This project revolves around improving the visibility of authors and books in Prof. Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka through the utilization of Wikidata. With the vast amount of literary works available, it can be challenging for libraries to effectively showcase the rich collection of authors and their works. By leveraging the power of Wikidata, a collaborative knowledge base, libraries can enhance discoverability and provide enriched information about authors and their books to users.
Wikidata serves as a comprehensive repository that consolidates data from various reliable sources, enabling librarians to create authoritative profiles for authors and books. Through this integration, libraries can go beyond traditional cataloging systems and offer a more dynamic and interconnected experience to their patrons.
Furthermore, linking books to Wikidata opens up opportunities for libraries to enhance the browsing experience. Library users can easily access comprehensive information about a book, including its publication details, translations, adaptations, and related works. This interconnected approach allows readers to dive deeper into a particular author’s body of work and discover new books based on their interests.
The event which was organized by the Ig Wiki Librarians Hub with support from the Igbo Wikimedins User Group was held at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Main Library, (known as Prof. Festus Aghagbo Nwako Library). This event which was the first of its kind at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Library, aimed at exposing librarians to current trends in open source, specifically utilizing Wikidata as a tool to enhance the visibility of library collections. By the end of the event, a total of 52 items were created. See event’s dashboard for more details
Amongst those in attendance at the event were prominent individuals such as Prof. Stella Anasi, the University Librarian. Additionally, key personnel from various departments were present, including Joy Onwumbiko, the Head of Cataloguing Department, Dr. Hope Chikaodi, the Head of Circulation Department, and Mrs. Kelechi Okafor from the Circulation Unit. Other notable participants included Ndanwu Angela, the Head of Serials Department, as well as existing and dedicated members of the hub, namely (usernames) Sayvhior, Mercyjamb123 , Bridget2023, Bibisuccess, Nwosuphayvour, Adimora chidinma, and many more. Their presence contributed to the success and engagement of the event.
During the event, participants were curios to learn more on how Wikidata could be used to enhance the visibility of collections. Some of the questions were:
Is it possible to add scholarly articles?
Response: Yes, it is indeed possible to add scholarly articles to Wikidata. Librarians can create articles individually by entering the relevant information manually. Alternatively, articles can be uploaded in batches using tools and unique identifiers such as DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or PMID (PubMed Identifier) to ensure accurate linking and attribution.
Can values be entered in Igbo, considering it’s an Igbo language visibility event?
Response: During the event, participants were shown how the Wikidata interface can be switched to Igbo language, catering to the focus on Igbo language visibility. While attempting to enter values in Igbo, such as “sex” or “gender” as “nwanyi” (meaning “female” in Igbo), it was observed that the value appeared in Igbo initially. However, upon selection, it switched back to the default English term “female.” This demonstration highlighted that Wikidata can be edited in Igbo language once the interface, properties, and corresponding values have been appropriately translated.
This emphasizes the potential for expanding the multilingual capabilities of Wikidata and enabling the representation of information in diverse languages, including Igbo. Efforts to translate the interface, properties, and values into Igbo would contribute to a more inclusive and comprehensive representation of knowledge on Wikidata.
More questions and responses are on the Outcome page.
Challenges and recommendations
- Librarians in the southern regions are still in the process of comprehending the workings of Wikimedia projects as an open source initiatives. Recognizing this need, efforts are being made to increase awareness and understanding among librarians in the Igbo community.
- During this event, it was evident that further clarification was required, as many attendees had not fully grasped the concept. Several factors, such as erratic power supply, unavailability of resources, and unfavorable network conditions, hindered effective participation. In response to these challenges, organizers took proactive measures by creating on-screen videos and other supplementary resources. These materials were then shared with participants, enabling them to review the training sessions and practice at their convenience. Participants were followed up via the communication channels.
- The event was scheduled during office hours, which posed a challenge for some librarians who were already occupied with their work responsibilities. To address this issue and ensure broader participation, organizers are planning to arrange another event during a more convenient time slot, specifically targeting working librarians who were unable to attend the previous session.
In conclusion, by incorporating these measures, it is anticipated that librarians in the Igbo community will gain a better understanding of Wikimedia open source projects. Through continued efforts to provide in-person events, as well as the provision of supplementary materials for self-paced learning, the goal is to empower librarians to actively engage with and contribute to Wikimedia projects. During the event at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Library, librarians were introduced to the potential of Wikidata. Participants demonstrated enthusiasm and curiosity, seeking ways to expand collections and incorporate scholarly articles. Moreover, the event highlighted the importance of language representation, challenges were identified, emphasizing the need for improved translation efforts to promote Igbo language visibility.
We extend our appreciation to the University Librarian, Prof. Stella Anasi, and all attendees, including dedicated members of the hub, for their valuable contributions and support.
Team: Olugold (Co-founder and facilitator, Ig Wiki Librarians Hub), Kingsley Nkem (event organizer and outreach coordinator), Chrysella and Newtrains (Communication assistants)
Learn more about the project: Meta-Wiki page
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