Monika Sengul-Jones joins OCLC as Wikipedian-in-Residence
OCLC has appointed Monika Sengul-Jones as Wikipedian-in-Residence for Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together, a project led by OCLC’s WebJunction program.
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. The training will enable librarians to edit Wikipedia, guide patrons in its use and lead local Wikipedia-based community engagement programs with confidence. In her role, Sengul-Jones will also foster connections between public librarians and Wikipedia’s volunteer editor community.
Sengul-Jones is a communication and media studies scholar, educator, organizer, web developer and Wikipedian. Her passion for media literacy and community engagement guides her work with Wikipedia.
“I’m thrilled to be the Wikipedian-in-Residence for Wikipedia + Libraries,” says Sengul-Jones. “This is a powerful and—quite frankly—incredibly timely project. Public library resources deserve to be featured on one of the world’s most highly trafficked, collaborative and non-commercial websites. Equally, the Wikipedia community of editors and readers need the authoritative body of nuanced resources that librarians manage to deepen and improve articles on the widest variety of subjects. I am proud to be serving as a bridge between public libraries and the Wikipedia community.”
Sengul-Jones has a master’s degree in gender studies from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, and in communication from UC San Diego, where she is currently completing her doctorate. She has five years of experience as a Wikipedia editor and outreach organizer (user:Shameran81). And, she has volunteered with the Cascadia Wikimedia User Group since 2014. In 2015-16, her work on systemic bias and Wikipedia’s gendered content gaps was funded by the Wikimedia Foundation’s INSPIRE grant campaign on gender diversity.
The Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together project is a winner of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 2016 News Challenge, for which OCLC received $250,000 in funding. In October 2016, the Wikimedia Foundation awarded OCLC a $70,000 project grant toward the Wikipedian-in-Residence position.
About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property.
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.
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 US public libraries across all 50 states have participated in WebJunction programs and learning since 2003.
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