Stories from the Library

Librarians Who Wikipedia

Hear from library staff themselves about why they engage Wikipedia in our ongoing series of feature interviews with library staff.

Anne Lefkofsky, Librarian, Public Library Albuquerque and Bernalillo County
It's a rare when organizational wisdom and boldness come together, remarks Lefkofsky, in her commentary on why she's training her colleagues with Wikipedia, but it's an attractive combo. 

Merrilee Proffitt, OCLC and Wikilibrarian
Merrilee Proffitt, Senior Program Officer in OCLC Research and a member of the Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together project team, is a longtime champion of Wikipedia for librarians.

Karen Kast, Eagle Mountain City Public Library
At a small, rural library in Utah, Karen Kast teaches students use Wikipedia as a backbone to beginning a research paper. She's also helping them read articles with a critical eye for quality and accuracy.

Jean King, West Hempstead Public Library
People are online, and so are reference librarians. "I like knowing that I am making Wikipedia articles more reliable, even if I am doing it on a small scale," says Jean King, a former journalist-turned-librarian.

Kim Gile, Kansas City Public Library
Kim Gile, Community Reference Manager, organized an edit-a-thon around her city’s thriving jazz community. "I dare you not to get excited,” said Gile. “We’re going to do this by being bold and making it happen."

Denise Davis and Tom Boeche, Morton-James Public Library
Denise Davis and Tom Boeche are helping students discover library resources by staring with a Wikipedia search, and they're training their colleagues, too. They are also planning to edit articles on the history and culture of their town of approximately.

Samantha Dodd, University of Texas at Arlington Libraries
Samantha Dodd explains what she learned about Wikipedi's inner-workings before hosting an edit-a-thon, and the surprising benefits of Wikipedia for her library's community.

Bob Kosovsky, New York Public Library
Bob Kosovsky has created more than 40 articles and considers Wikipedia part of his library outreach work. "I feel a tremendous sense of pride by knowing that I’m collaborating with others by sharing knowledge with the world," he says.

Paul Flagg, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library
Recent MLIS graduate learned about Wikipedia editing in his college courses. Paul sees Wikipedia as an extension of librarianship because it enables him to meet patrons where they are.

Allison Frick, Glenside Free Library
Allison Frick includes Wikipedia at her branch library because the free reference can help computer users of all levels critically evaluate and improve their online experiences. She sees information gaps in articles as an opportunity to make improvements.

Susan Barnum, El Paso Public Library
Susan Barnum is using Wikipedia to elevate stories that are buried in archives, allowing information-seekers to stumble across them, and the resources they are based upon. She focuses on women's history around the world.

Andrea Davis and Christina Moretta, San Francisco Public Library
Librarians in San Francisco are hosting local Wikipedia programs and editing articles to connect the public to reliable, free sources of information—and they're attracting first-time patrons to the library..

Tiffany Bailey, Dallas Public Library
An annual Art + Feminism event at the Dallas Public Library made sense to Tiffany Bailey and two community partners. The all-day event attracted participants of all ages and brought together people in the community.

János McGhie, Saint Paul Public Library
János McGhie, Wikipedia username McGheiver, brings offline references to the online community. He has made almost 22,000 edits and uploaded 1,300 photos to the Wikipedia Commons.

Mary Phillips, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
When Mary Phillips sees a missing reference or a dead link she takes action. "I'm a librarian on Wikipedia," she says. Others can do the same. "We are experts in how people interact with information that is mediated."


Project news

Susan Barnum Named Library Journal Mover & Shaker for Librarianship on Wikipedia
Susan Barnum, a public services librarian at El Paso Public Library, has been selected as a 2018 Mover and Shaker by Library Journal for her advocacy work in Wikipedia. This recognition - given to changemakers in the library field - highligh...

OCLC Wikipedia + Libraries Course Concludes with Plans for Action
The Wikipedia + Libraries nine-week online training program was the first of its kind: a free, accessible, WebJunction course designed specifically for US public library staff to learn about the inner workings of Wikipedia.

Wikipedians Invited to Guide US Public Library Staff During Online Training Program
The Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together team invites experienced English-language Wikipedians to participate as Wikipedia guides in the continuing education online training program, which will run from September 13 – November 15, 2017.

Wikipedia and Public Libraries: OCLC Research Update at ALA 2017
A video presentation of Wikipedia and Public Libraries project by Sharon Streams and Monika Sengul-Jones at the OCLC Research Update in Chicago, at ALA Annual Chicago, on June 26, 2017.

Webinar Will Preview Free Training Program and Explore Benefits of Working with Wikipedia
Registration is open for a July 19 webinar, "Wikipedia for Libraries: Preview the Possibilities, Discover the Opportunities," that will preview WebJunction’s fall 2017 training program and describe how public library staff ca...

Wikipedia Book Citation Tool Links Readers to Local Library Collections
Book citations on Wikipedia pages can now connect readers to the closest library that carries the book. Thanks to a partnership between the Wikimedia Foundation and OCLC, Wikipedia's citation tool is now able to use...

Extending the Reach of Public Libraries
This compilation includes examples of ways that patrons can engage with public library materials, resources and community spaces at Wikipedia editing events.

Q & A with Wikipedian-in-Residence, Monika Sengul-Jones
Our new Wikipedian-in-Residence, Monika-Sengul-Jones shares how she got started with Wikipedia, her favorite contribution to Wikipedia and some insight on the work she'll be doing with WebJunction.

Librarians Improve Wikipedia During Global #1Lib1Ref Campaign
The #1Lib1Ref campaign invited librarians—and anyone passionate about the quality of information resources on the internet—to add a reference citation to Wikipedia and flag it with the hashtag #1lib1ref.

Monika Sengul-Jones joins OCLC as Wikipedian-in-Residence
Sengul-Jones will work with WebJunction to design and deliver an online training program that will introduce US public librarians to the inner workings of Wikipedia this fall.

Take a Coffee Break with #1lib1ref Wikipedia Campaign
We all know Wikipedia contains tons of information; in fact, as of today, December 8, there are 5,303,333 articles in the English Wikipedia alone. But did you know Wikipedia is in need of citations and references?

OCLC Wins Knight News Challenge Award to Promote Collaboration between Public Libraries and Wikipedia
OCLC has been named a winner of the Knight News Challenge, an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, for a project that will promote collaboration between public libraries and Wikipedia.

Training curriculum

Access the full training curriculum to learn how to confidently use, edit, and teach Wikipedia at your library.

Training Curriculum

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Learn about the Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together project's history and activities.

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This project was made possible with funding from: