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Next Steps in GLAM-Wiki Collaboration [NOTES]


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By now you no longer need convincing. Wikipedia is not only a ubiquitous reference platform for our users, but is also home to a thriving, global volunteer community that is eager to distribute the deeper expertise residing in museums. So now what? As a group of Wikipedians who help museums share content, GLAM-Wiki has made great strides in formalizing over the past few years. But how do museum technologists better connect and interface with this resource? How can we work together to more efficiently share our media, research, and expertise?

This presentation shares the current progress of the GLAM-Wiki infrastructure, offering insights into how museums can best connect with the Wikipedia community in order to share cultural resources on the globally accessible platform. The future of GLAM-Wiki will be considered, including a proposed model that will allow museums to support one another in Wikipedia-focused endeavors.

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Next Steps in GLAM-Wiki Collaboration [NOTES]

  1. 1. So now what? Next steps in GLAM-Wiki collaborationThursday, November 8, 2012 I’m Lori Phillips and throughout 2012 I have been serving a one-year position as the US Cultural Partnerships Coordinator for the Wikimedia Foundation. I am also the Wikipedian in Residence and Digital Marketing Coordinator for the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Today I’ll be sharing how far GLAM has come in the US over the past two years, The new ways you can connect with the Wikipedia community And goals for the future of GLAM-Wiki in the US. GLAM-Wiki is a global community of volunteer Wikipedians who help galleries, libraries, archives, and museums with sharing their resources on Wikipedia. This includes hundreds of Wikipedians around the world who are working alongside the more formally-titled Wikipedians in Residence. This all started about two years ago, when Wikipedia would not have been considered a core part of any cultural institution’s mission. Most didn’t really take GLAM-Wikimedia collaboration seriously until institutions like the British Museum and the Smithsonian began cooperative projects with Wikipedia. In the spring of 2011 we began to more formally organize GLAM-Wiki as a global community. We held our first GLAMcamp in New York City, where we developed tools, documentation, and broad strategy for outreach. By the end of 2011 it became clear that we could not just organize on a global level, but had so much interest from GLAMs that we needed coordination specific to the US. This list represents the museums that had already begun a Wikipedia project or who were interested in getting started, as of December 2011, about a year ago. It was at this time that I began my position as US Cultural Partnerships Coordinator for the Wikimedia Foundation. This is what our list of interested organizations looks like today, nearly a year later. And this level of interest has kept us busy! But what’s good is it means that there’s a large group of organizations who can now support one another, as well. My goal as GLAM Coordinator has been to establish a system to allow museums to more efficiently share our media, research, and expertise. This has focused on three main areas: - Continuing support and outreach for GLAM professionals through documentation, publications and presentations. - Bringing together the GLAM-Wiki US Community to more easily support GLAMs. - And connecting the GLAM-Wiki US Community and GLAM professionals in a new, self- sufficient professional network that will help GLAM become sustainable in the US. Which I’ll be speaking about in a minute.
  2. 2. Throughout 2012 the GLAM-Wiki initiative has really come into its own in the US.In March, the Wikipedian in Residence model was included in the inaugural Center for theFuture of Museums TrendsWatch report.One of our main outreach efforts was at the American Association of Museums, who invited usto present about GLAM in a panel of Wikipedians in Residence.The AAM conference became a major turning point for the GLAM movement. This was the firsttime that it became clear that museums were broadly embracing Wikipedia.We went in expecting to do a lot of convincing – but no one needed to know “why.” They alljust wanted to know “how.”Following AAM, this idea that GLAM had finally “made it” continued at MuseumNext.Three of the four keynotes included Wikipedia as an example, as well as many other sessions.MuseumNext was the first time that I had seen GLAM professionals telling each other,repeatedly, that Wikipedia was useful, relevant, and worth pursuing. Once again, it wasn’tabout the “why” anymore, it was about the “how.”Koven said, “Wikipedia is more important as an information resource than any other singleinstitution. We need to accept that and figure out how to work with it.”This shift in perception is happening in libraries and archives too.The National Archives has had Dominic McDevitt-Parks as their Wikipedian in Residence sincethe summer of 2011, and the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, is one of our mostoutspoken proponents.The National Archives’ support for GLAM was made even more explicit when Wikimedia wasrepeatedly mentioned in their Open Government Plan for 2012-14.So where do you fit into the world of GLAM-Wiki?Well, one of GLAM-Wiki’s greatest strengths is its community.While there have been about a dozen Wikipedians in Residence, there are hundreds ofvolunteers involved in GLAM-Wiki more broadly, all over the world.They have specific skills ranging from copyright and image donations, to mass metadatauploads, to events coordination, training, education and outreach.As a group, we help advocate for your institution and make sure that you don’t get stuck as younavigate Wikipedia.GLAM-Wiki can connect you with a global community of volunteers who want to shareknowledge, just like you.
