Grants:Project/AfLIA/Wikipedia in African Libraries

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Wikipedian in Residence for African Libraries
summaryReviewing and adapting the OCLC Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together course to be made relatable, relevant, and adapted to the African context bearing in mind that differences exist between Africa and America in terms of library ecosystem, infrastructure and values which all have direct bearing on terms of engagement, stakeholders, capacity levels and professional development needs of librarians, perceptions about libraries and available resources. The adapted curriculum and teaching materials will be used to conduct an online training course for African librarians.
targetWiki loves Africa, 1lib1ref, Wiki loves Women
type of grantuncertain
amount54,098 USD
type of applicantorganization
granteeAfLIA Librarian
this project needs...
created on10:19, 20 February 2020 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.
In Africa, access to information is critical for quality education, development purposes and the need to build and/or maintain one’s cultural identity. In some communities, the library is the only place with free or low-priced internet that people need for accessing information. Also, librarians teach people in different communities across Africa on how to function in online spaces including how to access information online. Many African librarians, especially those in rural areas serve as trusted gateways to relevant and reliable information as they disseminate information to people at different levels of literacy in their various communities. These make libraries and librarians great allies for Wikipedia as it continues to push back the boundaries for free and open access to knowledge. However, the use of Wikipedia by African librarians could be considered minimal. African voices on Wikipedia need to be more synchronized and amplified. The ‘disconnect’ of African librarians from Wikipedia could be attributed to lack of understanding and ‘ownership’ of the resource by them and every member of their user communities. Getting more African librarians to understand how Wikipedia’s treasure trove of information can help them serve their communities better, how it works, and to participate in adding content about the continent will help to acclimatize them to the resource while expanding its reach and usage as well as filling in information gaps about Africa. On the other hand, resources in African libraries will serve various Wikipedian communities well in editing and generating articles for the online encyclopaedia. OCLC has already developed a curriculum and training materials with American librarians as the audience for Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together course. However, the existing curriculum and study materials need to be made relatable, relevant, and adapted to the African context bearing in mind that differences exist between Africa and America in terms of library ecosystem, infrastructure and values which all have direct bearing on terms of engagement, stakeholders, capacity levels and professional development needs of librarians, perceptions about libraries and available resources. The adapted curriculum and teaching materials will also need to be translated into French as it is the lingua franca of a number of African countries.

What is your solution?[edit]

For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.
Online training of approximately 10 librarians each in 30 African countries with adapted and reviewed OCLC curriculum (Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together), modules design and resources to acquire skills that will enable them to understand, evaluate the reliability and relevance of Wikipedia articles for information dissemination and research, create, edit Wikipedia articles and implement Wikipedia programming for their user communities. This will enable more Africans to; - be aware and use Wikipedia as a valuable resource for information and research, - tell their stories in their own voices and - fill in information gaps in a synchronized manner about the people, history and values of the continent that are mostly underrepresented in online spaces. Thus, having a fulltime Wikipedian-in-Residence for 12 months to help adapt the curriculum in line with Africa’s information environment and library ecosystem and that will match with suitable learning objectives that align with Wikipedia community standards and processes is crucial. The Wikipedian-In-Residence, will also assist AfLIA to establish connections with communities of Wikipedians in Africa, test-run the curriculum for one cohort of online learners and help them to translate what they learn into practical programmes for serving their communities better. AfLIA (African Library and Information Associations and Institutions) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Wikimedia Library for the hosting of a progressive course model on Wikipedia. The adapted curriculum and resources are what is being projected to run the course after the scheduled webinars had taken place. The resources developed will also serve greatly in training librarians for the African Librarians Week which is also an offshoot of the MoU between the Wikimedia Library and AfLIA. Already, using the Moodle platform, AfLIA has trained two cohorts of INELI-SSAf, the International Network of Emerging Innovators, sub-Saharan African with modules adapted from those developed through Global Libraries of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. AfLIA has also run two cohorts of a Leadership Academy with resources adapted and modeled after the Public Library Association of ALA’s Leadership Academy. The experiences garnered and networks built in running online trainings for public libraries stands AfLIA in good stead for running the progressive online training and promoting activities of Wikipedia.

