#LD42023. Part I: The Future of Wikidata + Libraries (A Workshop)

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In a world with AI hallucinations, information overload, and digital isolation, libraries’ pursuit of enriched knowledge and community engagement is paramount. Many librarians have walked the Open Linked Data and the Wikidata paths in this transformative journey. If you’re curious about which projects libraries have done, which challenges they face, and what tools are out there, this blog series is for you! 

In this series, Silvia Gutiérrez and Giovanna Fontenelle (from the Culture and Heritage team at the Wikimedia Foundation) have put together the results of a collaborative session that sought to build a direct bridge between the Library-Wikidata community and WMF during the 2023 LD4 Conference on Linked Data. The session was designed to foster a dynamic feedback environment where participants delved into their shared knowledge and curiosity about the role of Wikidata, Wikibase, and Structured Data on Commons (SDC) in libraries.

We harnessed some Design Thinking strategies, including Octopus Clustering and Group Dot Voting (with emojis!). The result was a very inspiring input from participants, so in this series, we will try to sum up what we learned from you, and we’ll add the links to each post at the end of this one as we publish them. Here is a quick overview of the four sections in which this workshop was structured:

Getting to Know Each Other

Using an adapted version of OpenCon’s “Story of Self” circles, participants could step away from their professional profiles and share the personal journeys that led them to become librarians engaged with Wikidata or eager to explore its potential further. A virtual Jamboard provided a collaborative space for these exchanges.

What brought you to be a librarian who uses Wikidata? The section starts in the recording at 15:47

The Examples

In this segment, discussions revolved around the vibrant world of Wikidata and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) projects. Participants had the chance to showcase the projects they were passionate about, shedding light on the incredible work happening in the community.

What GLAMs working with linked data on the Wikimedia projects do you know about? The section starts at 31:13

The Tools

In the complex world of information management, efficiency and effectiveness are essential. Many tools and features have been created around Wikidata, and we wanted to learn which ones have significantly impacted library work!

What tools or aspects of Wikidata are particularly useful for your work? The section starts at 45:35

The Challenges

In this section, the workshop wanted to understand the challenges participants found when working with Wikidata as librarians, especially regarding tools. We asked them to divide the answers into particular tools and aspects and add their reasons.

What tools or aspects of Wikidata are challenging for your work? The section starts at 55:24

The Future

Together, we sought to understand the collective aspirations to chart a way forward. The idea was to give participants a space to express how they would approach the problems using individual statements (e.g., I would like to, I could).

How can we address these challenges? The section starts at 1:05:32

This blog post series reflects the exciting discussions and insights from this thought-provoking and collaborative session (thank you also to you, LD4 organizers!). It explores the multifaceted role of Wikidata in libraries, from the normalization of identifiers to the promotion of knowledge equity, and the cultivation of collaborative communities. As we dive into the various dimensions of this transformative force, we invite you to join us on this journey toward a world of Linked Open Data, where libraries and communities flourish together.

This series will comprise six Diff posts, including this introduction, each describing at length the five Jamboard frames used in this workshop. Follow them here:

  1. #LD42023 I: The Future of Wikidata + Libraries (A Workshop)
  2. #LD42023 II: Getting to Know Each Other, Librarians in the Wikidata World
  3. #LD42023 III: The Examples, Libraries Using Wikidata
  4. #LD42023 IV: Wikidata Tools everyone is talking about
  5. #LD42023 V: Main Challenges of Wikidata for Librarians 
  6. #LD42023 VI: Imagining a Wikidata Future for Librarians, Together

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