Take a Coffee Break with #1lib1ref Wikipedia Campaign

Erin M. Schadt /

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*—and that there's a simple and fun way you can help?

The Wikipedia Library Team at the Wikimedia Foundation just announced they are embarking on a second year of the #1lib1ref campaign, which will run January 15 through February 3, 2017 and coincides with Wikipedia's birthday. The basic idea is that if librarians each add one reference to Wikipedia, those potentially thousands of citations to reliable sources will benefit Wikipedia readers worldwide.

"Learning how to critically evaluate Wikipedia is a key skill. Librarians are in a perfect position to dispel myths and use Wikipedia as a case study for teaching information literacy skills; however, it can be hard to teach these skills without experience in Wikipedia's content creation process," says the announcement. "#1lib1ref is the library community coming together to examine Wikipedia critically, while also giving that most precious birthday gift: a citation."

The Wikipedia Library – #1Lib1Ref website has oodles of practical information to get you and your colleagues started, including:

Watch the free webinar recording from Nebraska Library Commission #1lib1ref: a Citation as a Gateway into Librarianship on Wikipedia, to learn more about this year's campaign.

For real-life examples about how this works, read about the State Library of New South Wales's experience participating in last year’s #1lib1ref event.

In this blog post, ACRL Tech Connect team members share written instructions and videos on how they added citations and edited entries.

And, if you are really inspired and looking toward the future, make sure to read about the OCLC Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together project, and consider future programming at your library. While edit-a-thons are a heavier lift, they could be a great event for your community. Take a look at this program model from the American Library Association’s Programming Librarian, learn about the work libraries are doing with Wikipedia and read Wikipedia’s suggestions on How to Run an Edit-a-Thon for more information.

If you do participate in the #1lib1ref campaign, let us know on social media by using the hashtag #1lib1ref, and drop us a line!


* According to Wikipedia, English Wikipedia has over 380,000 citation needed statements, thousands of articles need more references and 210,000 articles on English Wikipedia have no references at all.

Want to hear from Wikipedians and librarians about #1lib1ref? Then you're in luck!

On Wednesday, January 18, the Nebraska Library Commission hosted Alex Stinson, GLAM-Wiki (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) Strategist at the Wikimedia Foundation, and Wiki-librarians Phoebe Ayers (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Kelly Doyle (Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity, West Virginia University Libraries), Merrilee Proffitt (OCLC Research) and Jessamyn West (Vermont librarian and technologist) to discuss what it means as libraries to be involved in Wikipedia and show how you can contribute to #1lib1ref.

Watch the recording of the webinar #1lib1ref: a Citation as a Gateway into Librarianship on Wikipedia today!