Wikipedia and Information Literacy
The current issue of CILIP Update (access restricted to CILIP members and subscribers) features a two-page article entitled “Wikipedia and Information Literacy“. The article, which was written by myself, Nancy Graham and Andrew Gray is based on the Wikipedia workshop sessions and talks which we gave at the LILAC 2014 conference in Sheffield in April 2014.
The article is aimed at librarians, especially those with interests in information literacy. As we described in order to address the pressures to do more in the time available for learning information literacy:
It is a good idea to consider use of resources and methods which are: a) already in widespread use; b) with which readers already have a positive relationship; and c) which can be used to demonstrate multiple aspects of information literacy within a single context.
The article goes on to point out that:
One such resource is the ubiquitous and popular – if often contested – Wikipedia. The ways in which Wikipedia is constructed and operates allows it to highlight many aspects of information literacy, while its high profile and broad subject base mean that users are likely to have some familiarity with it. In effect, we can take the information literacy question to where our readers are already going!
Wikipedia Sessions at LILAC 2014
The sessions we facilitated at the LILAC 2014 conference began with a presentation by Nancy and Andrew on “Wikipedia: it’s not the evil elephant in the library reading room” (see the slides on Slideshare which are embedded at the bottom of this post).
We then facilitated two workshops sessions: a practical session in which participants could signup for a Wikipedia account and familiarise themelevs with basic Wikipedia markup and the Wikipedia culture followed by an edit-a-thon in which participants looked at ways in which the existing Information Literacy Wikipedia article could be updated.
Rather than updating the existing Information Literacy article we decided to create a new page which addresses information literacy from a UK perspective. The fledgling page is available but, as can be seen, this is a work in progress. We urge librarians with an interest in information literacy to sign up to Wikipedia and contribute to this section.
The slides on Wikipedia: it’s not the evil elephant in the library reading room are available on Slideshare and embedded below.