User:BVershbow (WMF)

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Ben Vershbow
Ben Vershbow
Director, Community Programs (libraries, education, cultural heritage), Wikimedia Foundation

About me

I’ve worked for more than a decade at the intersection of libraries, scholarly communication, arts, and the web. I spent 4 formative years working with electronic publishing pioneer Bob Stein at the Institute for the Future of the Book, a New York-based think tank and software studio exploring emergent networked forms of reading, writing, and peer review. Following that, I worked for over 8 years at The New York Public Library, where I founded and led NYPL Labs, an innovation program which spearheaded a wide range of digitization, open data, digital humanities, and crowdsourcing initiatives. I’ve long advocated for deeper collaboration between GLAMs/academia and the Wikimedia movement and strongly believe that these ecosystems can and should become more symbiotic. I’m thrilled now to bring everything I’ve learned to WMF, and am honored to lead the excellent Community Programs team, to help knit these worlds together. My background originally is in theater and the arts, and I spent much of the past decade moonlighting as a director, performer, and curator in NYC’s downtown performance scene. It’s a perspective I bring to all that I do and one which I’ve found has a surprising amount of resonance with the work of knowledge-sharing and open-collaboration online. I live in Philadelphia, USA with my wife and 1-year-old son.

My work

I lead the Foundation's Community Programs team, which seeks to foster deeper collaboration between the Wikimedia movement and professional knowledge domains such as education, libraries, cultural heritage institutions, and the scientific community. We currently operate three main program areas: GLAM-Wiki (collaboration with galleries, libraries, archives, and museums to share freely reusable educational content, data, and institutional expertise), The Wikipedia Library (digital library and reference services for Wikipedia editors and readers), and The Wikipedia Education Program (contribution to Wikimedia projects in the classroom / Wikimedia as a platform for developing 21st century skills).

Disclaimer: I work for or provide services to the Wikimedia Foundation, and this is the account I try to use for edits or statements I make in that role. However, the Foundation does not vet all my activity, so edits, statements, or other contributions made by this account may not reflect the views of the Foundation.

Contact me

You can reach me on my talk page here on Meta.

Or email me at:
bvershbow@wikimedia.org


Twitter: @subsublibrary

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