The SLIC Wikimedian in Residence project aims to advance Open Knowledge objectives in Scotland's public libraries.
The focus of the project is to improve the contribution libaries make to the digital landscape and widen access to the rich content stored by libraries. During the first phase, Wikipedia training was delivered across six library services throughout Scotland. Now in it's second phase, the project has expanded with librarians from 18 Scottish library services receiving training.
The Wikimedian in Residence project was proposed by Inverclyde Libraries in partnership with CultureNL Libraries. It is funded through the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF), which is administered by SLIC on behalf of the Scottish Government.
The residency aims to establish public libraries as quality content creators in the digital sphere, providing open access to freely usable content about Scottish culture. Delivered through training, advocacy and events, SLIC recognises that the aims of Wikimedia and Scotland’s libraries are in alignment.
Throughout each phase, tailored training and support will be offered to participating library services.
Training in how to edit Wikipedia will be delivered to interested library staff, with support and resources offered to enable further self-study.
Each participating service has committed to deliver a Wikipedia Editathon - a staff-led Wikipedia content creation workshop with volunteer participants - with a view to delivering more in the future.
Resources from the library service will be used in the course of the workshops.
The initial focus of the project has been on Scotland’s culture & heritage – with content created on local history matters and biographies.
In addition, there has been an emphasis on notable Scottish women who are under-represented in general across Wikipedia content.
This has made a significant contribution towards promoting culture and creativity as part of Strategic Aim 5 of Ambition & opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015 - 2020.
The project builds upon the range of digital skills public libraries already offer and opens up the benefits of the internet to a wider audience.
This supports the delivery of Strategic Aim 2: Digital Inclusion of Ambition & Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Library in Scotland 2015-2020. Ultimately the Wikimedian project widens access to the vast collections of high quality information held in Scotland’s public libraries.
The first phase of the Wikimedian project focused on three library services – Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire and North Ayrshire. Through training and support from our Wikimedian, they all successfully held their own Editathon events. Feedback gathered from this first phase was also used to develop the second phase of the project.
The Wikimedian project has now expanded and so far 18 library services throughout Scotland have participated. Through comprehensive training more Editathons are taking place - encouraging learning and participation.
In addition, 'Train a Trainer' teams have been established, equipping libraries with all the knowledge they need to host their own Wikimedia event. Throughout the project continual support has been given to both phase one and two partners as well as engagement with Higher and Further Education services. You can learn more about our Wikimedian events and discover resources by visiting our Wikimedian Wiki page.