On October 22, “Wikipedia! The Musical!” was staged at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Despite its whimsical name, it was not really a musical but an editathon — a chance to edit Wikipedia with a group of people in an inspiring location. Though its focus was improving articles on musical theatre, anyone interested in the performing arts was welcome.
For me, the genesis of this event began during the summer when I saw a talk given by Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation (the owner of Wikipedia and similar projects). Speaking to the American Library Association, Gardner was dynamic in explaining how libraries could forge a closer relationship to Wikipedia. Not only would both Wikipedia and libraries benefit, but all those who consult Wikipedia would also be beneficiaries (Wikipedia is the fifth most consulted website in the world.) I was so inspired by her talk that I kept the idea in mind.
With so little time between planning and the actual event, our lack of a massive publicity campaign was balanced with emails, social media such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, the Wikipedia New York City Meetup planning page, and a nice article in the New York Times. We hoped for a nice crowd.
And they came! Volunteer Wikipedia administrators Richard (Wikipedia user id Pharos) and David (user id DGG), who had helped plan the event, came early to help us set up. A number of experienced Wikipedians showed up within 30 minutes of opening, ready to begin. After brief introductions from the Wikipedia administrators and brief overviews of the collections by Doug, myself, and our colleage Annemarie, everyone got started.
Read Bob Kosovsky’s Complete Blog Post and Learn More About What Took Place at NYPL