The Wikipedia Library/Newsletter/August-September 2017/en

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The Wikipedia Library
Books & Bytes
Issue 24, August–September 2017

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In this issue we highlight Wikimania conversations, global developments and, as always, a roundup of news and community items related to libraries and digital knowledge.

User Group

The Wikipedia Library User Group bridges the gap between Wikipedians and librarians by acting as a rendezvous point and helping them collaborate. Since its inception, the founders have been working hard to work out the goals and functioning methods of the user group. The last two months have been particularly busy with two founders' meetings and one, two-part open members' meeting. The open meetings were live streamed using Hangouts On Air, the recordings and minutes of which are available here. In the founders' meetings, a motion to change the current name of the user group was proposed and received wide support. Also, the members supported the idea in the open meeting. Both in the founders' and members' meeting, the specifics of steering committee selection were discussed and it was decided that users will nominate themselves to be part of the steering committee. Reviving the Wikipedia Loves Libraries campaign was also discussed. To help new users navigate and get help more easily, the meta page of the user group is being redesigned. The draft homepage is greatly reduced in size, with concise information and links to specific resources. The user group is being renamed as agreed by the members of the user group. As part of the renaming process, members are invited to vote on their choices of names in the user group rename poll. Upcoming: Call to vote on user group logos, and self-nomination of steering committee members.


Global branches are constantly evolving and bring potential in supporting editors who are in real need. New strategies and approaches are constantly being tried and results analysed to invigorate activities and ideally be of use to all editors on non-English branches. There is a growing trend and need to share content from our newsletter in a variety of languages' last month we steadily increased the number of translations for Books & Bytes and we are reaching out to all who wish to extend the voice of Books & Bytes through their local languages.

Star Coordinator Award

The star coordinator program is a quarterly award to recognize coordinators of The Wikipedia Library for their amazing work in their communities. And the winner is...

User:Csisc, Tunisia
Congratulations to User:Csisc for winning star coordinator for the quarter (July - September)!!! He is celebrated this quarter, for his passion to provide extensive content on Tunisia through adequate references and quality articles. In his own words he mentions that “In fact, we found a lack of the existence of online references about Tunisia-related topics and this lack of existence of references of Tunisia-related topics had limited the quality of Wikipedia articles about these important topics”.

The quest to solving the problem resulted in the creation of the Tunisian TWL Branch, a first of its kind and an innovation in the TWL branch creation space. This branch will provide offline and locally existing references to Tunisian contributors of Wikipedia through a Wikipedian-in-Residence at the Libraries of the Medinas of Tunis and also uploading old books in the public domain to Wikisource and adding OCR layers to them so that all Wikipedia users can use them as references. You can read more about his work on the Star Coordinator page.

Wikimania Birds of a Feather session

The Birds of a Feather session at Wikimania was a chance to meet other community leaders who work with libraries, form partnerships with publishers, host events at institutions, conduct outreach to national organizations or regional and international groups and consortia. Here are some highlights:

  • New York: combining forces with chapter to attend events and talk about getting involved with Wikipedia. Collaborated with local librarian caucus around 1lib1ref. One-on-one relationship-building improves uptake
  • Queensland librarians added over 1000 citations during 1lib1ref
  • Art+Feminism is coming up on its 5-year anniversary
  • Mexico City: project on ancient books includes digitizing and sharing via Wikisource
  • Wikimedia DC: transcribed women biographical dictionary
  • Wikimedia LGBT Twitter has been resurrected for information-sharing / promotion / collaborating and invites new followers
  • ORCID Wikipedian-in-Residence + WikiCite created plugin for Zotero, including in quick statements format for Wikidata. Also doubled ORCID IDs in Wikidata and invites others to add those of their researchers
  • York University will be among the participants in a Canada-wide music editathon planned for October. Upcoming ARL project will focus on indigenous communities in Wikidata.
  • Farsi branch of The Wikipedia Library has done outreach to local universities, has been successful in obtaining resources for every editor requesting one on Farsi
  • New module on French Wikipedia ({{bibliographie}}) allows you to enter Wikidata item to create full citation
  • OCLC Wikipedia + libraries project has raised profiles of “librarians who Wikipedia”; online training program in the fall will enroll 500 public library staff in the fall (706 enrollees at July preview)
  • Bodleian Libraries backing a project for semantic web for books, suggesting the use of Wikidata as a hub
  • Wikicite modeled representation of books in Wikidata at work and manifestation level - call for review as part of revitalization of Wikipedia+Libraries listserv
  • West Virginia University has developed programming for students to do service credit via Wikipedia training
  • London training session for public librarians - interest in serving users by better understanding Wikipedia
  • Northeastern working with student Wikipedia assignments - students find this one of the most rewarding assignments of their university career
  • Laurentian built widget that pulls data on recording artists in their catalogue from Wikidata
  • Need to find way to get faculty on board to participate in Wikipedia projects
    • Machiavellian approach: find out what people care about and explain how this can be achieved via what you want to do
  • How to avoid burnout?
    • Know when to step back
    • Be explicit about Be Bold philosophy
    • Teach people who can teach others
  • Problem with librarian contributions being reverted as spam
  • Wikipedia Library User Group as venue for collaboration and seeking help

Spotlight: Wiki Loves Archives

An excerpt from the Wikimedia Blog post by Benoit Rochon, Wikimedia Canada

Many archive centers suffer from budget cuts and must make the difficult choice of selecting certain collections to preserve to the detriment of others. Over the last few years, Wikimedia Canada has been involved in a project to create Wikipedias in Aboriginal languages. It was with this in mind that Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) called on the participation of Montrealers to preserve photographic archives by organizing their first scan-a-thon.

For this activity and the future scan-a-thons, Wikimedia Canada and the WikiClub of Montreal acquired a specialized scanner), which allowed the scanning of negatives on film in very high resolution. After a short training of an archival specialist, the volunteers took turns to place the negatives in the film holders, while others digitized them. At the same time, other volunteers ensured that there was no dust, that the images are complete, and other quality control. Then teams of volunteers, on each side of the consultation room (photo), received the photos on USB sticks, uploaded them to Wikimedia Commons and in some cases described the images, as not all have original descriptions. Other participants translated the descriptions into several languages, and if a Wikipedia article can be illustrated by one of these images, participants will improve the article.

Thus at the end of the day, more than 500 images and documents, dating from as far back as the 1700s, were digitized and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. The archives will directly benefit from this as well—through the free license on Commons, BAnQ can take and use those previously undigitized photos and descriptions in their own catalog. Once the funds were uploaded in Commons, volunteers from around the world digitally restored some of the photos by removing wrinkles, dust, and tears.

This experiment was a conclusive success, with both participants and BAnQ delighted with the results. All of the scanned and uploaded images can be found on Wikimedia Commons.

Bytes in brief

Community roundup


Worth reading (or watching)

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