Critical issues presentations/1lib1ref: How The Wikipedia Library asked librarians to add one more reference to Wikipedia, and we found a community of GLAM-Wiki leaders

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Submission no. 207
Title of the submission
  1. 1lib1ref: How The Wikipedia Library asked librarians to add one more reference to Wikipedia, and we found a community of GLAM-Wiki leaders
Author of the submission
  • Alex Stinson
  • Jake Orlowitz
Country of origin

United States of America; United States of America


other, Outreach, Projects, Research

  • Libraries
  • The Wikipedia Library
  • Outreach
  • Participation campaigns
  • Leadership

For the Wikipedia 15 birthday, The Wikipedia Library program launched an experimental campaign, calling on the libraries community to “Imagine a World where Every Librarian Added One More Reference to Wikipedia.”. Capitalizing on the success of Wikipedia Library outreach at library conferences and local GLAM-Wiki communities throughout the world in activating librarians, we wanted to provide a lightweight and well framed outreach campaign that any Wikimedia community could use to expand their outreach with their local libraries. Translated into over 8 languages, the campaign provided an opportunity for librarians the world over to be called into action. Thousands of librarians learned about the opportunity, many of these added at least one reference to Wikipedia, and some even created their own #1lib1ref events, where they taught other staff to participate. In this presentation I will discuss the design and theory behind the event, our strategy for engaging library networks, and our assessment of the outcomes.

Though the campaign’s main “call to action” asked librarians to add references to Wikipedia, we actually designed the campaign to meet several other goals: affirming the changing tone about Wikipedia in the libraries community from “you should never use it in research” to more sophisticated strategies for teaching patrons how to use Wikipedia in research; demonstrating to the major library network partners, like the International Federation of Library Associations and the Association of Research Libraries, that there is a latent demand for coordinated Wikipedia engagement in major library communities; activating librarians we had met during outreach events, but have yet to be able to support in one-on-one collaboration; and testing the effectiveness of Volunteer built tools like Citation Hunt and Hashtag tracking for editing campaigns.

Thus far reception from our major library partners, the twitter librarian and digital libraries networks has been extremely positive, with broad enthusiasm and discovery of quite a few new library allies. But, more importantly, the campaign became a catalyst for Wikimedia tool builders, library partners, and Wikimedia communities to engage more directly with the Wikipedia Library in other projects to improve existing tech tools and create partnership that benefit the Wikimedia community. We will report the outcomes from the event, alongside how we plan to redesign the campaign for 2017, through the collaboration of an volunteer organizing committee.

‘’Note the campaign is still running while I submit this abstract, hence why there are no specific numbers.”


Not accepted