots: open access signaling and oa button integration, wikiloves libraries, research desk... Experimentation and growth Jake, legal review, volunteers (Daniel Mietchen/Aubrey McFato on open access, volunteer outreach coordinator for WLL)

note: Patrick Earley (User:The Interior) became a Wikimedia Foundation contractor on April 25th, 2014, upon which date he was no longer available to be a funded grantee for the Wikipedia Library. He was paid for his contracted grant work through that point. Now he participates only in an unpaid, volunteer capacity.


The phase 2 budget includes more funding for essential project management, tech development, impact analysis, and networking with library experts.

Item Amount Person Deliverable
Metrics coordinator $500 Johnuniq, or other volunteer Full link usage reports for donated references, run on all partnershis quarterly
Travel, talks, conferences: ALA annual meeting in June (Las Vegas), OCLC office in San Francisco) $1000 (flight + hostel if needed) Jake Present Wikipedia Library talks and programs; meetings with key business and technical partners.
Technical development: Eswitch alpha version $1200 Nischay A working alpha version of the full text access script, deployed at at least one university.
Technical development reserve: OAuth, Eswitch beta optimization $500 Niscay, other OAuth expert We will flexibly use these funds for the most impact, whether that is improving the usability and effectiveness of Eswitch, or investigating security and access integration to third-party websites using OAuth.
Co project coordinator $6,000 ($25/hr, 10hr/wk) Patrick Earley (The Interior), lead TWL Librarian Independent management of new partnerships, community outreach, newsletter, and volunteer positions.
Lead project coordinator $12,000 (~ $25/hr, 20-30hr/wk) Jake Orlowitz (Ocaasi), lead TWL coordinator Creation and oversight of new partnerships, managment of ongoing contractors and relationships, initiate new pilots, external outreach, recruit and oversee new volunteers, analyze impact across projects.

Total Phase 2 budget: $21,200

note: Patrick Earley (User:The Interior) became a Wikimedia Foundation contractor on April 25th, 2014. He will be paid for his contracted grant work through that point but afterwards will continue on only in an unpaid, volunteer capacity.


Scope and budget increase[edit]

Phase 1 of The Wikipedia Library had a budget of $7,500, making the phase 2 proposed budget 300% of the initial round. Here's why that increase is appropriate:

Phase 1 Phase 2
The original scope of the pilot (phase 1) was only to get more partnerships. In building towards phase 2 we established 4 additional compelling goals and multiple ways to advance them with. The central focus of phase 1 became developing The Wikipedia Library as the true community library of Wikipedia. Phase 2 expands upon this, and explores ways in which TWL could become 'the internet's library'.
Phase 1 was a project of one person. Jake handled the full management, implementation, outreach, development, and analysis. In the course of phase 1 we developed a team of 2 managers, 5 outreach coordinators, 3 account coordinators, 2 technical developers, 1 coder, 27 members, and 250 newsletter recipients. We reached out to 1,500 + TWL subscribers with both news and surveys. Phase 2 expands upon and leverages that growth in participation.
Phase 1 of the project was a startup focused on establishing presence, awareness, and pilot programs Phase 2 is geared towards sustainable growth, empowering the recruited volunteers to independently manage and expand existing programs.
Phase 1 focused on internal outreach, promoting TWL to the Wikipedia community and recruiting volunteers from within. Phase 2 is equally about external outreach, promoting TWL to the broader library community and recruiting volunteers from outside our community.
Phase 1 was about building relationships (OCLC, university libraries). Phase 2 is about advancing real programs by leveraging those relationships (Eswitch script, Visiting Scholar program).
Phase 1 relied on irregular volunteer metrics to demonstrate impact. Phase 2 creates regular reports run each 3 months across all donations.
Phase 1 was about exploring tech. We were waiting on tech to be developed--OCLC's Eswitch API was unpublished, and OAuth was not yet released. We funded Nischay to code a spec for the Eswitch script. Phase 2 is about building tech. We are taking the next step with these tools, building our Eswitch script and speccing out OAuth integration based on the recent release.
Phase 1 funded Jake as an untested community organizer and library outreach facilitator. Phase 2 funds Jake (Ocaasi) as someone who has demonstrated organizational skill, built relationships to leaders in the library community, started new projects, and conducted successful program expansions.
Phase 1 funded Pat only in the second half of the project (3 months at 6 hr/week). Phase 2 involves Pat in the entire 6 months and expands his role to 10 hr/wk.
Phase 1 funded Jake with $5,000 for 10-15 hr/wk. This was a minimally liveable but not sustainable amount for project management. Phase 2 funds Jake for ~25 hr/wk at a standard rate comparable to that of WMF community liasons. It's worth noting that the grant budget, like other contract positions, does not account for taxes or lack of benefits (health insurance, etc.). The increase in budget permits a more full-time focus on and investment in project advancement.
The initial pilot was frankly cheap, appropriate for trying something new. We wanted to test the need for funded programs and we demonstrated a need. We laid the groundwork for significant expansion across multiple areas in Phase 1. In phase 2 we need to work within a budget which can support the expansion of successful programs.

note: Patrick Earley (User:The Interior) became a Wikimedia Foundation contractor on April 25th, 2014. He will be paid for his contracted grant work through that point but afterwards will continue on only in an unpaid, volunteer capacity.

