Libraries love Wikimedia, too!

In February 2020, the IFLA Wikidata Working Group received a grant to develop 6 videos on citations in the library community. In September 2020, the videos were posted online, hoping to continue the conversation on topics such as Wikidata, Wikisource, citations, authority files, equity of knowledge issues, scholarly communications in libraries. 

In August 2019, at WLIC 2019 in Athens, Stacy Allison-Cassin presented workshops on Wikidata in libraries to bring our communities together. Following these meetings, a call was made to bring together librarians who would like to get involved in a working group. This initial group including Karim Tharani, Joachim Neubert, Carla Colombati, Catarina Reis, Dan Scott, and Miguel Mimoso Correia. 

In February 2020, the IFLA Wikidata Working Group received a grant from Wikicite to develop a satellite meeting for the annual IFLA conference, the World Library and Information Congress. The aim of the event  was to bring together librarians and Wikimedian communities to exchange ideas and build further capacity in this field. 

The COVID19 modified the initial plans and therefore the working group proposed to produce videos with experts, with the aim to introduce useful topics and projects as examples and best practices for the library community. 

The six videos were produced thanks to the contributions of Jason Evans (@WIKI_NLW) and Simon Cobb (user: Sic19), Barbara Fischer (@fisherdata) and Sara Hartmann, Meg Wacha, Ahava Cohen, Nicolas Vigneron (user: VIGNERON), Karim Tharani (user: Ktharani)  and Stacy Allison-Cassin (user: Smallison @stacymallison). Each presentation has subtitles available in five languages (Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, French and Portuguese) to enable several language communities to benefit from the content. The videos are available on Youtube, embedded below, and are available on Wikimedia Commons.

Video 1. Wikidata and Digital Transformation in Libraries with Jason Evans and Simon Cobb.

In this video Jason and Simon shared their experience and projects working on collections and bibliographic data from the National Library of Wales uploading them to Wikidata.

Video 2. Wikidata and Wikisource with Nicolas Vigneron

Nicolas discussed the origins of Wikicite and Wikisource projects and how they developed to be aligned with Wikidata.

Video 3. An Introduction to Wikibase and Wikidata with Barbara Fischer and Sarah Hartmann

Barbara and Sarah presented Wikibase as the elegible platform for managing the German Integrated Authority Files (GND). They discussed the process of data mapping from bibliographic records to Wikidata and the tools they have used.

Video 4. Mind the Gap! How Wikidata complements and completes metadata work with Ahava Cohen 

In this video Ahava addressed the aspect of multilingualism on the Israeli library world, the problems with non western characters, and the work with the Israeli National Library authority files in Wikidata.

Video 5. Critical issues in Knowledge Equity with Stacy Allison-Cassin and Karim Tharani

Stacy and Karim spoked about the issues about knowledge equity and how Wikidata and Wikicite projects can leverage the barriers from marginalised communities and what is the role of libraries in such projects.

Video 6. Scholarly Profiles, Wikidata and Academic Libraries with Meg Wacha

Meg presented a framework of academic knowledge production process and how Scholia can be of help for promoting researcher’s profiles and visualizing scholarly information.


The videos were shared online through the social networks of the members of the working group and IFLA. 

After several months of work, the working group is taking stock of its work. It has published a report on Meta-wiki which integrates the viewing figures we collected. 

The IFLA’s Wikidata Working Group also launched an event to extend its group to new members. The main goal is to develop documentations and build capacity on Wikidata and Wikibase in libraries. Wikimedia Germany has also integrated this group to support efforts. 

In November 2020, the working group has established two subgroups on Wikidata and Wikibase with librarians all around the world to support them by benefiting from documentations, building capacity on technical aspects, and showcase what are the ongoing projects currently developed in libraries. 

Next year, the group will increase the discussions around Wikidata and Wikibase and develop projects for the library community.

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— The IFLA’s Wikidata working group