Enhance Wikipedia Now – Thanks Megan!

After reading @megingle’s great “What If” Questions, I was corresponding with one of my FGI colleagues about the “web scaling” challenge we’ve gotten here in the #HyperlibMOOC. He told me about Wikipedia’s Forward to Libraries initiative where people can search for LOCAL library materials from Wikipedia articles. You can see this feature in action by visiting the Elizabeth Cady Stanton article and scrolling down to the very bottom till you see the “library resources” box. Click on one of the links, specify your closest library and review your results.

There are two immediate opportunities for us librarians. First, we need to register our libraries. The library list is pretty light, at least for the United States. Fortunately, there is a form for adding library links. I’m using the catalog search URL for the “main library page” and making a note of the library’s web page in the additional information field. It seems like the best way to ensure the actual catalog link gets into the database. You can give your name and email address to get a response and I strongly encourage you to do so.

The second need is to put library search links into appropriate Wikipedia articles. What is appropriate is a subject of some debate on the Library Box Template Talk page. My personal suggestion would be to add the template to articles that correspond to your collection strengths – authors and subjects, preferable as specific as possible. New Zealand is probably not a good bet, but specific incidents in New Zealand history would be. The key is to make sure your catalog actually has holdings in this area. Some of the Wikipedians are annoyed at the prospect of either too many hits or zero results pages.

For me, I’m putting my focus on adding libraries in Alaska, starting with my local library system the Joint Library Catalog that covers libraries from Juneau to Valdez. If I still have energy after that, I’ll start examining articles related to Alaska history, people and resources.

This is a small piece of the webscaling puzzle. But it is something well within our reach. Will you join me?

via MOOCing Up North http://bit.ly/19eNgX9

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