In this issue, we highlight a new feature of the Library Card Platform, global developments and, as always, a roundup of news and community items related to libraries and digital knowledge.
Library Card translation
The Wikipedia Library Card platform has been established as a hub for English-speaking Wikipedians to apply for free access to research resources, but previously its ability to serve non-English-speaking editors has been limited. As part of a push for greater global support, the Library Card is now on Translatewiki! This interface will allow easy crowdsourced translation of the platform by a distributed group of translators, and these translated elements can then be regularly pushed to the live site. This will open the platform to a much wider range of contributors.
Despite only launching on Translatewiki on 17 September, the platform has already accumulated partial translations in over 20 languages, with complete translations in Arabic and Brazilian Portuguese at time of writing.
Spotlight: 1Lib1Ref spreads to the Southern Hemisphere and beyond
An excerpt from the Wikimedia Blog post by Felix Nartey#1Lib1Ref is an annual campaign where librarians and other contributors to Wikipedia add references to improve statements with the ultimate objective of improving the reliability of Wikipedia.
In 2018, the Iberocoop Network participated in the #1lib1ref campaign (1bib1ref in Spanish) in Latin America. The campaign ran for three weeks in May 2018, to commemorate the birthday of Spanish Wikipedia. During the campaign, several Latin American countries participated in online and offline activities involving librarians and the general public to drive contributions on Wikipedia. In addition to the participation of the Iberocoop Latin American countries (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia and Mexico), the campaign attracted participants from Brazil, Portugal, France, Italy, Catalonia, Australia, Cameroon, India and Ghana.
The results of #1bib1ref from the Latin American participants were encouraging and a great start, given the limited resources and very limited prior planning: 70 editors made about 522 edits in 371 articles with the hashtag #1bib1ref, and possibly more without the hashtag. The campaign that emerged during the same period under the broader hashtag #1lib1ref saw about 940 edits in 358 articles by 132 participants in 12 languages. On social media, 32 countries made 1200 posts with the hashtag, reaching 1.8 million people, 3.6 million times.
Here are some highlights from around the world:
For the first time ever, #1Lib1Ref saw participation from the West African country of Ghana. While partnerships were sought with libraries to champion the campaign, the Wikimedia community also stepped in and actively contributed by improving sources on several articles on Wikipedia.
Wikimedia Uruguay organised a workshop on Referencing on Wikipedia for the Educational Documentation Department of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
In Argentina, two workshops were organised by Wikimedia Argentina for the network of librarians at Universidad de Buenos Aires and at the School of Librarians of the City of Buenos Aires.
In India, two workshops were organised by Krishna Chaitanya Velaga for librarians at the Kakatiya University and Annamayya Library in Warangal and Guntur respectively. At the close of these workshops, around 118 articles were improved and 24 new participants were introduced to the basics of editing Wikipedia and importantly, adding a citation! The momentum built from the campaign saw its way into the Advance Wiki Training (for users familiar with Wikipedia) organised by CIS-A2K and Krishna which focused on addressing reference issues as well as encouraging the use of reliable references and shedding more light on the Wikipedia Library Program and how the different language Indian communities could benefit in terms of acquiring sources in their own languages.
This indeed is a new turn for 1Lib1Ref. We were able to witness great growth potential in emerging communities firsthand and the void that needs to be filled. On the other hand, the campaign is gradually gaining more audience and transforming into a widespread activity in multiple Wikimedia communities and regions. We believe, in making the campaign more suitable to emerging communities we have generated the enthusiasm for participation from librarians and our friends in the southern hemisphere. Still to come, watch out for more activities from India and Iran in the coming months.
And of course, we invite everyone to join us for #1lib1ref 2019 kicking off in January for yet another opportunity to make Wikipedia even more reliable globally!
The steering committee met twice in the last two months. In the August meeting, the group's Whither WLUG? meetup submission for GLAMWiki Tel Aviv was discussed. The meetup would serve as a platform to engage with Wikimedia and library enthusiasts, and the user group members who are present at the venue. In the September meeting, the committee discussed assigning roles, to better manage the group and effectively dispatch the works of the committee. The voluntarily filled roles will be finalised soon and the results shared with the members. An open user group meeting akin to last year's Hangouts On Air will be scheduled shortly after the GLAMWiki conference. The committee also discussed laying some groundwork on the group's 2018 strategic plan.
The Star Coordinator program is a quarterly award to recognize coordinators of The Wikipedia Library for their amazing work in their communities.
"In 2007 while still in school our teacher asked us not to prepare assignments from Wikipedia as it was unreliable". This was the beginning of her curiosity towards Wikipedia and to understanding how it really worked. Shweta further expressed that even 10 years after these instructions, she become a culprit of the same criticisms as she found herself offering the same advice to her students. In an attempt to do what was right and to clear her conscience in teaching her students the right way to use an encyclopedia, she first participated in a 100 Wikidays challenge. She was introduced to the campaign by a colleague who got her editing. Through these efforts she discovered her curiosity was justified as the instructions given to her may have been unfounded and erroneous.
Shweta gradually started outreach activities in Karnal to increase awareness amongst students and academicians about her discovery, and her efforts to completely detach the "unreliable tag" from Wikipedia landed her at The Wikipedia Library Program (TWL). She volunteered to become the coordinator for the Hindi Branch. "As a researcher I knew how knowledgeable a well-referenced article could be and that the availability of resources will attract good editors and increase quality of content." Her thoughts on how crucial well-referenced articles are to Wikipedia led her to the creation of the first branch in India, the Hindi TWL Branch.