Submissions/Bring on the Chicks with Glasses!: Recruiting Librarians and Archivists to Help Close the Wikipedia Gender Gap

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Yes check.svg

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2013.

Submission no.
2001
Subject no.
B1
Title of the submission
Bring on the Chicks with Glasses!: Recruiting Librarians and Archivists to Help Close the Wikipedia Gender Gap
Type of submission
presentation
Author of the submission
Sara Snyder
Country of origin
USA
Affiliation
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
E-mail address
snyders@si.edu
Username
Sarasays
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract

Librarians and archivists have been, and will continue to be, mostly female. Wikipedia editors have been, and will continue to be, mostly male. Yet—other than gender—librarians and archivists and Wikipedia contributors share much in common. Given the demographics and goals of workers in the library and archives professions, this presentation will demonstrate how recruiting a greater numbers of current and future librarians and archivists to contribute to Wikipedia is a smart strategy to help close the gender gap on Wikipedia while growing our editor base.

Detailed proposal

Librarians and archivists in the United States have been, and will continue to be, mostly female. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 81 percent of current students pursuing a Masters in Library and Information Science (MLS) degree are women. As of 2011, women accounted for 83 percent of all librarians in the U.S. Archivists—a closely related profession, which also frequently requires an MLS degree—are also female. As of 2004, 64 percent of archivists were women.

Wikipedia editors have been, and will continue to be, mostly male. The Wikimedia Foundation’s 2011 editor survey reported that 92 percent of Wikipedia editors are male. Though important work is being done to try and close the gender gap, the disparity will likely continue to be pretty significant in the immediate future.

Yet—other than gender—librarians and archivists and Wikipedia contributors share much in common. Both groups are motivated by a deep desire to share knowledge with the world. Both groups have a strong understanding of how to conduct research and how to evaluate and cite authoritative sources. Both frequently have technical expertise with markup languages, metadata standards and information design. But most of all, both groups tend to hold strong beliefs that all people have a right to accurate, unbiased, high quality information, free from barriers and paywalls.

Phoebe Ayers, one of Wikipedia’s best-known and most eloquent advocates, is an academic librarian by profession. In her essay “Why Work on Wikipedia?” she describes the connection between her profession and her contributions to Wikipedia:

For me, the answer is a matter of scale. As a librarian, I am in the business of helping make sure that people get the information that they are looking for in order to do their jobs, educate themselves, satisfy their curiosity and live a fulfilling life…. [Wikipedia] is also working towards these goals, but on a global, multilingual and hitherto unprecedented scale…. It’s a simple matter of efficiency—I work on Wikipedia, and try to make it better, in order to reach as many people as possible.

This desire to maximize the impact of her work as an information professional is one that many of Ayers’ professional colleagues probably identify with. However, many librarians and archivists may not yet realize that the Wikipedia community welcomes and values their contributions.

Given the demographics and goals of workers in the library and archives professions, this presentation with demonstrate how recruiting greater numbers of librarians and archivists to contribute to Wikipedia is a smart strategy to help close the gender gap on Wikipedia while growing our editor base. The presentation will include anecdotes and examples from GLAM-Wiki projects at the Smithsonian Institution and Wikipedia Loves Libraries, and discuss opportunities for recruiting current and future librarians and archivists to Wikipedia through professional conferences, graduate education programs, and Wikipedian in Residencies.


Track
  • Cultural and Education Outreach
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Language of presentation/talk
English
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Maybe (finances permitting)
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests


Interested attendees

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with four tildes. (~~~~).

  1. Jeromy-Yu Chan, COIC (talk) 14:11, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
  2. Ijon (talk) 19:42, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
  3. Letartean (talk) 17:54, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
  4. FloNight (talk) 14:10, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
  5. Atropine (talk) 10:28, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
  6. Kavya Manohar (talk) 08:45, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
  7. Risker (talk) 21:43, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
  8. Slashme (talk) 16:11, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  9. Waldir (talk) 20:01, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
  10. SarahStierch (talk) 20:51, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
  11. sats (talk) 08:17, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
  12. Siesta (talk) 16:02, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
  13. Phoebe (talk) 22:54, 30 April 2013 (UTC) I guess I can't really not attend ;) Though I'm interested in recruiting librarians for reasons other than the gender gap...
  14. Bishdatta (talk) 17:31, 2 May 2013 (UTC) Who could resist a title like that? I'll bring my sharpest glasses :)
  15. Ziko (talk) 17:33, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
  16. LeslieCarr (talk) 18:35, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
  17. Multichill (talk) 13:05, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
  18. Micru (talk) 20:37, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
  19. Axel Pettersson (WMSE) (talk) 09:26, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
  20. Ocaasi (talk) 21:49, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  21. Sannita (talk) 08:49, 13 May 2013 (UTC)