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Don Boozer's picture

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at ALA Annual

The RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee will be hosting a...

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
at ALA Annual in Chicago
Sunday, June 30, 2013
11:00 am to 2:00 pm
in the Networking Uncommons area of the Convention Center

Why Wikipedia? For good or for ill, Wikipedia is consistently in the Top 10 most-visited websites in the world. People are using it! For librarians, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to train people on how, why, and when to use Wikipedia effectively and appropriately. The opportunity is to use it to highlight local collections and expertise. Editing the collaborative, online encyclopedia is a great way to get to understand it from behind-the-scenes and to be able to share this knowledge with patrons and students.

An edit-a-thon is a great place to start this learning process. An edit-a-thon, as described by the Wikimedia Foundation, is "an event in which people work together in person to build content on a wiki."

The Edit-a-thon at ALA Annual will be a low-key, informal affair, and those interested in learning more about becoming a "Wikipedian" (i.e., someone who edits Wikipedia articles) and trying one's hand at some actual editing are highly encouraged to drop by during the times posted above. We're also asking experienced Wikipedians to drop by to serve as mentors for the event.

There are no "themes" for this event; however, two suggestions for content to add to Wikipedia include:

  • Hyper-local content: Check out Wikipedia's new Nearby page to find landmarks in your area that could use a photo or updated text and bring that info to Chicago.
  • Take part in the Wikipedia Citation Clean-up Project (Seems tailor-made for librarians!)

If you're new to Wikipedia editing, here are some resources to look at if you're interested in getting a jump on the event on June 30:

If you have any questions about the event, feel free to post a comment here.

We'll also use this page to update everyone after ALA Annual as well!

Hope to see you in Chicago!

Don Boozer's picture

Although linked to in the announcement above, it bears highlighting that Wikipedia now also has a new feature called "Nearby" which will use your present location to show topics within the online encyclopedia near your location which may need a photo added:

Mashable article (5/30/2013)

Wikipedia Nearby (for mobile)

Wikipedia Nearby (for desktop)