Unlocking Nigeria’s Cultural Wealth: Advancing Sustainable Open Licensing for an Inclusive Open Culture Community

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Greetings, fellow knowledge enthusiasts and advocates of open access! We are thrilled to announce an exciting new project that aims to foster a thriving community of Open Culture Practices for GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) institutions in Nigeria, promoting the sharing, distribution, and access of cultural heritage materials for the benefit of all.

In Nigeria, the concept of open culture and open licensing is relatively new and remains largely untapped, with many GLAM institutions still functioning as physical spaces with restrictions to their collections outside of the four walls of their buildings, limiting their potential reach and impact. This has posed significant challenges for the Creative Commons Nigeria Affiliate, which seeks to encourage the use of Creative Commons (CC) licensing and open models for the dissemination of open knowledge.

According to various studies conducted by esteemed researchers such as Okoro (2016), Oluruntimilehin (2020 and 2022), Chuma-Okoro and Ogbeidi (2021), and Ikem (2022), the hurdles to promoting open access in Nigerian cultural institutions are multifold. They include the lack of awareness and understanding of open practices, scarce funding for digitization projects, legal constraints, and technical support. Additionally, misconceptions about CC and Open Educational Resources (OERs) have fueled skepticism in the publishing industry, with some fearing revenue loss.

Amidst these challenges, the Creative Commons launched a call for case studies on open access in cultural institutions, revealing that knowledge of open practices in GLAMs is relatively low in Nigeria. This prompted the formulation of a comprehensive proposal focused on Building Open Culture Community for Sustainable Open Licensing Practices in Nigeria through advocacy, awareness campaigns, and capacity building as part of the Creative Commons Activity for 2023.

The main goal of this project is to promote open access and licensing of GLAM collections in Nigeria using Creative Commons licenses, attributions, and open platform like Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. By increasing awareness and understanding of open practices among GLAM professionals, we aim to boost the adoption of open access policies and practices in these institutions. Moreover, through extensive digitization efforts and the utilization of appropriate CC platforms and tools, we seek to enhance the online visibility and accessibility of cultural heritage materials and library collections.

To achieve these ambitious goals, the project will encompass several key activities:

  1. Online Advocacy: Using E-posters and social media platforms, we will push for Open Culture Practices and the use of CC tools and licensing, aiming to elevate the importance of open practices in the policy agenda of GLAM institutions via twitter and facebook.
  2. Network of Open Culture Practices Advocates: We will establish a dedicated network of GLAM professionals who are passionate about open access to foster collaboration, shared learning, and advocacy for openness in GLAM institutions.
  3. Roundtable Discussion: Bringing together 30 heads of GLAM institutions, policymakers, managers, and representatives, we will engage in a constructive dialogue to identify challenges and devise a roadmap for promoting open GLAM practices. The insights gained during this roundtable discussion will be published in a report titled “Open Culture Practices in Nigeria: The Way Forward.”
  4. Workshops and Training: A series of in-person and online workshops will be organized for 30 selected GLAM professionals. These sessions will focus on open practices, leveraging existing open platforms for knowledge dissemination, and the use of appropriate CC licenses to enhance the online presence of GLAM collections using Wikimedia commons and Wikipedia. Additionally, practical training on using Wikidata will promote linked open data among GLAM institutions in Nigeria.

We firmly believe that this initiative will be a game-changer for the cultural heritage landscape in Nigeria. By uniting GLAM professionals and stakeholders in a community of open-mindedness, we can pave the way for transformative change in the accessibility and preservation of our rich cultural heritage.

We invite you all to embark on this incredible journey with us as we strive to build a more inclusive, open, and connected world of knowledge. Together, we can bring about positive change and ensure that our cultural heritage remains accessible for generations to come.

Stay tuned for updates and progress reports as we embark on this noble endeavor! Let us embrace the power of open access and propel Nigerian GLAMs to the forefront of the global open knowledge movement.

