As consumers, producers, and stewards of information, librarians are some of the most staunch supporters and fiercest critics of Wikipedia, the world’s largest “free-access, free-content internet encyclopedia” that anyone can edit. This workshop will introduce Wikipedia as a complex information and social ecosystem and demonstrate how the platform can be used as both a conduit for and object of research.
In this train-the-trainer workshop, participants will be invited to look under the hood of Wikipedia and learn how they and their patrons can use classifications, editing histories, talk pages, and citation trails to gain a deeper understanding of information contexts. Additionally, this workshop will address intersections between Wikipedia and social science research and invite librarians to consider how the ecosystem provides insight into our own research habits. After introducing some concrete examples of Wikipedia projects, participants will have the opportunity to design Wikipedia activities, assignments, or workshops for use in their own libraries.
This workshop is open to public and academic librarians who want to learn more about the Wikipedia environment in order to design activities, workshops, or assignments. This workshop will not cover how to edit Wikipedia; check the Wikipedia NYC Meetup page to learn more about edit-a-thons in the metropolitan area.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Assess rhetorical, social, and organizational underpinnings of Wikipedia.
- Integrate contextual information from Wikipedia classifications (outlines, lists, categories, etc.), editing histories, talk pages, and reference lists into their own research practices.
- Design Wikipedia activities, assignments, and workshops for use in a library or classroom.
- Begin to formulate research questions about the Wikipedia ecosystem and its users.
Fees for this workshop are $30 for METRO and myMETRO and ESLN members and $60 for non-members.
Nora Almeida (MFA, MLIS) is an Instruction Librarian at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY. She is currently exploring intersections between critical pedagogy, community, technology, and civic engagement in her research. She volunteers at the Interference Archive in Gowanus, Brooklyn and is an aspiring Wikipedian.