The Wikipedia Library/New branches FAQ

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The Wikipedia Library

Global Branch Setup FAQ
Can any community set up a branch?
Yes! We want every community to have a branch. Branches help gather a community's research resources in a collaborative research hub.
If we only have a small community or few volunteers, is there still a point to creating a branch?
Definitely. A Wikipedia Library Branch is a meeting place—a research hub—for your community. A small group of volunteers organizing research materials can have a big impact, particularly in a small community.
How much work, people, and time is involved in setting up a Branch?
It would take 1 person about 10 to 20 hours to set up a basic branch. A group of 3 or 4 can do it more quickly. It also depends on how large you want your branch to be. We can help!
Is there support available to help me through the setup steps?
Absolutely! The WMF Wikipedia Library team is providing one-on-one guidance for each new community as well as a step-by-step setup guide.
What is the role of the WMF in Branches?
The WMF team is here to help: we support local volunteers as they set up programs and advise on strategies to develop your branch. Also, the WMF team can help you getting donations and tracking metrics across your Branch. Ultimately, though, the branch should be designed and organized to meet your community's needs.
What are the "partnership donations" mentioned throughout the setup guide?
In order to get access to closed-access/paywalled/non-free sources, we ask publishers to donate their resources to be distributed to experienced editors for free through the Library.
Do we have to follow the partnership donation model of the English Wikipedia Library? Do we have to create partnerships with publishers?
No: you should create a model appropriate to your community and its needs, as found by the community consultation.
Can we just refer editors to the English or Meta signups?
Signups on English, or Meta, or any community are open to any and all global editors from any language who meet the basic experience and activity criteria. You're welcome to point your community to other signups, but you can also host your own for resources primarily in your language.
If we get a donation, does the signup happen on our Wiki?
The location of the signup page is based on the the language of the resource. For example, French resources are hosted on If you start a partnership in your own language, you can host it on your project. You would also link your signup page to the list of pages on Meta so other editors can benefit, too.
What if our community objects to referencing closed access articles? What if our community doesn't have a strong culture of using references?
Each and every community has its own unique policies and culture. We would like to work with you and consult your community to figure out what strategies are right.
What if there are no journals published in our language?
Editors on your project can still benefit from access to journals in other languages. Your branch can help them find the right pages to sign up.
What if we don't want or need access to journals? What if sources in our language are mostly offline?
You can look at other resources that could be of potential use—for example, newspapers or ebooks—or focus instead on other library initiatives like compiling a list of open-access sources.
What if we already have some/several library projects?
Great! Think about whether there are other projects or initiatives that could enhance your community. Also consider whether combining projects under a Branch will help them to run more efficiently.
What if we already have some projects but they are dormant? How can we revive them?
Setting up a Library branch is a great first step to reviving old projects, because it puts them under a common Library space and makes them more visible. Part of the setup process involves recruiting volunteers, who can also give new attention to those projects.
We have really good relationships with some of our local libraries—where do they fit in?
Local libraries are a vital part of outreach and we encourage each community to build relationships with them. Librarians can share their expertise by helping on-wiki, running programs within their communities, and introducing you to library schools, universities, and publishers.
Where do GLAM initiatives fit in? What is the relationship?
This project puts the L in GLAM by focusing volunteers on the benefits that libraries provide to editors. GLAM is about more than just content donations and editathons; it is also about access to research and knowledge about how to find and use it well.
How do I get more people involved with my branch?
Seek out volunteers: look for people commenting in your community consultation, include a call for volunteers in your discussion, or talk to others with an interest in research or library-related activities. See our consultation guide for ways to reach your fellow editors.
How can I let my community know about the project?
Post to community forums or talk pages, put out an announcement, and get in touch with community members. Chapters and community groups have also been very supportive of branches.
How do I know my community will accept a branch?
Ask them! A community consultation is an important step in preparing to set up a Branch. We have an example consultation you can use to start the conversation
Do I have to know how to code or design to set up a Branch?
No, as long as you have a basic familiarity with wikitext you can do it yourself. You can also use existing branches as models for design.
Back to the Setup Guide Check out our Projects Menu!