Wikimania 2012 – Wikipedia Loves Libraries Workshop

In a previous post, I explained that I was both excited and nervous at the prospect of attending my first Wikimania. It turned out to be an amazing experience, and I had nothing to dread. There’s been a lot going through my mind since the conference, but I’ll try to sum up some of my experiences here before it goes entirely out of my head! I’m also going split this up into a number of blog posts grouped by theme because I was developing a truly monstrous post. So this will be the first in a short series.

My Wikimania started with a 4 hour workshop that Max and I had organized (nothing like jumping in with both feet!). We invited Wikimania attendees and local librarians to come to a session called Wikipedia Loves Libraries where we looked at models of collaboration between the Wikipedia community and librarians, highlighing Wikipedian in Residence programs and edit-a-thons, hearing from both “cultural heritage professionals” (as Wikipedians like to call us) and also from Wikipedians.

During the discussion session, we had a chance to hear about a number of Wikipedia’s “sister projects”:

  • Wikisource: a wiki “digital library” of public domain materials. Institutions can contribute documents and invite the volunteers to transcribe the documents!
  • QRpedia, targeted at information retrieval from mobile devices. It uses QR codes to show Wikipedia articles to people. Taking advantage of Wikipedia’s multilingual content, the articles are cleverly shown in the user’s own language (because your phone already knows what language you prefer).
  • The GLAM Toolset that is being developed in conjunction with Europeana for the Wikimedia Commons.
  • Wikidata, which is an ambitious project to centralize reference data for use in all languages of the Wikimedia projects. There is an obvious place, I think, for library authority data in Wikdata, so I encourage you all to watch this project!
Karen Weiss speaks to a packed crowd at Wikipedia Loves Libraries

Thanks to our presenters, Q Miceli, Karen Weiss, Richard Knipel and Bob Kosovsky, and to the George Washington University Libraries for hosting us. Thanks also to the 75 attendees — we seemed to be evenly split between librarians and Wikipedians, which was a terrific thing.

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