Grants:Project/KellyDoyle/Engaging Academic Librarians and Sororities to Address the Gender Gap

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Engaging Academic Librarians and Sororities to Address the Gender Gap
summaryWe aim to continue the work of our Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity through creating opportunities for scholarly engagement and community outreach both within and outside our institution to bring awareness to the gender gap and creating content about women on Wikipedia.
targetWikipedia English
type of grantoffline programs and events
amount52,420.00 USD
type of applicantorganization
this project needs...
created on13:37, 14 March 2017 (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.

WVU Libraries received an Inspire Grant from the Wikimedia Foundation for 2015-16 which allowed us to engage our campus community in the use of Wikipedia to address the gender gap. Our project was not only aimed at alleviating the gender gap on Wikipedia, but also focused on locating opportunities for embedment within the classroom. This outreach was successful in showing us many opportunities for engagement that exist inside and outside our institution. Outreach to librarians and sorority students on campus was found to be most successful in engaging students to work towards closing the editor and gender based content gaps on Wikipedia.[1] Our next task is to institutionalize this work further by building dynamic models for other academic libraries to adopt that creates cohesion between gender gap based solutions and instructional models. We recognize and are excited by the great opportunity that exists for academic libraries to lead and connect higher education to Wikipedia.

The success of our initial project, and the strong partnerships created through our Wikipedian in Residence, has allowed for creative problem solving towards the gender gap and identifying the place of academic libraries in building solutions integral to the Wikimedia community. We believe that a second project which combines instructional design, information literacy, Wikipedia editing, and gender equity will create cohesion within higher education that will build infrastructure to scale both the gender gap and the role of academic libraries within the Wikimedia community.

For this new project to succeed, we need to continue fostering new partnerships with varied partners within academia, including academic libraries and other information professionals. These collaborations will enable these partners (and others) to add Wikipedia editing and contribution into the repertoire of work they do with students and faculty, in and out of the classroom. Most importantly, this grant will enable our Wikipedian in Residence to develop training and instructional tools that will be easily adoptable by faculty, students, and librarians in higher education contexts to allow for growth of the larger Wikipedia community.

The WiR’s successful efforts were supplemented by strong support from the Dean of Libraries as well as enthusiastic partners inside and outside of West Virginia University. Now we wish to integrate that success into the broader culture of higher education. We aim to do this through the creation of infrastructure to support the development of a more seamless experience for future Wikipedia engagement and growth at academic institutions, with the expectation that these initiatives will be housed in academic libraries. As the role of the WiR continues to expand and more and more of the academic library constituency is becoming interested in integrating Wikipedia into their instructional and professional paradigms, the need for the WiR to focus on more broadly based, strategic outreach, and the need for a well-defined pedagogical approach to Wikipedia to allow library professionals to successfully execute instruction self-sufficiently and independently of the WiR’s immediate presence and intervention is becoming more and more apparent. Similarly, the Wikimedia community would benefit from well-designed materials that grow out of the day to day, in-depth experience gained from full time, fully engaged residents funded through grants it has given. We hope that through this grant, we will develop materials that grow regional support within higher education through demonstrating and testing our new materials with academic deans, professors, librarians, and students near us. Teaching and consulting with these groups will begin to market the new training materials while simultaneously ensuring we are developing for a wide audience and that the materials transfer well to different audiences. Doing this will allow our immediate partners to host edit-a-thons and campus-wide initiatives independently, once buy-in has been established through the training materials and relationship building of the WiR.

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.

Our plan is twofold: to create a new division within the WVU Libraries focused on instructional design with the WiR working as part of this unit in service of pedagogically minded approaches to Wikipedia, and to grow the advocacy work of our WiR at three other partner institutions in support of institutionalized approaches to Wikipedia within higher education. We believe that Wikipedia literacy and events such as edit-a-thons are fundamentally instructional events; therefore, we will create programs that teach administrators, professors, librarians, and students to become self-sufficient Wikipedia users, and most importantly, competent organizers for sustained growth after the close of the grant. These groups in turn will further expand the academic Wikipedia editor base by integrating these instructional programs into their ongoing student orientation and course-related information literacy instruction, through their respective institution. Moving forward, this will also prepare them to host their own events.

