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The Wikipedia Library/1Lib1Ref/Lessons/May 2021

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The Wikipedia Library

#1Lib1Ref Year 6

May 2021 Report


For the past 2 years, the May round of the 1Lib1Ref campaign has been our main experimentation window for the campaign, and this years’ saw a similar strategy. Our May 2021 campaign was focused on sustaining the efforts of our main campaign partners for Africa, the African Library and Information Associations and institutions (AfLIA) while piloting a South-Eastern Asia Campaign.

Our decision was informed by the previous growth and success of our regional strategy in Africa. In order to achieve this goal, we brought in a contractor with regional expertise in the aforementioned target region to develop a strategy in exploring the reach of the campaign in the region. In this round, we also piloted a Wikidata campaign with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) for the first time ever since the initiation of the campaign. The Wikidata campaign was targeted at improving related citations or references to Wikidata entries.

Even though our statistics for the May 2021 campaign fell short of the overall statics of the previous year by 7% (31,040 vs 33,235), there was significant growth in the number of articles created. 1700 new articles (548% YoY) were created as part of the campaign and more than 800 new Wikidata entries. This change in behavior of contributions for the campaign was a result of the many librarians that went through a capacity-building exercise with AfLIA and had the appetite to do more than just add citations. We learned so much this year about editing behaviors and creating pathways for new recruits of the campaign, the strategy needed for the growth of the campaign in the South-Eastern Asia Region, and the possibility of working with the Wikidata community (or other sister projects).


The final hashtags tally was 31,040 edits in nearly 21 languages, including first-place English Wikipedia with over 8,500 edits. There were over 800 edits across 15 projects in the opening hours of the campaign.

  • 2.26 million words were added as recorded on the dashboard
  • 504 editors participated
  • 1700 articles were created (548% YoY) and 8,410 total were edited
  • 14 wikis saw more than 10 edits, 8 more than 100, and 2 more than 1000