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Nordic Wikimedia/Yearbook 2011/Page 02-03 GLAM flagships

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Wikipedians at Wikimania 2011 in Haifa, the yearly international Wikimedia Conference

Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing.
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia

Around the globe, Wikipedia and its sister projects are supported by individuals and organizations, who are working tirelessly to give more people access to free knowledge. Some people edit articles in Wikipedia, while others upload pictures to Wikimedia Commons. Others still organize in national Wikimedia associations ("chapters") to get things done on a larger scale. These Wikimedia chapters arrange conferences, attend conventions and start cooperations with government agencies, other non-government organizations, and cultural institutions.

Three of the more successful Wikimedia "chapters" are Wikimedia Sverige, Wikimedia Norge and Wikimedia Danmark.

This brochure highlights some of their latest projects.

Help us make free access to knowledge a reality for everyone everywhere!

Fact box: Public Educator of the Year[edit]

Wikimedia Norway started 2012 with one of the most prestigous prizes of the Norwegian knowledge sector - The Public Educator Prize of 2011, awarded by the Norwegian Association of Vocational Education (Voksenopplæringsforbundet). The Prize has been awarded to outstanding educators among scientists, vocational trainers, and to Norwegian Broadcasting. The associations explained how they wanted to reward seven years of continuous knowledge sharing by Wikipedia in Norway. The Norwegian versions in three national languages have close to 250.000 registered users, and two out of three Norwegians visit Wikipedia monthly.

Wikipedia Academy, editing courses[edit]

Royal attendance at the Wikipedia Aacademy[edit]

Should museums spend public resources on editing Wikipedia? Are public photo collections ready for free and open licenses? Is Wikipedia a viable option for culture institutions to reach the broad, general public? Such issues were lively discussed and debated at the latest Wikipedia Academy in Oslo, last April. Professionals from museums, archives, universities, and culture institutions went straight to the core of the issues with an equal number of volunteers from Norway's Wikipedia community.

Contributors to this year's Wikipedia Academy numbered top curators and leaders of The Nordic Museum (Stockholm), The Arts Council Norway, The Norwegian Outdoor Museum (Oslo), and Oslo City Museum. The participants discussed the relevance of public editors, mass donations of photos, and open lisencing regimes. A fresh co-operation between the Arts Council Norway and Wikimedia Norway was announced, resulting in more than thirty editing courses at museums throughout the country.

Since the Wikipedia Academy in Oslo the year before, attendance more than doubled from forty to more than one hundred. Professionals and volunteers gathered at a lively Hotel Scandinavia downtown, near the Royal Castle. The location was well chosen – as the academy was attended by a most prominent guest - His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway. Along with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Norway's Minister of Development Heikki Holmaas, and Telenor executive Kristin Skogen Lund, the Crown Prince got the opportunity to experience how Wikipedia changes the lives of millions in Asia these days, as the free and open knowledge base gets readily accessible on cell phones. As a round-up of the academy, the prominent guests got a thorough introduction to Wikipedia editing and patrolling, by students of Drömtorp High School. The guests were highly interested and revealed themselves as being already experienced Wikipedia editors, one after another. Norwegian Wikipedia has royal as well as executive editors, along with thousands of volunteers.

The Wikipedia Academy tradition started in Germany more than five years ago, and it has been localized with profound success in Norway. The idea is to reach out to professional environments within the academic and cultural world outside – to discuss and debate the relevance and thrustworthiness of the Wikipedia as a communication channel for culture and science.

Editing courses[edit]

The Wikipedia Academy represents but one of a great number of editing courses in Norway throughout the year. During 2012, close to a hundred such courses are held, one third of those at local museums and in co-operation with Arts Council Norway. Apart from that, the Norwegian Wikipedia community has trained editors representing NGOs, senior clubs, schools, universities, water reserach institutions, geology surveyors, IT companies, local history clubs, political parties, and municipalities.

Editing courses are easy to arrange. The most important is to keep theoretical introduction to a minimum, and step right to practical training and problem-solving in real situations. Wikipedia administrators and patrollers should be informed that training is going on, to avoid instant patrolling. Another good hint is to ask the participants to register with a user name containing an easily recognisable prefix, making patrollers aware that "here is a new editor trying it all out". Get together and round off the event with some social time over coffee or a dinner – inviting everyone to keep editing when class is out.