Through this new department, the WiR will create pedagogically sound materials for students, librarians, professors, and academic administrators that will be tested throughout the life of the grant. Any editing events organized or hosted throughout the grant, will serve as a test case for the success of these materials; with the expectation being that the training documents will be refined throughout this process in order to deliver polished and workable products upon completion of the grant term. These materials, coupled with the infrastructure building throughout this year, has vast potential to scale at universities globally through the learning process and implementation of this grant.

As an embedded employee of our university, the WiR can build and create momentum and buy-in that a volunteer may not be able to. For instance, the Dean of a college will be more inclined to host a meeting with the library and WiR, and to consider their insights for effecting the curriculum and programming of the college than they would from someone who they may not see as having the expertise to understand their goals. Since her position is specifically centered around organizing and advocacy, and not to her own individual contributions to Wikipedia, she will focus on bringing Wikipedia understanding and initiatives that can exist at these institutions far past the year proposed in this grant. The hope is, that through a larger understanding of how Wikipedia is perceived and can be utilized within higher education, the stronger our movement's participation within academia can be.

Our solution is a multi-pronged approach:

  1. We will strategically integrate the work of the WiR into student life through collaboration with sororities at three partner institutions. At our campus and others across the country, Greek organizations require members to engage in service hours each semester to retain membership. We will offer workshop and edit-a-thon opportunities to members of our sororities so that they can complete contributions to Wikipedia that enhance the representation of women in Wikipedia (for content coverage and as contributors) in exchange for service hours. This will help us to continue our commitment to building gender equity. The university gains a community of socially and academically engaged students, while the sorority students gain experience and the service credit required of them. Moreover, the Wikimedia movement gains skilled and engaged women to close both the editor and content based gender gap on Wikipedia. We will also be able to learn from these events and feedback from students to create training documents for future use in this setting.
  2. We will document and share our experiences of integration and sorority engagement out to three other partner institutions to test our ideas and the training materials, advocacy, and development that we are building in new environments to ensure these are useful to a wide audience.
  3. We want to further integrate the work of the WiR in the WVU Library in order to align her with individuals who can further the global mission of this work. We will do this through reorganization within the library and placing the WiR in a new part of the organization that will highlight her work as part of our educational outreach. We have created a new department: The Office of Curriculum and Instructional Development (OCID) whose purpose is to support WVU Libraries’ curriculum of information literacy and instruction programs and projects, digital applications of library instruction, and librarian professional development related to curriculum and instruction. The WiR’s work of Wikipedia literacy fits within this curriculum of information literacy and will add richness to this Office’s work while placing Wikipedia literacy in the library organization.
  4. We hope to build strong partnerships within the library system to assist the work of the WiR. Most academic libraries, including WVUL, have a liaison system wherein librarians are assigned to liaise with specific academic colleges or departments. These subject librarians provide for many of the information needs of the department including course-related presentations to help students carry out the research requirements of the course. We will have subject librarians attend some of the classroom workshops that the WiR does on campus. Our subject liaison system will allow the WiR to partner with the librarian assigned to work with the academic department in which the class is situated. This will allow the librarians to learn from the WiR how contributing to Wikipedia helps address some of the learning outcomes of the course and provide them with creative new approaches to their own information literacy instruction. It will provide the WiR the opportunity to offer students additional support for research techniques from librarians that will enhance their contributions. This networking will also impact and inform the materials that are the primary outcome of the grant.

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.

  1. We plan to build flexible training materials that Wikipedians and other campuses can learn from and consider adopting to support, create, and develop Wikipedia editors in a gender equitable manner both inside and outside of the classroom.
  2. These materials will cater to students, librarians, professors, and academic administrators who support editing, teaching, and understanding Wikipedia, and we will provide advocacy support for creating buy-in across campus. These materials will be made available through CC licensing and will be designed by our WiR and the head of Curriculum and Instruction at WVU Libraries.
  3. We will create a rubric for assessing the amount of service credit earned for Wikipedia contribution based on content quality. This will support future efforts to work with sororities and other student life efforts aimed at students becoming volunteer editors.
  4. The testing of these materials on other campuses will also help us scale partnerships with sorority students who receive service credit for editing articles about women on Wikipedia and expanding to additional institutions in conjunction with library partnerships. Travel and training provided by our WiR in order to build infrastructure at other institutions will support the advocacy materials through learning a variety of barriers and concerns that might prevent adoption of Wikipedia support on campuses.
  5. We hope to have Wikipedia contribution become an integral part of librarians' instructional repertoire during information literacy orientation, training, and instruction throughout the WVU system, including partner and satellite institutions.
  6. We wish to establish libraries as leaders in ongoing support for, and advocacy of contribution to, and use of, Wikipedia in the academic community. We anticipate that robust support for, and development of, volunteer contributors in this context will lead to increased numbers of editors – some of whom are involved because of the ongoing work on campus, and who might wish to remain engaged throughout their lives.

