Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together—FAQs

WebJunction /

What is Wikipedia + Libraries?
What will the project do?
What are the benefits of participating in the training program?
When will the training program be?
Who may register for the program?
Is the training program free?
What will program participants learn?
How will participants learn?
What is the time commitment?
Will live online sessions be recorded?
What are the requirements for participation?
What will participants receive upon completion of the program?
How do I learn more about the training program?
How do I register for the training program?
Is it possible for a cohort of staff at the same library branch or system to participate in the training program?
I'm already a Wikipedian, how can I participate?


What is Wikipedia + Libraries?

Wikipedia + Libraries is a project of OCLC’s WebJunction that is strengthening ties between public libraries and Wikipedia to:

  • Connect people to reliable information.
  • Empower community members to build knowledge.

The project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Wikimedia Foundation.

What will the project do?

As a primary activity of the project, WebJunction will offer a free, 10-week online training program for up to 500 US public library staff to learn how to confidently engage with Wikipedia.

Following the training program and evaluation activities, project staff will revise and publish the program curriculum and resources for other librarians or aspiring Wikipedians. These will be available to access at no cost, to use and adapt beyond the lifecycle of this project.

What are the benefits of participating in the training program?

As a result of participating, public library staff will be able to use Wikipedia to:

  • Engage and empower their community members to build information literacy skills and to access and create knowledge
  • Raise the visibility of their libraries and their unique, local collections
  • Build on their own digital, critical thinking, and community engagement skills—and encourage their colleagues to do the same.

When will the training program be?

  • The online training program will run September 13 – November 15, 2017
  • Six 90-minute live online sessions:
    • Wednesdays at 1pm Eastern Time
    • Sept 13, 20, 27, Oct 11, 25, Nov 15
    • Sessions will be recorded for later viewing
  • Registration opened July 19, 2017. Enroll now.

Who may register for the program?

Anyone who works or volunteers in a US public library. The training program is being customized for public library staff, and the curriculum will reflect the unique work, social role and service goals of this audience.

Registrants from other library types (or countries) may be declined if enrollment exceeds 500.

Is the training program free?

Yes! There is no cost to participate.

What will program participants learn?

Participants will gain the skills and knowledge needed to edit and contribute to Wikipedia and to plan Wikipedia events for their community members, including:

  • Learning about the inner workings of Wikipedia—understanding how the online encyclopedia is built by volunteer editors in an open and transparent environment.
  • Understanding Wikipedia’s quality criteria and applying your own critical eye; helping others (patrons, colleagues) learn to evaluate quality and reliability.
  • Learning the many different ways to contribute and help build this quality information source.
  • Adding Wikipedia (and information literacy) to existing library programming and patron (and staff) training (Tech help, GED prep, ESL, etc.).
  • Creating Wikipedia-centered programming (edit-a-thons, topic-specific groups (e.g. local history) that contribute articles in subject areas of interest, etc.) that engages community members.

How will participants learn?

  • Participants will choose a path for discovery; all will select an activity to pursue and—with help from peers, instructors, and subject matter experts—will develop a plan for an activity or program.
  • As part of a cohort, participants will share learning with a peer community of public library staff.
  • Participants will hear from practitioner guest speakers, interweave their own work with Wikipedia and network with colleagues and new Wikipedian connections.
  • At the end of the training program, participants will share what they have learned, where they plan to go with their new skills and knowledge, and how they can continue to help one another get there.

What is the time commitment?

We anticipate a commitment averaging between three and five hours per week during the course (September 13 – November 15, 2017). This will include six live online sessions (90 minutes each) and independent readings, group discussion forums, and activities between sessions.

Will live online sessions be recorded?

Yes, live online sessions will be recorded and made available by the next day to participants. However, live participation will be encouraged to the fullest extent possible.

What are the requirements for participation?

Participants are expected to have:

  • Regular access to an internet-connected computer or laptop, with audio or telephone.
  • The capacity to attend the six live online sessions to the fullest extent possible; complete between-session assignments; engage in the community of practice and participate in evaluation activities in support of project deliverables (pre- or post-program surveys, focus groups or interviews, etc.).
  • A willingness to learn and motivation to apply what they’ve learned!

What will participants receive upon completion of the program?

Following the conclusion of the training program, participants who have attended (or viewed) all six live sessions and completed course assignments and activities will receive a certificate of completion that may be used for continuing education credits as allowed by their employer and/or state. We estimate the course to be equivalent to 4 CEUs.

How do I learn more about the training program?

How do I register for the training program?

Enroll now in the Wikipedia + Libraries training program

Is it possible for a cohort of staff at the same library branch or system to participate in the training program?

Yes! We encourage library colleagues to participate in the program together. There are many benefits to training with colleagues. It provides more opportunities to reinforce each staff member’s learning; activities naturally lend themselves to working together with colleagues; and it will be easier to develop and implement program ideas at your library. Each staff member will need to register as an individual participant in the training program.

The FAQs will be updated as new questions come up. If you have a question you don't see here, please contact project coordinator Mercy Procaccini procaccm@oclc.org.

I'm already a Wikipedian, how can I participate?

English-language Wikipedia editors are invited to participate in the online training program as guides. You can participate in the full course, or for one of the modules. Wikipedians need not be affiliated with US public libraries to participate, the more the merrier! Help course participants learn about Wikipedia by sharing your experiences and answering questions during the forum discussions that take place between the live sessions. Click here to participate.

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