GLAM-WIKI 2015/Proposals/Wikipedia and the role of academic librarians

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This is an accepted submission for GLAM-WIKI 2015.

Submission no. GW15.1033
Title of the submission
Wikipedia and the role of academic librarians
Type of submission
Presentation
Author of the submission
Gemma Bayliss and Gregory Toth
Country of origin
United Kingdom
Affiliation
Regent's University London
E-mail address
tothgAt sign.svgregents.ac.uk
Username
Baylissg ; viagege
Personal homepage or blog
Twitter username
Facebook url
Abstract

Fact: Wikipedia is the primary starting point for many university assignments. Whether academics like it or not, students check Wikipedia to begin their research. And although academics can have endless conversations about the "danger" of using Wikipedia in academia, we, as librarians, have an obligation to take the initiative and be much more proactive about Wikipedia within our communities. This talk will look at examples of how two academic librarians based at Regent's Univeristy London, are trying to engage their students and colleagues with Wikipedia, to encourage collaboration and participation, and increase understanding.

Detailed proposal

Fact: Wikipedia is the primary starting point for many university assignments. Whether academics like it or not, students check Wikipedia to begin their research, get an overview of a topic, find relevant sources, images, data and bibliographies. Reviewing exisiting literature no longer usually starts with paying a visit to the university library and talking to a reference librarian. As information professionals we have to accept that students use Google and click on the first availabe link: a link to a Wikipedia page. And although academics can have endless conversations about the "dangers" of using Wikipedia in higher education, we, as librarians, have an obligation to take the initiative and be much more proactive about Wikipedia within our communities.

This talk will look at examples of how two academic librarians based at Regent's Univesity London www.regents.ac.ukare trying to engage their students and colleagues with Wikipedia, to encourage collaboration and participation, and increase understanding. We will be showing examples of what we have tried in the past and what we are planning to try in the near future, discussing the benefits of participation, and real potential barriers to engagement.

The more librarians get involved in Wikipedia, the better for everybody. Academic librarians, whose roles allow them to work closely with both students and academic staff, have a real opportunity to play a significant role in increasing engagement with, and understanding of, Wikipedia within the higher education community. Since libraries and Wikipedia share the same goals, that is to promote open access to human knowledge, there really is no excuse for us not to embrace Wikipedia.

Track

Collaboration

Length of presentation/talk

25 Minutes

Target audience

Beginner and intermediate

Expected outcomes

We hope to encourage other academic librarians with our examples.

Will you attend GLAM-WIKI 2015 if your submission is not accepted?

No

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