Remaining in the IEG program[edit]

We are still at a stage where the library is nimble and the workload is manageably distributed between paid coordinators and volunteers.

  • There's not enough work to grow to an organization yet. We are funding the equivalent of one 40 hr/wk employee, but instead of giving all of the responsibility to a single person, we are giving multiple individuals domains of management. This builds sustainability with moderate growth expectations.
  • We are fortunate enough to be nimble, to have no big bureaucracy for overseeing volunteers, and to be able to rely on simple, good community organizing through the established participation history of the coordinators and volunteers. We do not yet see the need for organizational funding or reporting as we have continued to successfully grow and expand within the Individual model.
  • Jake (Ocaasi) is still comfortably overseeing project operations while recruiting more and more experts to handle program implementation. Pat is fully invested as a coordinator, but is not in a position to devote more than part-time hours to the projects.
  • We'd also like to add that IEG guidance from Siko has been both encouraging and reinforcing. We are still learning a lot with her and want to keep doing so.
  • Finally, the total funding amount for phase 2 is still 30% under the maximum IEG grant cap. While not a strong delimiter, that budget number is a further good estimate for when a project has achieved the size and scope that would necessitate an organizational grant rather than an individual one.

Measures of success[edit]

Impact assessment is built into as many aspects of this project as possible. Inspired by Siko's 'be bold' execution method, we've set some pretty ambitious targets for phase 2.

Measures of success
  • Create roles for 5 new volunteer coordinators
  • Regularize usage metrics reports hosted on Labs
  • Send out Books and Bytes 5 times
  • Identify and onboard 2 trained librarians to co-coordinate TWL
  • Form 10 new visiting scholar positions
  • Release a working version of the OCLC full text reference tool
  • Create a spec for OAuth integration with at least 1 research donor
  • Contact 30 new database partners; enter talks with 10; form or renew 5 partnerships
  • Receive $200,000 worth of donations (individual replacement value)
  • Receive 2000 new accounts
  • Pilot TWL satellites in at least one of German, Spanish, and Arabic communities

A lot of these targets will be quantitatively verifiable and can be tracked numerically. This is nice because we can definitively point to 'success'. I also want to note that we're not afraid to try but miss one of these targets, as long as we're trying and learning and improving as we go.

Community comments[edit]

WMF welcomes community input on renewal requests. Please share your thoughts and feedback here, or on the talk page.


Comments, concerns, thoughts, questions, endorsements[edit]

  1. Support - seems a worthwhile initiative to continue. Johnbod (talk) 14:00, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  2. Support wholeheartedly. TWL has done great work in liaising with various groups and could do even more given another six months. Keilana|Parlez ici 17:05, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  3. Support - this has already produced some valuable results and is certainly worth continuing. Simon Burchell (talk) 17:08, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  4. Support The scope of this project is too broad for me to evaluate in totality but I find the Wikipedia Library's contributions to building good relations with the en:Cochrane Collaboration to be extremely important for the development of Wikimedia health content in all languages. Although I expect that many aspects of the Wikipedia Library are useful, I can only speak to its impact in health. In health alone, it is my opinion that this project's work merits some funding extension if this is up for consideration. I am unable to imagine a historical narrative of Wikipedia which does not look back on this project and its promotion of health content development as anything other than a major milestone of progress. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:33, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  5. Comment I would like to read more about the Wikipedia Library's plans to expand into another language. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:35, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
    Hi Lane, I have some details on that on the talk page: Grants_talk:IEG/The_Wikipedia_Library/Extensionrequest#Global_growth. We'll have more detailed information in the next 4-6 weeks. Ocaasi (talk) 19:04, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
  6. Support, especially if there is possibility to extend it to other languages. --Sannita - not just another sysop 11:50, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  7. Support This is essential for creating a world-class reference resource. -- Llywrch (talk) 20:40, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  8. Support as this is a significant step for the development of our content. I would strongly suggest to extend this to other languages, possibly in cooperation with the chapters. And while I am very happy to have JSTOR access in the moment (which has been used for a series of new articles at de-wp), I would like to see the number of subscriptions increased as there is strong demand and as this is one of the most helpful resources. All dedicated Wikipedians who actually create content and need access should get it. --AFBorchert (talk) 14:37, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
  9. Support this is an area which will only grow in importance, the new developments look interesting. Sjgknight (talk) 16:11, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  10. Support per AFBorchert.--Aschmidt (talk) 16:37, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
  11. Support strongly - gaining access to scholarly journals has been invaluable. Parkwells (talk) 13:48, 2 June 2015 (UTC) (from Wikipedia)