Project goals[edit]

What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.
- Train approximately 10 librarians each in 30 countries in Africa to understand Wikipedia as a veritable resource for dissemination of information and a teaching tool that promotes quality education thereby increasing access to the resource and serving their user communities better.

- Train African librarians to be able to evaluate the quality and reliability of individual articles, edit and create content of local and personal interest on Wikipedia with laid down benchmarks for quality and relevance.

- Train librarians to teach their user communities to use and contribute to Wikipedia’s by taking them through the editorial processes and quality standards of the resource. As part of the online training, librarians will be encouraged and supported to physically run Wikipedia programmes in their libraries as community projects or assignments integrating what was taught (eg Friendly Space policies) in the course with feedback pathways on the teaching platform to assist the facilitators to know the outcomes of the programmes. - Nurture relationships between Wikipedia communities in Africa with libraries. This is expected to lead to collaborations with librarians during the and after the life-cycle of the project.

Project impact[edit]

How will you know if you have met your goals?[edit]

For each of your goals, we’d like you to answer the following questions:

  1. During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)
  2. Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.)

For each of your answers, think about how you will capture this information. Will you capture it with a survey? With a story? Will you measure it with a number? Remember, if you plan to measure a number, you will need to set a numeric target in your proposal (e.g. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents). Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

. - Hire a Wikipedian-in-Residence for a 12-month appointment. The request to the Wikimedia Foundation is to support the salary of the Wikipedian-In-Residence for the 12 months term.

- Reach out to Wikipedia volunteers through African Wikipedia communities to serve as mentors to the course participants

- Run campaigns to build awareness and get massive buy-in of librarians and their communities of users about the place and value of Wikipedia in information seeking and research, and generate interest in the forthcoming training for African librarians using OCLC adapted curriculum and materials.

- Adapt OCLC online training curriculum (Wikipedia + Libraries: Better together), modules design and program materials for approximately 300 librarians in Africa (10 each in 30 countries) where AfLIA has membership. The training will be stepped down with translations for French and Portuguese speaking countries (such as Angola and Guinea Bissau). This will be done by a committee of librarians for the respective languages mentioned.

- Translate the adapted curriculum, modules design and training materials into French for librarians in French speaking countries – Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Congo Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasha, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali and Senegal. - Deliver the online training program (English and French) through the AfLIA Moodle platform, acquire proficiencies and skills in line with goals of the project and build a network of the participating librarians into an online Wikipedia community of practice. The network will be encouraged to share and learn among themselves while receiving support from the project team for their practical assignments and Wikipedian engagements with their user communities. - As the training progresses with practical assignments of Wikipedia programmes, the project team will choose libraries from each region in Africa as a focus group that will be studiously followed up and guided to be case studies of what worked, what did not work in the training and the impact of Wikipedia on communities. - - Make the adapted and reviewed training program curriculum, modules design and resources in English and French freely available on AfLIA website for other librarians and their user communities who wish to engage with the content either for direct use or to adapt at the end of the project. - Evaluate the project and write up appropriate reports.

2. - Collaborations between Wikipedians in Africa and African libraries at least in 10 African countries - Use of library resources and facilities to to run Wikipedia programs in 40 libraries in different African countries - We hope that by the end of the project at least 150 more librarians will join in the 1lib1ref campaign - More edits and articles from African librarians and the user communities of their libraries

Do you have any goals around participation or content?[edit]

Are any of your goals related to increasing participation within the Wikimedia movement, or increasing/improving the content on Wikimedia projects? If so, we ask that you look through these three metrics, and include any that are relevant to your project. Please set a numeric target against the metrics, if applicable. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

