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Wikipedia and Libraries: What’s the Connection?

Merrilee Proffitt
Senior Program Officer
OCLC Research

Sara Snyder
Webmaster
Smithsonian Institution

It used to be that if you wanted information or answers to questions, you went to a library. In an era of increased reliance on major network hubs, information seekers increasingly turn to the web for answers. Therefore it is vital that libraries and archives ensure that their collections, or information about their collections, are easily discoverable on the open web. As the 6th most accessed website globally, Wikipedia is a natural place for cultural heritage institutions to expose their collections. Wikipedia articles receive a lot of web love: they are highly ranked by search engines; snippets from pages are incorporated into Google’s Knowledge Graph, and are pulled in by services like Facebook, filling in missing content. How can libraries and archives mesh with Wikipedia? This session will detail how OCLC Research, Smithsonian Institution, and others are connecting researchers to unique materials through Wikipedia, put a spotlight on the special role library data can play in Wikipedia, examine how Wikipedia data may be useful to libraries and scholarly institutions, introduce Wikipedia’s GLAM-Wiki initiative, and talk about ways that information professionals can work collaboratively with the World’s Largest Free Encyclopedia.

Last updated:  Wednesday, March 20th, 2013