Grants talk:IEG/The Wikipedia Library/Midpoint

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IEG review.png

This midpoint report has been accepted. Congratulations on completing the first 3 months of this Individual Engagement Grant!


Thanks for this report. It's interesting, and I can sympathise with your increased inability to keep all of the balls in the air all of the time. Especially when it comes to all those access logins... because I applied for some access to something a while back (can't even remember what it was now) and now reading your report I realize I have not used it (sorry!). I am a HUGE user of google books and other references online. I really thought I would use the access once I had it, but taking the energy to log in to view papers that are not easily searchable turned out to be a pain in the xxx. Plus, I am increasingly able to get my information elsewhere, so why bother? I really like the idea of hooking Wiki(p/m)edians up with their local libraries. I use mine quite a bit, even though their physical selection is rather poor. Their online access is great and from home I can make a specific request through them. I think it would be interesting to make this aspect the new focus, i.e. bring more Wikipedians in contact with the resources available to them locally that they may not know of (locally could be state-wide or country-wide as well as the town library). I would go ahead and delegate the login access back to the institutions, where they track and grant the access to the Wikipedians on some sort of project sign-up sheet you provide. That may ease up your schedule a bit, no? Jane023 (talk) 17:08, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your feedback Jane! Indeed, connecting editors to their local libraries is a primary goal (one of the big 5) of The Wikipedia Library. We have not delegated login access to the institutions because it's a far easier pitch to make to them if we manage the account donations and they don't have to deal with the hassle of it. I think the right fix here is to delegate the management to other trusted Wikipedians besides me to handle the signups, distribution, and management. It shouldn't be too hard to find editors willing to pitch in. Cheers, Ocaasi (talk) 12:46, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Feedback and approval[edit]

Hi Ocaasi, thanks for this thoughtful and engaging report! I have a few comments/thoughts:

  • I greatly appreciated the detail you've given us, in walking us through your thinking and execution of the project, the methodologies you've chosen and are still exploring, and the learnings you've gained. Consolidating and improving the Wikipedia Library process is significant work, and the report certainly brings it to life. I might have your lines embossed on a Grants t-shirt: "This reporting process is begrudgingly extremely useful. It gives shape and story to so many hours of toil. I hate to do it, but I love when it's done." And when it's as well-explained as this, so do we :-)
  • The clear outcomes are very helpful, with solid data but also the reasoning behind the data. The new portal looks great (and yes, with so many of the design elements that make the Teahouse and the IEG hub stand out), and with the new tools, I'm already looking forward to the survey you've planned around usability, satisfaction and overall impact of TWL.
  • The time and effort taken to sustain existing partnerships and create new ones is often overlooked, but the work you've done on that front (while simultaneously working at improving the online environment) is impressive. Just a minor point: I'd suggest editing your typo in the section heading 'Exi(s)ting Partnerships' since thanks to your work, no one is exiting. :-) If you haven't already done so, it might be a great idea to send your midpoint report to those you're coordinating with in these partnerships; I'm sure they'll be equally energised by the progress.
  • I'm glad to see you're on (or under) budget, and are thinking creatively about how to improve the project and bring on the complementing skills of a library specialist. This sounds like a good idea to me. Would bringing this person on change your next steps and intended outcomes at all, or were you factoring their work into what you have planned?
  • I particularly enjoyed your openness in thinking about scale, as an initiative like this takes on life beyond what you might be able to manage on your own. I see this as a really exciting possibility of good IEG grants, and I think it's a conversation worth having more broadly with the IEG committee, grantees, community at large and Grantmaking staff. I'll work with Siko on thinking about how to do this best.

So congratulations and thank you, for all your work these past few months, and for a great report! I approve this midpoint report, and look forward to the next steps. Thanks, ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 17:07, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Hi Anasuya! Thanks for this lovely and detailed feedback.
You're welcome. And all the best for the next few months! Quick response to your survey question below. ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 23:41, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Everything I said about the reporting process is true: it's a process I love to hate and always benefit from ;)
  • I'm a bit confused about the 'survey around usability, satisfaction, and overall impact of TWL'. I hadn't planned such a survey and am not sure who exactly I would target. I do collect voluntary feedback from recipients of account donations, but other than that I hadn't considered doing a general survey. It's a neat idea and I could link to it on the WP:TWL portal for anyone who wanders by. I'm happy to discuss this and think about implementation with Siko's guidance.
  • Hi Ocaasi, the survey I was referring to was the one on your proposal form as a measure of success: "Qualitative survey research of TWL participants to determine impact on activity and satisfaction". In any case, I do think it's a good idea, depending on an easy way to implement it on the TWL portal; it'll give you some indication of both quantitative and qualitative responses to the changes you've made, and offer a baseline for long-term work on TWL. ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 23:41, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Ah yes, Anasuya. That survey was lost in my brain midway between the initial and final stages of planning and I passed over it in the mix of all the organizing. I do think I'm in a good position to briefly survey the 1000+ editors who have received accounts through TWL. This would be a great opportunity to get some baseline data about usage and satisfaction and future possibilities. I will work towards doing this in month 5 so I have some data to work through for the final report. Thanks for the reminder ;) Ocaasi (talk) 14:45, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I fixed that typo, what a goof!
  • I really like the idea of sending partners the midpoint report. It's a great way to give them a sense of the scope and momentum of their participation.
  • Thanks much for approving the Library Specialist reallocation. That individual would indeed assist me in advancing the next steps and intended outcomes as listed. I'm going to be drafting a contract and set of objectives with him this week and if there's anything new to add to the list I'll update the midpoint report. I'll also create an on-wiki record of our work together.
  • The potential scale of this project is both excited and overwhelming. I think the biggest trick is just to bring on board more great people and constantly seek out the guidance of experts and those smarter and more knowledgeable than me (always helps).
Thanks for your feedback. I'll keep you posted on progress throughout the next 3 months. Best, Ocaasi (talk) 12:46, 1 October 2013 (UTC)