  • Our target is 300 participants for the online training
  • 300 newly registered users
  • 100 content pages created or improved across all Wikimedia projects
  • At least 100 librarians joining the 1lib1ref campaign in January 2021

Project plan[edit]


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

Preliminaries: July 2020 – December 2020[edit]

  • Hire a Wikipedian-in-Residence
  • Adapt existing OCLC curriculum (Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together), modules/instructional design and training materials and make them suitable for African librarians. An example could be infusing activities of WikiAfrica projects and programs into the curriculum as assignments. This would help the librarians to fit into local Wikipedia communities who in turn will use libraries as friendly, accommodating spaces for their activities.
  • Reach out to Wikipedia volunteers through African Wikipedia communities to serve as mentors to the participants
  • Translation of the reviewed curriculum, modules design and materials into French
  • Development of publicity materials about the value and importance of Wikipedia in information dissemination and research as well as those that will make librarians curious and ready to be part of the upcoming training programming
  • Publicity thrusts on available platforms to create massive awareness and buy-in of the training programme. Webinars are starting already on 20th February to create awareness of the importance of the use of Wikipedia in libraries. Blog posts, articles and posts on the social media will (webinars, blogs, articles, presentations, social media)

Online Training for approximately 300 librarians (10 each from 30 African countries): January 2021 – May 2021[edit]

  • Send out call for participants from Benin Republic, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa, Egypt, Eswatini, Gabon Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Enrol them for the training program.
  • Publish training materials of the different modules on the Moodle platform. Enrol participants to the platform, teach them how it works and distribute pre-training survey for evaluation purposes.
  • Hold recorded live online sessions using Zoom facilities with all participants on the different modules which will be posted on AfLIA’s YouTube channel. Have mentor groups, with the project team and volunteers as mentors. This is to ensure that the participants have people to follow them up as they put into practice what they learn in the live sessions and to build connections. Participants, mentors, the Wikipedian in Residence and other members of the project team will have spaces on the Moodle platform where they chat, compare notes and help the participants go through the training successfully.
  • Build a focus group among the participants that will be studiously followed up and guided to be case studies of what worked, what did not work in the training and the impact of Wikipedia on communities.
  • Prep participants to join in the AfLIA preconference Wikipedia training in May 2021 as volunteer facilitators, and lead in activities for the 2021 African Librarians Week. Both activities are in the MoU between AfLIA and the Wikimedia Library.
  • Feedback surveys for participants
  • COVID-19 Planning Generally, the current lockdown and pause in traveling all over the world barely affects the AfLIA grant application. A physical meeting between the proposed Wikipedian in Residence and the AfLIA Training Committee can be held online bearing in mind the COVID-19 pandemic. All training sessions are originally meant to be accessed online and this serves well in the present times. Physical sessions with the participants can now take place in May, 2021 during the AfLIA conference in Accra.

Post Training evaluation June–July 2021[edit]

  • Post Training survey for participants and mentors
  • Update curriculum based on feedback from participants, post-training survey results, and observations of the project team, Wikipedian in Residence and mentors.
  • Publish observations, figures and stories that emanated from the focus group as case studies as well as other resources on activities/programs carried out during the course

Program Evaluation: August–October 2021[edit]

  • Structure evaluation questions to assess preliminaries, the online training program, and outcomes
  • Conduct evaluation activities and collect data
  • Analysis and reports


How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. (You can create a table later if needed.) Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too!

