Promoting Nigerian Books and Authors was an initiative led by Rhoda James to bridge the knowledge gap on Wikipedia, and Wikidata about Books and their Authors in Nigeria. This endeavour received support from the first implementation of EveryBookitsReader international Campaign, which commenced in April 2023. The Promoting Nigerian Books and Authors project ran from May 1st to June 31st and originated from The Wikidata for Nigerian Novelist and Novel project, conducted in March 2022.
The initial implementation stemmed from the recognition of a content gap about Nigerian Novelist and their Novel on wiki platform. Many authors from Nigeria remain absent from the Wikidata and Wikipedia databases due to limited online visibility. Nigerian books frequently encounter challenges in gaining global recognition, resulting from insufficient representation and promotion within the international literary community.
The primary objective of this project is not to increase and improve contents about Nigerian books and their authors on Wikipedia and its sisters, but also highlight the cultural richness within these books. In 2022, the Wikidata for Novelist and Novel campaign made some progress in bridging the gap, and in 2023, our contributions expanded further on Wikipedia and Wikidata.
The project had several key goals in mind to empower participants with the knowledge to promote Nigerian Books and Authors. These goals included:
- Mobilising and sensitising participants on the content gap that exist about the project theme online and on various Wikimedia project whilst changing their perception of Wikipedia and its sister projects: With the help of the Association of Nigerian Authors Kwara Chapter, Imodoye Writers Enclave, Book Clubs, and Libraries among others, the project engaged students, authors, librarians, and bibliophiles who were passionate about creating visibility for Nigerian literature, and their Authors on Wikimedia projects.
- Data-a-thons: This activity was a series of Wikidata training/data-a-thon to raise awareness about the wikidata gap on Literature-related topics in Nigeria using Wikidata query service and practical hands on for item creation and expansion, which generated a worklist for participants.
- Edit-a-thons: To increase at least 30 participants editing skill to performing minor edits (adding citations, wikilinks, adding category, infoboxes, and descriptions, among others) on Wikipedia related to Literature topics in the Nigerian context and helping them understand the Wikipedia core content policies, the general editing principles and tools needed to edit properly.
The Project activities encompassed both online and physical training sessions to cater for a wider audience and facilitate hands-on learning. Here’s a breakdown of the activities that took place:
- Online Training: The online onboarding and training session was conducted to teach the participants how to create their Wikipedia accounts, add Wiki links and citations to articles, create wikidata items and discuss their challenges during the editing process. The session was recorded for future reference.
- Physical Training: Two (2) physical training sessions was held at the Mustapha Akanbi Library and Resource centre in Kwara State. Participants received training on creating Wikidata items, setting their preferences, How to create their accounts, how to edit Wikipedia and gaining a deeper understanding of the Wikimedia ecosystem, A discussion on how to improve the Authors visibility and quality of article was also discussed.
How It Was Achieved:
To ensure maximum participation and engagement, the organisers implemented several strategies:
- Clear Guidance: A list of articles and items was available to the participants, for easy identification of areas where their contributions were needed. Additionally, one-on-one training sessions were conducted to provide individualised guidance and support.
- Publicity: The event was promoted through e-posters on various Wikimedia communities communication channels to create awareness, attracting a larger number of participants to the project. Social media platforms played a crucial role in spreading the word and creating awareness.
- Ongoing Communication: Weekly updates about the campaign were shared with the participants through a dedicated WhatsApp group. This regular communication kept the participants informed and motivated throughout the preparation and implementation phase.
- Personalised Support: Each participant was followed up individually to ensure they had created their accounts, set up their user pages, and joined the event dashboard before the physical training session. This personalised support helped participants overcome any technical or logistical hurdles they might have encountered.
|Number of event
|We will have a total number of 2 physical events and 2 online training. The events will include Wikidata and Wikipedia training ( Adding Citation, Wiki Links and creating Wikidata Items).
|Number of Newly Recruited Wikimedians
|Neww editors will be recruited
|Total number of items/articles improved
|The total number of items created is expected to be 200 and the expected articles improved is 100
- Involving other Wikimedians who were unfamiliar with the campaign theme slowed down our progress as we had to engage them in several one-on-one sessions before they became acquainted with the theme and contributed meaningfully.
- Because most of the participants were involved in other projects, we had to manually go through each participant’s special contribution page to determine if they were participating in the campaign. This took a lot of time to collate results, as the outreach dashboard was also tracking other participants’ activities during the campaign. Because of this development we had to reset the dashboard which caused some discrepancies on the dashboard.
Promoting Nigerian Books and Authors 2023 resulted in significant outcomes that exceeded our expectations.
- We organised four (4) online and physical in-person training session held at the Mustapha Akanbi Library and Resource Centre, Ilorin . The dual-format approach allowed us to reach a wider audience and accommodate the diverse preferences of participants.
- One of the most notable achievements of the program was the excitement of the participants to improve and create items on Wikidata and edit articles on Wikipedia which reflected on the outreach dashboard.
- During the implementation of the project, the participants made a substantial impact by contributing over 500 edits on both Wikipedia and Wikidata. These edits encompassed the creating items, improving items, editing articles, adding citation and wiki links.
For more detailed information and a comprehensive overview of the participants’ contributions, we encourage you to explore the outreach dashboard. It provides a detailed breakdown of the edits made, highlighting the transformative impact of the meetup in advancing the cause of indigenous knowledge preservation in Nigeria.
We are immensely proud of the outcomes achieved and extend our gratitude to the organisers of EveryBookitsReader campaign for their invaluable support. The success of this event sets a strong precedent for future endeavours aimed at preserving and promoting Nigerian Books and Authors on the digital platforms.
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