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Grants:TPS/Thelmadatter/Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials/Report

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Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials 2013 conference

Description of your participation: I was asked to do two things at the conference, a presentation on what working with Wikipedia/Wikimedia is about and a workshop to get people started at least with basic editing. This was a long conference, six days with one event near the beginning of the time and the other near the end. In between, I made use of the time meeting people, even wearing my less-than-subtle Wikipedia Education t shirt (actually it was quite useful) on one of the days. Most of the other attendees were from U.S. university libraries, but there were a number of other professionals from various parts of Latin America and Spain. People I made contact with include Dr. Abul K. Bashirullah of the Universidad de Oriente, Venezuela, Fernando Lopez of CLACSO (an online database in Argentina), Emilio del Valle Escalante (keynote speaker) of UNC Chapel Hill, Fred G. Morgner of Literatura de Vientos Tropicales, Jade Kara Mishler of the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica, Guatemala; Ellen Jaramillo of Yale University, Laura D. Shedenhelm of the University of Georgia, Antonio Sotomayer of the U of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Lissette Ruiz Contreras of the Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica and Roberto Delgadillo of UC-Davis. In addition, I had the chance to sit with the woman who requested our presence at the event Wendy Griffin an independent anthropologist who has worked in Honduras for over 25 years. After showing her how to get started editing Wikipedia (she had already started doing some outreach to Iberocoop and others), her comment was "I can see how you can get addicted to this."

What lessons were learned that could help others in similar events? What went best was the networking. Although an event principally for librarians, there were more than a couple of educationally inclined presentations, including one by Lisa Gardinier of the U of Iowa. She presented on using featured and good articles in Spanish Wikipedia for intermediate and upper level Spanish classes there. She gave me a copy of her Powerpoint which I forwarded to Liana Davis. I also asked her to write an article for the wiki version of the Education newsletter. The one problem I had was that although I wanted and really tried, the conference scheduled my workshop at the beginning of the conference, way before my general presentation and before I could try to drum up interest otherwise. Therefore I had only 5 or six people at that workshop and only two had computers. In the future, it does not make sense to have a workshop before a presentation, at least not until the use of Wikipedia academically is well-enough known to eliminate the need to "sell" the idea.

What impact did your participation have on the Wikimedia Mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation?

This was a conference for libraries either in Latin America or responsible for collections related to the region. One major preoccupation of this demographic is how to disseminate information about this area's history, culture, people, etc. Although this was not about creating content, I was able to chat with most of the 100+ attendees, either related to my talks or simply attending the conference events. Since most librarians were from universities, I could use my experience as a professor with the Education Program to let them know that Wikipedia is a viable learning platform. I can continue this with those I talked to the most (listed above). However, our best best is Wendy Griffin, which is not a bad deal as we have absolutely no organized activity yet in Central America. We have already agreed to co-write a paper about Wikipedia for a Central American linguistic journal.

Detail of expenditures: Airfare between Mexico City and Miami = 398.31 USD Hotel 6 nights = 450.06 USD

Total = 848.37 USD

About dead on ($8.37 over). Although I had to stay three more nights because of the scheduling situation and flight schedule, the airfare was $100 less than anticipated. Also, I did not have to pay for ground transport in Miami, thanks to a friend of mine who lives there.