  3. 3. I like to describe the GLAM-Wiki community as one made up of concentric circles.There are now many “National GLAM Coordinators” like myself in specific countries, who serveas the main point of contact for institutions wishing to collaborate with Wikipedia.This picture only includes a few, but there are Coordinators in Israel, India, Germany, the UK,Sweden, Italy, Spain, Australia, and France.GLAM Coordinators connect institutions to the local Wikipedia community, and also serve as abridge to the broader, global GLAM-Wiki community, where we can connect with morespecialized Wikipedians, and also utilize our resources for translation efforts and othercrowdsourced projects.I have spent time this year building the capacity of the US-based GLAM-Wiki Community, whichpreviously, to be honest, had not been that strong.We began this process at GLAMcamp DC in February, where we brought together around 30Wikipedians and cultural professionals at the National Archives to establish a system for GLAMsto more easily connect with Wikipedians.Before our work at GLAMcamp, the main space available for GLAM-Wiki resources was theglobal page, which is at glamwiki.orgThis is still an ideal space to review our best practices, types of events, and case studies from alldifferent types of projects all over the world.This screenshot shows the case studies landing page for The Children’s Museum, which includesspecific case studies on our image donation, MAPs project that Sarah mentioned, our FeaturedArticle collaboration, staff outreach, and our implementation of QRpedia.But we now also have a specific space for the GLAM-Wiki US community, called the GLAM/USPortal on the English Wikipedia. The goal of this space is to allow GLAM professionals to bemore self-sufficient in finding information about GLAM and finding resources get started with apartnership.This space will link you out to the case studies that are compiled on the global glamwiki page,but it is also unique in its method to connect GLAMs with individual Wikimedians.It includes a Connect page, a Contribute page, and the GLAM Bookshelf.The GLAM/Connect page has lists of Wikimedians that GLAM professionals can reach out to,including both in-person, outreach volunteers and online volunteers.There is also a list of cultural professionals who have already carried out partnerships and arewilling to answer questions.An idea that came out of GLAMcamp was to create Connect pages for each state. This is theexample for Indiana. Each one has local contacts, WikiProjects related to that state or region,and links to local Campus Ambassadors.
  4. 4. The GLAM: Contribute page walks you through the process of considering what project is rightfor you. It will link you out directly to appropriate resources, and help connect you with aWikipedian.The GLAM: Bookshelf lists powerpoints, handouts, and project plans that the GLAM communityhas created.One of the first things you’ll want to do is find materials for convincing the rest of your staffthat you should start a project. This is a one-stop-shop for those resources.Included on the Bookshelf is the GLAM One-Pager, which is a great overview of why you shouldcollaborate with Wikipedia.So that’s the GLAM/portal. But the US is unique in another resource: we are one of the firstcountries where cultural professionals have taken leadership roles within the GLAM-Wikimovement. Cultural professionals who have been involved in GLAM from early on are nowbecoming leading advocates in their own right.They are pursuing speaking engagements, establishing best practices and resources, seekinggrants, and working pan-institutionally to advocate for Wikimedia in cultural institutions.This is Pamela Wright, Chief Digital Access Strategist at the National Archives, presenting atWikimania. She’s also presented about Wikipedia at archivist conferences in the US and abroad.We’re at a point where GLAM professionals themselves are becoming highly experienced inWikimedia partnerships. GLAMs can now help GLAMs.We launched the GLAM-Wiki US Consortium this summer as a centralized space where GLAMprofessionals and Wikipedians can come together to discuss ideas, share resources, andgenerally support one another.We have an advisory board made up of six GLAM professionals and six Wikipedians who havehelped shape the scope of the Consortium, and will continue to lead in its development movingforward.We’ve also been working on creating a useful and efficient platform for discussion.We’ve revamped our mailing list, which is GLAM-US. You can sign up for the mailing list fromthe GLAM US Portal.We’ve also created a new blog that will be used to share best practice, FAQs, and eventsrelating to GLAM in the US.You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
  5. 5. For now, the GLAM-Wiki US Consortium is an informal professional network.The goal is to become a more formal entity, perhaps linking together with other organizationsto form a broader non-profit over the next year.We have some grant proposals in the works for funding, and we have some upcoming plans tomeet and discuss potential collaborations with like-minded organizations.We know now that there is immense interest in the US for open content in cultural institutions,and we’re at a pivotal moment where we can come together around the shared goal to openlydistribute cultural resources.We’ve found that not every institution is ready to begin a formal partnership with Wikimedia,but is still interested in pursuing open content and remaining connected to like-minded people.The GLAM Consortium is the way to show your support and join this community.If you’re interested, we hope you’ll join! You can add your name as an individual or yourinstitution as an affiliate organization on the Consortium’s Wikipedia page.Whether it’s joining the GLAM Consortium, the mailing list, or just exploring what options areavailable for a Wikimedia partnership, you can connect with us on the GLAM US Portal.Thanks so much.