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:

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.

During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)

Success will be measured in various ways:

  • A set of lesson plans, assignments, activities, and advocacy materials that are articulated within the framework of information literacy for easier adoption by librarians. These will be cc licensed and available in open access environments, such as Wikimedia Commons and the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox which many librarians are using to share ideas for how they can teach information literacy. There may be other venues we discover for placing these materials in the flow of work of academics and student support units.
  • Qualitative feedback by librarians, student organizations, faculty and academic administrators who partner with the WiR. This will involve documenting and distilling conversations with partners to better understand the particular factors that made adoption of Wikipedia into their repertoire of service and instruction valuable or successful. Likewise, it will help us tease out any barriers to adoption so we can better learn how to cope with or overcome such issues as a movement. These materials will inform revision and further development of the training documents to ensure we are addressing all concerns.
  • Survey feedback from students who engage in this work regarding their satisfaction and likeliness to continue as editors.

Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.)

We hope that through this grant, both training and advocacy materials will be created that can be used throughout the Wikimedia community. Our intention is that these materials will empower volunteers within our global community to approach academic institutions to initiate Wikipedia initiatives. Since these materials will serve as a primer to Wikipedia in academia and as training materials to hosting events in this setting, we feel that these can and will be easily translatable for this purpose.

We envision the impact of this grant as far reaching into the future, with this impact coming directly from the testing of our materials at various academic institutions throughout the year so that these materials include as many situational examples as possible. Furthermore, we will include gender based training materials within this scope as it relates to academia and solutions that higher education can provide through their resources, for which the sorority and student life partnership is paramount.

After this grant term ends, we will have lesson plans, assignments, activities and models that are articulated within the information literacy framework that is familiar to librarians. This articulation will allow for adoption more readily by other libraries and librarians who can serve as advocates on their own campuses. This project can then continue and expand to other universities based on the outcomes and strategies learned from this foundation setting project.

Once librarians have seen models articulated within the framework of information literacy, and have seen the outreach provided to sororities specifically to close the gender gap, they will begin to envision new models and new audiences most appropriate to their own campus environments. Additionally, the student participants will catch on to these practices and may develop community around editing activities that can provide new engagement opportunities in their organizations. The relationship of libraries and sororities is a new model as well and may encourage these groups to reach out to each other on campuses nationally. We view our model and the resources we build as foundational and will allow others to continue this work in ways we might not even be able to currently envision.

There’s significant potential for the WMF to continue this work at the close of this project. Outreach with campus communities nationally can engage new cohorts of editors year by year. Once infrastructure and buy-in is created at a university, they can begin the process of sustaining editors through coordinated efforts between librarians, faculty, student life, and students to add quality, sources content to Wikipedia articles about women.

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 goals are less focused on numbers and more focused on building sustainable infrastructure and momentum around Wikipedia in higher education. As we plan to engage many levels of higher education, our goals are centered around finding replicable models for Wikipedia within this setting, especially within student life and libraries. We hope that our findings and training materials developed over the life of the grant will be used to further the mission and use of Wikipedia in these arenas for years to come.

We do anticipate that our number of participants will be quite large, although "participants" may be vaguely construed to mean an academic dean who may never edit Wikipedia over the course of the year, but who helps create paths with our WiR for institutionalization and cooperation for building these models. However, we do plan to host edit-a-thons with sorority students and librarians, with these groups working together to put quality information on Wikipedia, as these events are in service to our growth and understanding of a scalable model and successful training materials. Therefore, the numbers of "participants engaged" throughout our grant term is a more apt description of our goals in service to future, long-term sustained participation and content growth within higher education settings.

