DUBLIN, Ohio, 20 June 2017—This fall, OCLC's WebJunction will offer a free, 10-week online training program for public library staff interested in gaining skills in Wikipedia editing and engagement in a collaborative learning environment with public library peers.
Librarians can register now for a July 19 webinar, "Wikipedia for Libraries: Preview the Possibilities, Discover the Opportunities," that will preview the fall program and describe how librarians can use Wikipedia to connect more people to their library collections and creatively involve community members.
The training program and webinar are part of Wikipedia + Public Libraries: Better Together, a project designed to strengthen ties between U.S. public libraries and Wikipedia to expand public access to authoritative information and serve public libraries' diverse communities. The project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Wikimedia Foundation.
Today, people go to Wikipedia and search engines to find a great deal of content, but they may be unsure about the quality of that information. This training program connects public libraries to frameworks that Wikipedia editors have developed to indicate the accuracy and verifiability of a Wikipedia article.
"Librarians, especially public librarians, are uniquely positioned to engage. Wikipedia is powerful; librarians can make it more reliable," said Mary Phillips, a reference librarian at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, who was interviewed for WebJunction's Spotlight series, "Librarians Who Wikipedia."
Libraries are custodians of authoritative materials and library staff have the reference expertise to help point readers to reliable sources. Expanding access to library collections with Wikipedia is now easier because editors can easily add citations that link to library resources in WorldCat, the world's most comprehensive database of information about library collections.
"The Wikipedia + Public Libraries: Better Together project is designed to reinforce libraries as stewards of quality information, standard bearers for information literacy and curators of authoritative collections," said Sharon Streams, OCLC Director, WebJunction."
The free, 10-week online training program, scheduled to begin September 13, will equip public library staff with the necessary tools and peer support to become confident in contributing to Wikipedia and engaging their communities around it. Registration for the online training program will begin July 19.
The preview webinar, Wikipedia for Libraries is set for 3:00-4:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) on July 19. In this webinar, Monika Sengul-Jones, OCLC's Wikipedian-in-Residence, will highlight how Wikipedia's mission aligns with the work of public libraries, and guest presenter Tiffany Bailey will share how she successfully used Wikipedia for community outreach and partnership-building at the Dallas Public Library.
Stay up to date with developments in the Wikipedia + Public Libraries: Better Together project on the WebJunction website.
WebJunction, a program of OCLC Research, is the place where library staff gather to build the knowledge, skills and support we need to power relevant, vibrant libraries.
Several sessions at the ALA Annual conference in Chicago will feature more information on the Wikipedia + Libraries project:
- Leveraging Wikipedia for Libraries Conversation Starter
Sunday, June 25 - 9:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Location: McCormick Place, Room W183a
- Training Showcase: Best Practices & Social Hour (LearnRT)
Sunday, June 25 - 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: McCormick Place, Exhibit Floor-Special Events Area
Join WebJunction and other training organizations to chat, share tips and showcase best practices in library training, learning and continuing education.
- OCLC Research Update
Monday, June 26 - 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Location: McCormick Place West Building, Room W183b
OCLC Research, one of the world's leading research groups devoted to challenges facing libraries and archives, will present overviews of several projects, including Wikipedia + Libraries. Please RSVP for this event.
OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC's WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world's collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.