Wikipedia:Wikipedia Loves Libraries

Wikipedia edit-athon at the British Library, January 2011.

Shut not your doors to me proud libraries,
For that which was lacking on all your well-fill'd shelves,
yet needed most, I bring,

— Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Wikipedia Loves Libraries is an ongoing campaign to introduce librarians and Wikipedians who wish to collaborate. This typically happens in the context of a library hosting Wikipedians for a presentation to the general public. At these events, the resources of the library are compared and contrasted with Wikipedia, and attendees are encouraged to use each for their respective strengths and as they complement each other. There is an annual tradition to host wiki-workshops and edit-a-thons at libraries around Open Access Week in October/November.

The advantages of the Wikipedia Loves Libraries model:

  • easy to organize, even at small public libraries
  • welcoming to everyone, Wikipedians, Librarians and all library patrons
  • it's "the living reference section"
  • also, it's fun!

Planned United States 2014 library events


Wikipedia Loves Libraries events can be held on any day anytime in the Fall, mainly centered around Open Access Week in October/November 2014.

With grassroots organizing help from local Wikipedia:Meetup groups, and WikiProject United States Wikimedians/Wikimedia United States Coalition.

Everyone is free to start a Wikipedia Loves Libraries page for your local institution, and please sign up at your event's meetup page:











Click on the following links for details by year:

Potential participants

Wikipedians and library staff collaborating in Portland, Oregon in 2012
  • home libraries (invite friends over for your own)
  • public libraries
  • school libraries
  • research libraries
Groups + organizations

Individual participants might include, for instance, Wikipedians and/or non-Wikipedians, working offline and/or online.

Types of events

"Behind-the-scenes" tour at the Central Library in Seattle in 2012

Events can be organized by Wikipedians, or by librarians or any interested members of the public.

Possible program activities for the day:

  • meetup of local Wikipedians and friends;
  • Academy-like editing workshop, with experienced editors helping beginners (library professionals and patrons), teaching them (1) what Wikipedia is; (2) the basics of editing and (3) how their community can collaborate with the Wikimedia Foundation projects (primarily Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons);
  • librarian-Wikipedian panel discussions and Q&A, with a discussion on issues such as copyright, Wikipedia's reliability and how Wikipedia can help publicizing library collections and make them more visible to online communities;
  • train-the-trainers: library staff expand their skills as front-line trainers of new Wikipedians and strengthen the participatory media skills of library staff, who are then better equipped to respond to patrons' Wikipedia-related queries

In short, Wikipedia Loves Libraries can be a great easy-in to building the relationship between Wikipedia and this part of the cultural world it shares so much with, and lead to greater Wikilove/Librarylove in your region!

Other ideas can be found at Wikipedia:The Wikipedia Library/Research libraries

How to get involved

Wikipedia Loves Libraries at Wikimedia DC's Library Lab in 2011
Advice for everyone

Check the list to see if there is already an event in your area. If not, go ahead and add one! Another good place to check is at Wikipedia:Meetup to see if there have been other wiki-meetups in your area in the past. If so, you could post there and ask if anyone is interested in a library meetup in October.

Advice for librarians

The best advice here is, "Plan it and they will come." If you schedule a wiki event at your library and list it here, chances are excellent that experienced Wikipedians will notice it and sign up, and then you can coordinate with them about panels and Q&A sessions. You might also like to check whether there is a Wikimedia chapter active in your area: they'd love to help as well. Libraries should ideally have some computers available for accessing Wikipedia, or wi-fi access so that participants can bring their own computers. Libraries may also wish to compile a short list of special resources that they have available which could assist researchers. For example: Are there National Historic landmarks in your area that could use more information in their Wikipedia articles? Your library might have a wealth of books or other research materials which Wikipedians could use to expand those articles. There are many topics where research at a bona fide library would probably be more useful than just doing online web searches for sources. For example: Local history of towns, biographies of notable individuals in your area, histories of schools, local geographical features, or any other topic you can think of!

Questions? Let's talk!

If you have questions, please click on the "Discussion" tab at the top of this page and ask whatever you want. You should get an answer back within hours, or even minutes!

Start a new discussion on the discussion page for help with planning your own event, please include as many details as possible.

See also

Examples of past events

Further reading



Coverage of WLL events

  • Petrusich, Amanda (October 21, 2011). Wikipedia’s Deep Dive Into a Library Collection. The New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  • SinhaRoy, Sanhita (November 1, 2011). Libraries Tap into Crowd Power, American Libraries. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  • Fu, Alison (September 22, 2013). "Wikipedia enthusiasts convene at Berkeley edit-a-thon". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  • Case study: Wikipedia edit-a-thons (Europeana blog). Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  • Holst, Jan (October 3, 2013). "Ramona Park Wikipedia edit-a-thon set for EGR library". Advance Newspapers. Retrieved October 5, 2013.
  • Hallett, Alison (October 11, 2013). "Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon Aims to Improve Crowd-Sourced Local Arts Coverage". The Portland Mercury. Portland, Oregon.
  • Hallett, Alison (October 16, 2013). "Oregon Arts Project: A Wiki-Based Approach to Local Arts Coverage". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved October 17, 2013.