Talk:Wikipedia Library User Group
March 27 meeting minutes of the steering committee
March 27-28, 2018
The meeting started with a few introductions from members who couldn’t make it to the last meeting. After which, the committee worked on the details of managing the user group.
Processes for the group
Discussion about what constitutes a quorum considering that we are a busy and distributed group.
For voting, a quorum of 5 is required, and if voting, simple majority would suffice. Can vote via email. Can hold a meeting with fewer people than a quorum, just not make decisions. Discussion of major topics should be announced ahead of time so that people have a heads up as to what is on the table for a given meeting. Also, announce major topics to the wider community for feedback with the deadline for feedback (typically next WLUG meeting)
Guidelines for running a meeting - how to take turns as we are all equals?
Instead of having a formal chair, rotate facilitation among the group, the facilitator assembles agenda and is responsible for organising the next meeting time slot and handover to next facilitator (based on expected availability).
- Diverse group: countries, gender
- Diversity in library types: “state”, “academic/research”, no public librarian but some of us work with public librarians
- Library knowledge, Wikipedia knowledge
- Support of other members of the User Group
- Experience in working in the Library+Wikipedia intersection, lots of know-how
- some WMF staff support
- One of the strengths of this group is the fact that there are some founding members still here and could pass on some experiences
- Representation from a variety of institution types (in terms of how they are structured, audiences served), gender diversity, the range of Wikipedia experience (including long-term and active Wikipedians).
- Support of our user group
- Demonstrated experience working in outreach / with the library and broader heritage community
- No resources, no budget, all volunteers (with other busy lives)
- Just advisory. No capacity to enforce decisions, only to influence
- Multiple time zones, makes it harder to hold meetings
- Newness of the group, most of us have never worked together before
- Coming from different backgrounds, timezones, cultures and having different temperaments
- Inability to meet in person
- Relationship with Wikipedia Library is somewhat unclear (goals are somewhat different?)
- Inability to resource Wikimedia projects that libraries might want to undertake, difficult to locate local Wikipedians to engage with them
- Could be more geographically diverse, particularly representation from the global south [need a better term - feel free to supply!]
- Lack deep experience with public libraries
- Perception of people who are “paid” to do work - “being accused of conflict of interest crimes”
- Spreading the message to the wider library community (staff and patrons) and engaging with them to shift attitudes
- Advocating for Wikimedia projects before librarians themselves and the academics
- Creating ways for more joint projects between libraries and Wikipedians (edit-athon, digitization, etc)
- Roll out more of OCLC course “Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together” (or things like it)’
- Engaging a professional workforce and getting them to see their work as reflected in and important to their future
- Chance to extend knowledge about work on Wikipedia to broad audiences that are served by libraries
- Attitudes have changed so that librarians are really open to the message of collaboration
- Librarians can be great advocates for Wiki work
- Opportunity to model peer behaviour
- Conflict of interest on-wiki as paid editors. Need to remind everyone (librarians and Wikipedians) of en:WP:CURATOR (ok for librarians to write about collections, not a collection)
The question: What makes a good user group work?
- A good user group hosts meeting at varying times so members have a chance to attend when it is convenient for them
- A good user group reports out to its members and the broader community regularly and on multiple channels
- A good user group provides meeting agendas in advance with an opportunity to provide input (eg. adding some dot points, comments or links to the agenda / minutes document) for group members who can't make the meeting time slot but still want to contribute to the discussion or have particular expertise on a topic.
- A good user group assumes that members of the user group have very different experiences of both the library sectors (public, academic and research etc.) and Wikipedia.
- The group spends time exploring those differences and unpacking assumptions to ensure communication on WLUG projects is effective.
- A good user group recognises that "library world time-frames" are often much slower than "Wikimedia world time-frames" - a smart user group respects this difference and learns how to use that to our advantage.
- A good group is one that gets stuff done.
- Prioritisation of initiatives with a view to picking a very small set (could be just one) that seem feasible with the resources available to the group and then making that happen.
- It’s also important to understand when to declare victory and when to declare failure. There is a difference between quality (fit for purpose) and perfection.
- A group cannot always be unanimous. If, after a reasonable discussion that has drawn out all issues and there is no consensus, it is time to vote.
- having a shared understanding of how decisions are made
- having a shared understanding of when a decision has been made (in other words, when to stop discussing and act.)
- Acting in a business-like manner (agendas, notes, action items with people identified who will drive those actions forward).
- Picking a small number of manageable goals and then following through
- Is one that involves its members in decision making and at all times makes them feel a part of the decision process.
- Is a group that has a clear plan of what they want to achieve in the short term (preferably in a year) and maps strategies on how to achieve them.
- Is the one that constantly reviews the opinions of the community and provides fair judgement in arising conflicts.
- Is a group that provides opportunities to its members and don't come across as selfish (create opportunities for members to lead in certain capacities, allows active members to represent the group when opportunities come up (WMCON, regional-based conferences, etc.)
- Four C's: Caring Community, Commitment and Communication
- Caring Community. We should take the time to get to know each other as best as we can so that working together is more fun, so that we forgive each other more easily if we make mistakes or misspeak, and that we feel committed to each other as a community as well committed to the cause.
- Commitment. If people in the user group say that they will commit to completing a task, a plan, or what have you, they should commit to it and see it through.
- Communication. We need to communicate well with each other, with members of the user group, and people who may be interested in what this user group does. Part of this communication includes leaving a "paper trail" of our activities.
- Clear and achievable goals. It is necessary to select and prioritize what we want to achieve.
- Participation and inclusivity. Allow people to speak their mind and participate actively. Make people feel part of a whole and encourage them to step up.
- Communication / Outreach. As a good practice, there should be, whenever possible, records of what we do and discuss, eg: minutes of meetings, archives of mailing list discussion. Additionally, for the purpose of engaging more members in the UG, our activities should be shared among our audience with intent to call to action.
- Accountability. We should acknowledge people's merits. It might be by giving star banners on user pages, highlighting some members' work in our channels (Facebook, e-mail, etc).
- We need an internal policy to handle inappropriate behaviours.
- It reaches out to its target audience on multiple mediums, makes it easy for them to participate and keeps them engaged it plans well ahead.
- It makes sure the plans are realistic and sets targets it acts on its plan by distributing the workload among its members and gives them a sense of ownership of the group
- It listens, it learns and it grows.
- It provides a spectrum of resources. The strength of a group of librarians is that we can help one another with our goals and projects on various Wiki platforms.
- Recognizing member's efforts.
#1Lib1Ref from The Wikipedia Library
- You don't need to notify us twice (via MassMessage and via ping here). Please stick to one of them. — regards, Revi 09:12, 16 April 2018 (UTC)