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?


June-July 2017 Develop online training materials in collaboration with Wikimedia foundation; develop areas for content development for work with sororities, librarians, and academics; develop easy surveys for participant feedback. Plan early August visits to partner institutions. Connect with partner institutions; phone conversations with administrators and librarians on those partner campuses to advocate for their endorsement and support.
August-September 2017 Visits to other campuses; joint events with partners; meet with campus administrators and senior departmental faculty in person, meet with librarians from those campuses to explain the mission and goals of the project. Schedule in-class sessions with librarians. Schedule workshops and edit-a-thons with sororities for the Fall 2017 semester. Begin holding workshops and class sessions at WVU and partner Institutions.
October - November 2017 Continue course engagements and sorority events. Ongoing support of librarians and instructional events. Ongoing partnership building with university administrators at partner institutions.
December 2017– January 2018 Conduct an evaluation of effectiveness of fall semester outreach at various campuses in order to generate six-month report, and further refine continuing methodologies; converse with collaborators to define roles and expectations for spring semester visits. Begin to refine drafted training materials based on 6 month report findings.
February - April 2018 Continue visits to other campuses; joint events with partners; outreach to campus administrators and senior departmental faculty and librarians from partner institutions. Continue in-class sessions with librarians. Schedule workshops and edit-a-thons with sororities during the Spring 2018 semester. Continue holding workshops and class sessions at WVU and partner institutions.
May - June 2018 Conduct end-of-grant evaluation. Supply Wikimedia with academic outreach models based on experiences. Help Wikimedia develop and continue to refine next steps for models. Report to Support & Safety team regarding harassment prevention techniques learned throughout the life of the grant.
Ongoing Attend both library and Wikipedia focused professional conferences nation and world-wide. Continue to conduct organizational outreach in the form of speaking engagements and panel participation with non-University affiliated stake-holder organizations.

WiR will visit each institution a total of 3 times over the course of the grant, totaling 9 visits. One visit per campus will occur in the late summer or early fall, and two visits per campus will occur during the spring semester once infrastructure is built.

What will you have done at the end of your project?

By the end of this project, we will have created a path to institutionalize Wikipedia within WVU Libraries; developed new outreach opportunities for recruiting volunteers and closing the gender gap on college campuses; developed models for how Wikipedia can continue to engage with campus communities; pilot this engagement on 3 additional campuses with library focused structure and extensive campus outreach.


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!

WVU Libraries is requesting 75% of the cost of the WiR Salary for the proposed grant term, with WVU Libraries contributing 25% of the WiR salary ($12,500) and fringe ($1,750). The WiR salary has increased since last year due to potential changes in the Federal Labor Standards Act that sought to increase the salary level at which positions could remain "exempt". In our context, it is important that the WiR be seen at a level that is recognized as professional by academics to lend credibility to her status and position in advocacy work. The travel costs we are requesting in the grant are for trips to test, try, and begin to market our training materials. These numbers are based on per diem rates that our institution uses to calculate travel. WVU Libraries will include 10% of Kelly Diamond's (Head of Curriculum and Instructional Development) time and 2% of Karen Diaz's (Associate Dean, WVU Libraries) time throughout the life of this grant to support the efforts of the WiR at WVU and partner institutions.

Bridge Salary from 11/15/16 – 6/15/17 (end of original grant term to projected start date of future grant), WVU Libraries has invested the amount below towards the continuation of the work of the WiR and implementation of Wikipedia initiatives campus wide. WVU Libraries is dedicated to continuing this programming and expanding it.

Salary: $28,924.55

Fringe: $4049.43

Total: $32,973.98

Category Description Total Amount (USD)
Travel Estimated travel; costs including mileage, costs for 9 trips to 3 campuses @ different rates. (Figure based on WVU per diem rates and two nights each trip. Also, prorated meals day of travel and day of return) $4485.00
Travel Incidentals (parking, Metro tickets, other)(rates for Columbus, Pittsburgh, Washington DC) $400.00
Travel Attend four conferences. Two library conferences, CNI 2018 and LOEX 201. Two Wikimedia conferences, WikiConference North America 2017 and WikiMania 2017 $4,785.00
Salary 75% of Salary for WiR @ $50,000.00 $37,500.00
Salary Fringe $5,250.00
Total $52,420.00

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?

