#1Lib1Ref in Scotland

SLIC #1Lib1Ref Team – image by Morag Wells CC BY-SA 4.0

Glasgow Women’s Library; the Scottish Poetry Library; the Scottish Storytelling Centre; James Kelman’s classic How Late It Was, How Late; and Helen Cruickshank – all Wikipedia articles that were improved during the course of SLIC’s #1Lib1Ref activity.  

In case you missed the hubbub around the campaign, #1Lib1Ref is the annual drive to get more librarians and library staff engaged with Wikipedia – specifically, to add just one citation to the encyclopedia during the period 15 Jan – 3 February, tagging their edits with #1Lib1Ref.   

Librarians are natural allies of the open knowledge movement, and this campaign has been designed to provide an easy introduction.  At SLIC I’m working to get public library services across Scotland engaged with Wikimedia, and to shine a light on some of the amazing collections held in our libraries.

Staff training at Glasgow Caledonian University Library – image by Sara Thomas CC BY-SA 4.0

We’re currently in the first phase of our project here, working with Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire and North Ayrshire library services to run staff awareness and training, leading hopefully to a self-sustaining programme of editathons in those services.  They’re just getting started – the date for our first editathon has been set, with the second close on its heels, read more on my 6 month project report here.  Inverclyde also managed during this time to get a bit of #1Lib1Ref activity going!

My own #1Lib1Ref goal was to add a citation a day, and tweet about it… you can see everything I did here – with the most engagement coming from the work I did on the article about Adele Patrick, a co-founder of the Glasgow Women’s Library, and a winner of Scotswoman of the year.  

In mid January we were also very happy to welcome the next generation of library professionals, in the shape of Jenny, who’s a student placement from the University of Strathclyde’s Information and Library Studies Masters.  She’ll be with us until the end of March, has an interest in information literacy, and her first project with us was to take part in #1Lib1Ref – which resulted in the creation of a new article – for The Suffragette Oak.

We had a team day in the office at SLIC just before the end of the campaign, with 6 editors making 39 edits on 10 articles!  And eating pizza, just because.  

Last but not least, an event which took place just a day or so after the campaign finished (so I’m including it here, because quite frankly I can): the Don’t Cite Wikipedia, Write Wikipedia! day with staff from the Glasgow Caledonian University Library.  15 editors made 71 edits over six articles, four of them new: (Orkney Library and Archive, Shetland Library, Lady Bruce of Clackmannan and Jess Smith (writer).)

1Lib1Ref worklist – image by Sara Thomas CC BY-SA 4.0

I’m absolutely delighted to have had the opportunity both to shout a bit louder about some of Scotland’s libraries, librarians and writers, and to talk to library professionals about the sort of thing that we can achieve through engagement with Wikimedia projects. I really hope that next year we can get much more involved.  This being my second residency that involves sector-wide advocacy, I know that making changes on this kind of scale can take time – and that’s why campaigns like this, that can show individuals that they’re part of a global movement – are important.  


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