Event Recap: “Wikipedia Takes Brooklyn” at the Brooklyn Public Library

by Dorothy Howard, Open Data Fellow and Wikipedian-in-Residence at METRO

On the weekend of September 7th, Wikimedia NYC, Metropolitan New York Library Council, and the Wikiotics Foundation hosted Wikipedia Takes Brooklyn at the Information Commons at Brooklyn Public Library's Central Library.

20130930_wikipediatakesbrooklynrecap1.jpgThe first in the 2013 Wikipedia Loves Libraries season, this event included three break-out sessions: a “photo hunt” for images of Brooklyn's historic monuments and libraries with tutorials on uploading images to Wikipedia, one-on-one open office hours, and a Wikiotics' Families Learning Bilingually program to develop educational resources on Wikipedia. Learning materials provided at the event included a online learning guide and Wikimedia Foundation learning booklets.

Nine experienced Wikipedians helped provide training throughout the weekend. Seventeen new users were registered, and several members of the Brooklyn Public Library staff observed. Within a day of the event, participants had created five pages and made 229 edits, according to Wiki-Metrics data. Two weeks after the event, the number of pages created rose to thirty, with 1019 edits made. Over seventy-three images from the photo hunt were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

20130930_wikipediatakesbrooklynrecap2.jpgPersonal accounts from staff at Wikipedia Takes Brooklyn include many success stories. One woman walked in on Sunday as a brand new Wikipedian, and after a one-on-one training that lasted a few hours, she had created a user account, revised the entry for Sara Delano Roosevelt Park in LES, and added one of her own photographs to the page. She expressed her amazement and delight at being able to add to the public history about her neighborhood and its residents.

Organizers of the Wikipedia Weekend plan to continue its partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library Central Library to hold more regular Wikipedia events at the Info Commons. For more information about METRO's engagement with Wikipedia see the METRO Wikipedia:Project Page.