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#1lib1ref – Librarians and Wikipedia are natural allies

Category: Blog

The following is a guest blog by Dr Sara Thomas, the Scotland Programme Coordinator at Wikimedia UK.

As an information professional, what do you think of Wikipedia?  Crucial tool in the modern age for pre-research and a springboard for further work?  Or something of which you’re deeply suspicious?

Either way, please do read on.

Librarians and Wikipedia are natural allies – both are in the business of giving free access to information – and as the Scotland Programme Coordinator for Wikimedia UK, I want more subject specialists and information professionals to get involved in improving the online encyclopedia.  It’s the world’s fifth most popular website, and the go-to reference site for people from all walks of life, including students, the recently diagnosed, and the just plain curious. Facebook uses it to combat fake news, as does YouTube in the case of conspiracy theories.  I believe that more people having more access to a better quality of information is a Good Thing.  I think that access to a better quality of information helps us to make better, more informed decisions about our lives and the world around us.  So I want you to help improve Wikipedia.

January 15th is Wikipedia’s 18th birthday, and it’s also the start of our annual #1lib1ref campaign, running from the 15th of January until the 5th February, and aiming to improve Wikipedia by getting more librarians and information professionals involved in creating it.  The campaign generally focuses on asking you to add one or more references to the encyclopedia (maybe getting rid of some of those “Citation Needed” tags), but this year we’d also like to invite you to delve a little deeper.  There are thousands of “stub” articles (very short articles in need of expansion) on the encyclopedia, in need of expansion!

Don’t know how to edit Wikipedia?  It’s really easy – and we’ve got webinars running to show you how.  Delphine Dallison is the Wikimedian in Residence for the Scottish Library and Information Council, and Scotland’s own #1lib1ref Ambassador, as part of the global campaign team.  She’ll be running webinars on [see below] that will run you through the basics of how to edit, and is curating lists of stub articles for expansion. You can find more information here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:GLAM/SLIC/Events/1Lib1Ref_Scotland_2019

So please keep an eye on the SLIC project page and the main #1lib1ref website www.1lib1ref.org for more details over the campaign period!  You can also follow the hashtag #1lib1ref to see what’s happening globally.  

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#1lib1ref begins on January 15th. Our colleagues at SLIC have a number of Webinars running during the campaign. 

Three are open to all librarians will cover all the basics for adding citations and editing articles on wikipedia. The other two will be focused on editing health articles on wikipedia and will be aimed specifically at health librarians due to the higher standard of reference required for health articles.

Please find below the dates and Eventbrite links to sign up:

Open to all librarians:

Webinars for health librarians:

All the webinars will be run using WebEx software. For any questions regarding the software or the content, librarians can contact d.dallison@scottishlibraries.org.