Project Team

Bukola James (project lead): is a fellow of Wikipedian in African Libraries, and the first Certified Trainer of the Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom program in Nigeria. She has led several projects among which include: WikiLovesLibraries Nig., Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom Kwara, Nigeria, 1Lib1Ref Kwara 2022, WikiGLAM Awareness for Librarians in Kwara State, and Wikidata for Libraries and notable Librarians in Kwara State. Co-organiser, Wikipedia awareness for Library and Information Students in Nigeria, Wikidata for novelists and their novels, and the founder of the Wikimedia Fan Club, Kwara State University. She is currently a Special Advisor for the Wikipedia +Education User Group, the Regional Liasion Sub-Saharan Africa, Lets Connect Team, and community coordinator for CfA WiR Community.

Linason Blessing (facilitator): is an experienced Wikibrarian and has participated in various Wikimedia projects such as Wiki Loves Africa, WPWP, Wikidata (Media personalities in Nigeria), Winner of WPWP Kwara and Wikidata Media personality in Nigeria, she facilitated several in various trainings like; WikiGLAM Awareness for Libraries and Librarians in Kwara, Wikidata for Libraries and Librarians in Nigeria, 1lib1ref 2022 Kwara, Wiki Loves Libraries, the first Reading Wikipedia in the classroom Nigeria e.t.c. She led the Wikipedia awareness for Library and Information Science Students in Nigeria.

Miracle James (facilitator): Mijesty is an experienced Wikipedia volunteer who has participated in several wikipedia projects in Nigeria. She has facilitated several Wikipedia trainings like the Wiki Loves Libraries, Promoting Nigerian books and authors on Wikipedia, she also led the recently concluded Wikipedia awareness in Offa community amongst others.

Rhoda James (facilitator): is an experienced Wikimedian, who has participated in various Wikimedia projects (as a facilitator as well as an editor) namely; Some of these projects include Wiki loves SDGs, WikiGLAM, 1lib1ref, Wikidata for Libraries and Librarians in Nigeria, Wikidata for Novels and Novelists in Nigeria, WikiLovesLibraries, Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom for Secondary School students, Promoting Nigerian Books and Authors, Celtic Knot Kwara, and more.

Barakat Adegboye (facilitator): is a Wikimedia volunteer from Nigeria who has gained extensive experience as a project lead, facilitator and participant in various Wikimedia projects. Some of these projects include Let’s Connect Peer Learning Program in Kwara, Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom programs in Kwara, Nigeria, Wiki loves SDGs, WikiGLAM, 1lib1ref, Wikidata for Libraries and Librarians in Nigeria, Wikidata for Novels and Novelists in Nigeria, WikiLovesLibraries, Promoting Nigerian Books and Authors, Celtic Knot Kwara, and more. She is also a trained educator and the General Secretary of the University of Ilorin Wikimedia Fan Club.

Dr. Ngozi Osuchukwu(Facilitator): is a certified Librarian and Wikipedian: Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom. She is the Coordinator of Wikimedia Anambra Network. She has facilitated several Wikipedia trainings like: AfLIA Basics of Wikipedia Training; Awareness and Campaign on #1Lib1Ref in Anambra State Nigeria; World Cancer Day 2023 Edit-a-thon among others. Ngozi has presented and published papers on Wikimedia in local and international platforms.

Omorodion (Facilitator): is an experienced Librarian and Wikimedian from Nigeria. He has organized and facilitated several Wikimedia events in Nigeria, including the Wikipedia Train-the-Trainer Workshop for Librarians in Edo State, Nigeria; A seminar on Linked Open Data and Wikibase for Nigerian Librarians, Edo History Write-a-thon and Wiki for Climate and Environmental Literacy in Nigeria. Omorodion is a certified Wikimedia Campaign organizer and Co-founder of the Port Harcourt Wikimedia Hub. He has also published over 40 scholarly works in reputable outlets around the World.

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