How will you let others in your community know about your project?

  • WVU, WIR, and WMF Social Media, individual university promotions, sorority promotions, Wikipedia talk pages, Meta page for grant and project, mailing list, conference presentations.
  • Promotion will also be made possible through jointly branded training materials (WVU and WMF)
  • The Wikimedia community can follow the process of this project on Meta and provide feedback about draft stage training materials. A virtual community discussion session can be organized among Wikimedia volunteers who designate interest.
  • We will engage students through their sorority affiliations with the assistance of student life departments at each individual university for support (recruitment and implementation).

Why are you targeting a specific audience?

We are targeting university libraries in order to establish them as partners for advancement of Wikipedia within the context of their information literacy work across college campuses. Thanks to the innovative efforts of our WiR, we have discovered that sororities represent an untapped resource for community engagement and addressing the gender gap. As such, we plan to target sororities as a key mechanism for growing the pool of female volunteers. This work will also allow us to connect with student life departments: we want to pilot this work and determine that it is indeed replicable and begin to take steps to continue and to grow this engagement as a step towards building models for growth at universities nationally.  We believe this project is an effective and exciting way to begin to close the gender gap, while working with and training young students to edit Wikipedia, and coordinating with their institution to expand Wikipedia initiatives and knowledge at institutions of higher learning in the U.S. College campuses are fertile ground for developing lifelong Wikipedia volunteers. We are targeting the 3 named partners because these campuses are in close proximity, have an interest in this work, and have enough supports in place to allow us the ability to pilot our ideas there.

How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve during your project?

  • The creation of training materials will be a key source of initial and ongoing engagement. These materials will help define a methodological approach to engaging large groups of librarians and sorority students at the start of the project, and will continue to recruit from these pools throughout the duration of the project.
  • These materials will be available after the project concludes and can be used by colleges, libraries, and the Wikipedia Library to support any number of scenarios and initiatives to which they may be applicable.
  • Through the help of academic librarians, we can engage departments at the proposed universities, and our own, utilizing the relationships various librarians have throughout university systems.
  • Student life departments at each university will help match WiR outreach with interested sororities and other student groups beyond those that have previously been identified.
  • The WiR will reach out to upper level administrators and faculty in academic departments to provide further orientation and instruction within individual academic departments to expand institutional buy-in at WVU and in the academic community at large and attempting to create a widening body of institutional stake-holders in the Wikipedia movement. 
  • In-person outreach and coordination visits by the WiR to other universities will establish and help to advance key relationships that will facilitate our success and help to expand our aims.
  • Assistance from local, volunteer Wikipedians will help keep engagement with students and librarians growing while the WiR is off site.

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.

  • Kelly Doyle - Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity, WVU Libraries
  • Kelly Diamond - Head of Curriculum and Instructional Development, WVU Libraries
  • Karen Diaz - Associate Dean, WVU Libraries
  • American University Libraries
  • Ohio State University Libraries
  • University of Pittsburgh Libraries

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).

  • Building on the successes of the previous grant to grow and scale the sorority and librarian models makes a lot of sense. Grantee has shown herself to be a strong and competent asset to the movement, especially in addressing gender gaps. Siko (talk) 21:08, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Engaging new audiences to edit Wikipedia is vital to both closing the gender gap and perpetuating the existence of the encyclopedia. Gamaliel (talk) 21:54, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Nice work and a good, quality evaluation system in order to evaluate the impact. Doyle is known for her strong implementation of programming and activities and I expect the same with this opportunity. Missvain (talk) 21:57, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support I'm aware of the good work that Kelly Doyle is doing at WVU and its impact. It's time to replicate some of that across other campuses. --Rosiestep (talk) 23:54, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support Kelly has done great work at WVU so far, and I'm looking forward to her efforts being expended at WVU and also brought to other campuses (especially Ohio State, which I currently attend!). ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 04:35, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support Support - I am available to help at Edit-a-thons Barbara (WVS) (talk) 14:28, 7 September 2017 (UTC)


  1. "Grants:IEG/Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity/Final - Meta". Retrieved 2017-03-14.