Grants:Project/Rapid/ALA Annual 2018 Edit-a-Thon/Report
Did you meet your goals? Are you happy with how the project went?
This was the first American Libraries Association annual conference that had several Wikipedia events happening throughout the conference schedule. The events that I worked with the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibility Round Table on included a workshop on how to edit Wikipedia, a mini edit-a-thon after the workshop, and a traditional edit-a-thon at a local historic public library in New Orleans near the convention center.
I enjoyed doing this work very much. I helped some librarians with Wikipedia anxiety do some bold things that they had not before considered doing. I was also surprised at the number of librarians interested in organizing edit-a-thons at their institutions without any knowledge of how to edit Wikipedia. So I had a lot of great conversations with people, and answered all of their questions. I believe that they are more aware now that Wikipedia is a community as well as a resource, and that they will have to reach out to local Wikipedans through MeetUps in their state as well as user groups if their Wikipedia base is large enough to sustain one.
We met almost all of our goals, and also made some mistakes along the way. I will learn from these mistakes to do better next time.
* Expand network of potential partners
MET. The American Libraries Association, particularly several of its divisions and roundtables, would definitely be a partner in Wikimedia / Wikipedia initiatives. In addition to the workshops and edit-a-thons that I organized with the Social Responsibility Roundtable (SRRT), the ALA division Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) and the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL) organized two other Wikipedia-related presentations during the conference time. Merilee Profitt from OCLC was present at the conference and came to help out at the combined workshop/edit-a-thon that I facilitated at the convention center. After our activities and the interest at them, I believe that it would be a good idea for the Wikimedia Foundation to do more collaborative work with ALA as well as IFLA to expand Wikipedia education.
* Increase awareness of Wikimedia projects
MET. All librarians who attended the workshop and/or the edit-a-thons learned not only about how to edit, but also about WikiProjects in their subject areas, how to locate MeetUps where they live, Wikimedia Commons, WikiData, and how to apply for funding for edit-a-thons. They also learned about different Wikipedia campaigns such as Art + Feminism, Wiki Loves Pride, #1lib1ref, and how to develop a campaign of their local interest.
* Recruit new editors
MET. We recruited 5 new editors, which seems small, but is actually mighty because these editors want to organize edit-a-thons in their areas. Some of the new editors worked in places where they would have access to large Wikipedia community, such as Boston or the University of Illinois. Other editors worked in small towns and want to improve Wikipedia articles about local history and landmarks of their region.
* Increase librarian engagement in Wikimedia projects
MET. The fact that ALA allotted multiple slots in their conference schedule for Wikipedia events already says a lot. The fact that librarians took time out of their conference schedule for Wikipedia events was huge.
* Build national Wikipedian librarian network in the United States
NOT MET. This will, of course, take much longer than a week. As a member of the Wikipedia Library User Group Steering Committee, however, I believe that we will make this happen eventually. My experience promoting and facilitating Wikipedia events at the conference, however, made me think of appropriate strategies to do this.
Please report on your original project targets.
|Target outcome||Achieved outcome||Explanation|
|Number of presentation attendees: 20 or more||MET. At the workshop and edit-a-thon, we had 20 librarians participate.||The ALA annual conference has multiple events going on at all times, with a lot of competition for attendee attention.|
|Number of new potential partners: At least one of the sixteen groups that liaise with the Office of Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, as well as ALA's Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), and PLA (Public Libraries Association).||MET. ACRL and LITA (Library and Information Technology Association) have partnered on Wikimedia related programming at ALA Annual, and would be open to doing more in the future. The Social Responsibility Roundtable (SRRT) as well as the GLBT Roundtable (GLBTRT) would also be interested in doing more with Wikipedia in the future.||Multiple librarians at ALA, from different divisions and roundtables, were responsible for Wikipedia-related programming at the conference. What we could have done better, however, was to find out who else was proposing this programming so that our events did not conflict, and so that we could work together better in promoting one another's events.|
|Number of outreach activity participants: 20 or more||MET. At the workshop and edit-a-thons, we had 20 librarians participate.||The ALA annual conference has multiple events going on at all times, with a lot of competition for attendee attention. I had reached out to Black Lunch Table, as well as New Orleans Wikipedians, in preparation for this event, but no one had responded and no local Wikipedians or other interested parties from New Orleans came to our edit-a-thon at the public library. I actively tweeted about the ALA Wikipedia events to conference attendees, the New Orleans public library system, and other interested parties to like and retweet the information.|
|Number of new editors: 20 or more||NOT MET. Only 5 new editors.||The ALA annual conference has multiple events going on at all times, with a lot of competition for attendee attention. At the same time, we had veteran editors from multiple parts of the country come together and talk about their experiences and exchange knowledge with peers, which was helpful. When we organized the edit-a-thon at the public library, there was a lot that we did not know about it, or the space. If we had known what was in the space we would have promoted the event to the children's and young adult librarians, as well as the international librarians, because the space contained a large special children's book collection from France. None of the organizers of the event were from New Orleans and did not think to ask about the space aside from Internet access in the space and outlets. We will remember to do this next time if we schedule an event in an unfamiliar library.|
|Number of of articles created or improved: 20 or more||Participants at the edit-a-thons were either very new or needed to do a great deal of research in order to improve or create articles. During the edit-a-thon at the public library, because it was unfamiliar to all who attended, we needed to orient ourselves with the library's website and databases, which also took time.|
Projects do not always go according to plan. Sharing what you learned can help you and others plan similar projects in the future. Help the movement learn from your experience by answering the following questions:
*What worked well?
I had a good team of people to work with in organizing the events in a location with which I was completely unfamiliar. We also had generated a terrific list of women in library history who needed articles or needed article improvement or updates. If we do not get them all, our MeetUp page would definitely serve as a starting point for other Wikipedians who want to organize a women-oriented edit-a-thon. I could also give this list to Wiki Women in Red to find out how many people would be interested in working on them.
*What did not work so well?
We lost some promotion opportunities simply because we were unfamiliar with the public library and its collections, and also because we could not connect with the local Wikipedians in the area. The massive number of events happening all at once also impacted our attendance. We did not know that the GLBT Roundtable was hosting a social during our edit-a-thon at the public library, and this took away some interested new and veteran editors.
*What would you do differently next time?
If I organize and facilitate edit-a-thons in unfamiliar places, I would ask a lot more questions about the spaces to find out what would be of interest to different groups. I also would work more with other groups to make sure that popular events would not be scheduled at the same time.
Grant funds spent
Please describe how much grant money you spent for approved expenses, and tell us what you spent it on.
I had originally applied for $943.91 based on estimated costs for travel, lodging, and food.
What I ended up spending:
|Travel||Groome Transportation, shuttle from St Cloud to MSP = $43.70 (round trip); Spirit Airlines, roundtrip from MSP to MSY = $300.48; Downtown airport shuttle from MSY to Hotel = $44.00;||$388.18|
|Room and board||Reservation for 4 nights at the Royal St Charles Hotel; 4 nights||$433.68|
|TOTAL COST||Travel, Room and board, Food||$883.81||'|
Do you have any remaining grant funds?
$943.91 - $883.81 = $60.10
Note from WMF: Based on an accounting error, WMF reimbursed grantee $898.22. With $883.81 spent, the correct underspend amount is $14.41.
The $60.10 can go back to the Wikimedia Foundation. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for a grant.
Anything else you want to share about your project?