OCLC Wins Knight News Challenge Award to Promote Collaboration between Public Libraries and Wikipedia

WebJunction /

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 and bring together authoritative library resources and contributors to one of the most popular information resources on the web.

The project was selected as a winner from more than 600 applications and 47 semifinalists. Launched in September 2015, the Knight News Challenge on Libraries is funding breakthrough ideas that help libraries serve 21st century information needs.

WebJunction, a program of OCLC Research, will work with a Wikipedian-in-Residence to deliver a national-scale training program that will build library staff skills to create and edit Wikipedia articles and to implement a Wikipedia outreach program in their local communities. This will include teaching U.S. public library staff the basics of Wikipedia editing and community norms, and giving library staff tools to engage local, experienced Wikipedians in related library events and activities.

"OCLC Research has been working with the Wikipedia community for years to make available authoritative library resources to support Wikipedia work," said Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC Vice President, Membership and Research, and Chief Strategist. "WebJunction works closely with public libraries to promote collaborative learning. We’re grateful for this support that will help us bring together library staff and Wikipedians to offer a richer experience for information seekers."

"Through this project, OCLC aims to help librarians update their skills, while increasing information literacy in communities and contributing to Wikipedia’s work to make knowledge more accessible to all," said John Bracken, Knight Foundation vice president for media innovation.

The project will reinforce libraries as stewards of quality information, standard bearers for information literacy and curators of authoritative collections. While anyone can contribute to Wikipedia and its growing base of knowledge, knowing how to edit Wikipedia remains a mystery to most people, even information professionals. This project will equip library staff to become Wikipedia editors and to engage community members to join them and other local Wikipedians in collecting and extending access to knowledge.

Read the full project application on the Knight News Challenge website.

And read about all 14 of the Knight News Challenge 2016 winners here.

OCLC staff will participate, along with representatives from Knight Foundation, in a program with Knight News Challenge on Libraries winners on Saturday, June 25, during the ALA Annual Conference from 1–2:30 pm at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, Regency Ballroom T. More information is on the ALA website.

Knight's mission is to promote informed and engaged communities. The foundation does that by investing in innovations in media and journalism, community engagement and the arts.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

About WebJunction
As an open learning community, WebJunction provides online resources, programming and learning opportunities that build the knowledge, skills and confidence that library staff need to power relevant, vibrant libraries. A program of OCLC Research, WebJunction designs and delivers transformational programs that connect public library service to community needs such as lifelong learning, health and wellness, and economic success. More than 70 percent of all U.S. public libraries across all 50 states have participated in WebJunction programs and learning since 2003.

About OCLC
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.

OCLC, WorldCat, WorldCat.org, WorldShare and WebJunction are trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Third-party product, service and business names are trademarks and/or service marks of their respective owners.