January 21, 2022

Wikimedia Blog Post: “Research Libraries and Wikimedia: A Shared Commitment to Diversity, Open Knowledge, and Community Participation”

Always great to see libraries and the work of librarians being discussed outside of the profession.

In a new blog post by  (York University) on the Wikimedia Foundation blog about a collaboration between the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and Wikidata/Wikimedia.

From the Blog Post:

In August of last year, representatives from the Wikimedia community, the Wikimedia Foundation, and the Association of Research Libraries came together to determine common goals and find areas to collaborate. During two days of discussing our respective cultures and roles in the open knowledge landscape, several themes emerged, two of which provide the framework for a new collaborative project with indigenous and tribal communities in the United States and Canada:

  1. The potential for linked open data to connect information from different, typically disconnected data sources, and mutually enrich libraries’ and Wikipedia content
  2. An overarching commitment to increase diversity and inclusion in library and Wikipedia culture and content.

This project, Advancing Reconciliation and Social Justice in Libraries through Research Library and Community Collaboration in Wikimedia Projects, uses a case study approach to model community collaboration in the creation of linked open data, in this case related to archival and special collection materials related to Indigenous communities in North America. The project focuses on getting local communities access to documentation related to their own local news and culture. These materials carry much cultural value for these communities, but are frequently under-described, held far from the communities they originated from, are not digitized, and/or suffer from contested or problematic concepts of ownership and custodial history.


To maximize exposure of linkable structured metadata, this project will collaborate within communities to use Wikidata as the global, openly licensed knowledge base where the data can be deposited, queried, and reused.

We will work closely with different communities, community members, archivists, librarians, scholars and students, and the Wikipedia and Wikidata communities—and draw on existing theory and best practices—to find pathways for collaboration and community participation in the work of social justice.

This project is sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and led by Stacy Allison-Cassin at  York University Libraries. The project lead team includes Joy Kirchner, Dean, York University Libraries; Anna St. Onge, Archivist, Digital Projects and Outreach; Mark Puente, Director of Diversity and Leadership Programs; and Judy Ruttenberg, Program Director for Strategic Initiatives, Association of Research Libraries.

Read the Complete Blog Post (734 Words)

See Also: ARL/Wikipedia Summit Promotes Deeper Collaboration between Libraries and Wikipedia (August 24, 2016)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.