Co-presented with Dominic McDevitt-Parks at the Wikimedia Chapters Conference, 2014 in Berlin. Methods for sharing best practices within the Wikimedia community as well as broadly to the cultural sector.
SHARING IS CARING: WMCon | April 2014
Sharing Best Practices in the GLAM-Wiki U.S. Community
• The GLAM-Wiki U.S. Consortium is a user group that was created
specifically for the purpose of sharing best practices and other resources.
• Since we aim to enable Wikipedians to work successfully with cultural
institutions and vice versa, our mission is primarily about providing
information and skills to both the Wikipedians and cultural professionals
which will make that possible.
LORI: Addressing a Need
• As Dominic mentioned, we’re glad to present in the session on Sharing
Best Practices, because through our GLAM work over the past years
we’ve worked hard to establish- pretty much best practices in sharing
• I’m going to talk a bit about how we share resources with the wider
GLAM-Wiki U.S. community. And then Dominic will share a new model
for training in best practices.
• We have a unique problem in the US, in that we have too *much* interest
from museums, libraries, and archives who want to begin Wikipedia
partnerships - and not enough Wikipedians to help them. While we do
sometimes pro-actively pursue GLAM partnerships, we don’t need to. We
have all of these to take care of already.
• So in 2012, in my role as US GLAM Coordinator for the Wikimedia
Foundation, I was tasked with solving this problem by creating a self-
sustaining model for GLAM-Wiki partnerships...And while we’ve come
really far, we’re definitely still working on that. [CLICK]
LORI: Establishing a self-service model for GLAMs
• The first step was creating the GLAM: US Portal.
• The portal was an opportunity to reorganize useful information in a self-
service model, so that cultural professionals could help themselves
rather than having to have an individual walk them through the process.
• That meant that the audience for this page wasn’t just Wikipedians, but
also GLAM professionals.
• The need to share best practices with external partners (not just
Wikipedians), meant that we needed to present the information in a clear
and intuitive way, while still remaining consistent with Wikimedia
• Within the Portal, the GLAM: Contribute page walks GLAM professionals
through the process of considering what project is right for them, as
well as finding resources, and connecting them with a Wikipedian.
• The GLAM/Connect page has lists of Wikimedians that GLAM
professionals can reach out to, including both outreach volunteers and
• There is also a list of cultural professionals who’ve already carried out
partnerships and are willing to answer questions. [CLICK]
LORI: Centralizing Resources
• One specific example of sharing best practices is the GLAM Bookshelf.
• It lists powerpoints, handouts, and project plans that the GLAM
community has created.
• This was really important because one of the first things a cultural
professional will want to do is find materials for convincing the rest of
their staff that they should start a project. This is a one-stop-shop for
• It also helps Wikipedians new to GLAM find resources that they can
adapt and use for their projects, without having to start over with each new
• Interest in GLAM grew so quickly in 2012, that by that summer we were
at a point where cultural professionals themselves were becoming very
experienced in Wikimedia partnerships. GLAMs were now helping
• So we developed a centralized space where GLAM professionals and
Wikipedians can come together to discuss ideas, share resources, and
generally support one another.
• It’s called the GLAM-Wiki US Consortium, and it’s a recognized User
Group with an Advisory Board of cultural professionals and Wikipedians.
We always aim to have 2 museum professionals, 2 archivists, and 2
librarians, in addition to around 6 Wikipedians on the advisory board.
• The Consortium also includes a broader email list, and an informal list of
• We host a monthly Google Hangout On Air, called a GLAM Out, the first
Friday of each month, where discuss the latest projects and news with the
advisory group and the broader public.
• We like to say that our goal for the future is for the experts in cultural
institutions to become a part of the Wikipedia community. Not just be on
the sidelines. And the Consortium is helping to make that happen.
• That’s how we share best practices to the broader GLAM community in
the US. Now Dominic is going to talk about a new model for sharing best
DOMINIC: An Idea is Born
• At GLAMcamp London, we recognized that the Wikimedia movement's
needs in several communities had shifted away from being primarily about
outreach to cultural institutions to convince them to collaborate, to being
more about recruitment of the Wikimedia community to lead and
participate in these partnerships. In one breakout session, we developed a
plan for a "GLAM Boot Camp" in which those of us with GLAM-Wiki
experience would run a skills-building workshop for experienced
Wikimedians in order to prepare them to work with cultural institutions.
• The stated, ambitious goal of the first GLAM Boot Camp was to broaden
the participation of the general Wikimedia community in the GLAM-Wiki
movement by inviting and training key Wikimedians.
• The first ever GLAM Boot Camp was held in Washington, D.C. in April,
2013. A dozen Wikimedians from across the U.S. and Canada were
invited (with travel paid by WMDC) to attend.
• Those in attendance were administrators, WikiProject coordinators, and
other Wikimedia community leaders with an interest in GLAM-Wiki but little
participation up to that point.
• The program consisted of guest talks by cultural professionals, tutorials on
important skills (such as event planning, copyright, conflict of interest,
analytics, chapters, and Wikisource), and group discussions.
• By the end, it was our hope that attendees would feel empowered to make
a first approach to a cultural institution, to provide on-wiki support to
GLAM-Wiki projects, or simply to become more engaged in organizing
their local Wikimedia community in ways that would benefit GLAM-Wiki
• The fact that we fully funded all attendees from across the U.S. and
Canada was integral to ensuring we were able to recruit new participants.
• We specifically invited the people we thought would be key, rather
than hoping people would sign up.
• No two people were from the same metropolitan area, and most came
from areas without regular Wikipedia-related events. For many, this was
their first time at a Wikipedia event of any kind. The size of the group, 12
invited attendees with no more than five organizers and guests, was the
perfect amount to allow for productive discussions.
• We designed a program that was very unlike GLAMcamp and a lot more
structured than most unconferences, but with more practical sessions than
a traditional conference.
• Logistics and funding were largely handled by James Hare and Wikimedia
DC, which budgeted $8,000 for the conference from its program budget.
Most of the money went towards funding the travel and accommodations
of the attendees. All attendees were fully funded, and this was crucial.
Most of the travelers had their flights booked by Wikimedia DC and stayed
in a hostel (same as the one used for Wikimania 2012 and GLAMcamp
DC). Wikimedia DC also hosted two dinners and provided refreshments
throughout the day.