Sharing Best Practices, GLAM-Wiki U.S. NOTES


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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.

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Sharing Best Practices, GLAM-Wiki U.S. NOTES

  1. 1. SHARING IS CARING: WMCon | April 2014 Sharing Best Practices in the GLAM-Wiki U.S. Community DOMINIC: Introduction • 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 best practices. • 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 project norms.
  2. 2. • 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 online volunteers. • 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 these resources. • 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 partnership. LORI: Consortium • 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 GLAMs. • 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 affiliated organizations. • 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.
  3. 3. • 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 practices internally. 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. DOMINIC: Bootcamp • 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 infrastructure. DOMINIC: Logistics Attendees: • 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.
  4. 4. Program: • 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. Funding: • 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. Thank you