WiR Salary 1500 12 18000 A monthly stipened for the WiR
Research 6000 1 6000 Pre-training research to ascertain the skillsets and opinions (level of IT skills, interests, biases towards Wikipedia, expectations, opportunities to integrate their communities with Wikipedia, etc.) of the targetted audience
Evaluation 3000 2 6000 A two part evaluation (2 different stages) will be done to measure progress and impact during and after program launch
Social Security 450 12 5400 Benefits of the WiR
Translation 2000 1 2000 For translation into Portuguese and French to ensure reach to every part of Africa
Internet 90 12 1080 Monthly internet stipened for WiR
Online Promotion 700 1 700 Promotion on social media and creating or marketing materials for the project
Souvenirs 2000 1 2000 Printing of souvenirs for awarding usage of the platform
WIR Travel 2000 1 2000 Travel for WiR to present the project at the AfLIA conference in 2021
Miscellaneous 4918 1 4918 10% of total funds for any unforseen circumstances

$47,498 to hire a Wikipedian in Residence for a single term of 12 months. The funds are to cover the salary and benefits of the WiR who will bring in subject expertise, experience as well as working connections with Wikipedia communities in Africa. It will also cover other relational costs to the project.

Community engagement[edit]

Community input and participation helps make projects successful. How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve during your project?
AfLIA has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Wikimedia Library. A series of webinars has been planned to run from 20th February through to April, 23rd to create awareness about the role of Wikipedia in libraries and how African librarians stand to serve their user communities better using Wikipedia. Also, as part of the agreement, there will be an African Librarians Week. All these activities will greatly assist librarians to key into the course. This project is primarily for public librarians in Africa as they work in spaces where everyone can gain access to information irrespective of status. Some of these libraries are located in rural communities and serve as the major hub of educational activities and the only source of free or cheap Internet. However, some African countries do not have vibrant public library systems. Consequently, academic librarians in Africa will also form part of the target audience of this project as they serve as research and information hubs for their institutions. Thus, the activities outlined previously will involve librarians in African public and academic libraries. The proposed participants will be informed through AfLIA’s communication channels with African librarians. Also, to strengthen ties between African librarians and Wikipedia, AfLIA has reached out to Wiki in Africa, Wiki Loves Women, African Wikimedians and libraries@lists through the Director of Human Capacity Development and Training. We look forward to inputs from these groups on how to make the project a success.

Get involved[edit]


Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.

  • Helena Asamoah-Hassan – She will provide financial oversight of the project as Executive Director, AfLIA. She had handled projects from PLA-ALA and Global Libraries.(User:AfLIA Librarian)
  • Nkem Osuigwe – Training Director, AfLIA who has worked on different online training programmes of AfLIA as a mentor, content developer. She will work closely with the Wikipedian in Residence for the adaptation of he OCLC curriculum and course materials, deployment of the course materials online and enrolment of the participants (User:AfricanLibrarian)
  • Stanley Boakye-Achampong – Research coordinator, AfLIA has expertise in monitoring and evaluation. He is also a member of AfLIA’s communication team (User:SBAbigstan).
  • Doreen Appiah – Program Officer, AfLIA. She will work with the Training Director and Wikipedian in Residence to keep track of activities and participants in the course (User:DoreenAppiah).
  • Felix Nartey - General Advisor and link up for Wikipedia communities in Africa
  • Volunteer I would love to partake in the project through learning and being able to pass on the knowledge to other librarians in my community in order to improve scholarly publications. Olabisi11 (talk) 08:24, 7 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Volunteer I want to be part of the training and sharing the knowledge with others Olamighty18 (talk) 09:27, 7 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Volunteer I would love to be part of the project to contribute to the training of Librarians in my country, as well as to help organise wikipedia outreaches /edithatons. Omorodion1 (talk) 13:54, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

Community notification[edit]

Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc. Need notification tips?


Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • Support Support Seems like a well thought out and very worthwhile initiative, in a part of the world where we are under-represented, and which itself is underepresented in our work. (I do think the budget needs more details - how much is for the salary, how much for overheads, etc0Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:48, 20 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support I met Nkem Osuigwe at the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) conference last year in Greece and I follow her on Twitter. I have no doubt that her involvement and oversight will result in a high impact result and build enthusiasm and engagement among librarians in Africa for contributing to Wikipedia. Bridges2Information (talk) 18:51, 21 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support -Mozucat (talk) 22:05, 6 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong supportDumbassman (talk) 16:35, 12 July 2020 (UTC)