UNC Libraries Tops Its Wikipedia Editing Record

By Linda Johnsen February 7, 2018

For the second year in a row, Carolina’s libraries have brought their know-how to the world’s largest online encyclopedia.

From January 15 through February 3, librarians and library staff the world over provided citations to support articles in Wikipedia. The annual effort capitalizes on librarians’ expertise in finding and assessing trustworthy references. It is called #1Lib1Ref, because the goal is to have every librarian and library worker add at least one citation to Wikipedia.

Over the three-week campaign, Tar Heel library staff entered 256 citations on topics as diverse as World Vegan Day, curling, book preservation in developing countries and Efland, North Carolina. An entry on Tweety bird, even caught the attention of Warner Brothers, which tweeted an approving GIF of the classic cartoon character.

Carolina’s total surpasses the 204 citations added by Tar Heel librarians in 2017 and contributes to the more than 6.600 citations added as part of #1Lib1Ref this year.

It also allows UNC to again claim the title in a friendly competition with Duke University Libraries, which contributed 81 new citations. (New entrant Shepard Library at North Carolina Central University can proudly claim 28 new citations in their first #1Lib1Ref appearance, despite having a fraction of the staff of their neighbors.)

UNC librarian Emily Jack coordinated the effort for the Tar Heels and collaborated with the Triangle Research Libraries Network to expand the friendly local competition.

“Nobody knows citation better than the people who work in libraries. #1Lib1Ref is a great way to showcase that and to build the reliability of Wikipedia,” she said.

Jack is one of the coordinators of the NC Triangle Wikipedians, a regional user group that seeks ways to engage people in building Wikipedia and learning more about research.

“The rivalry is a good-humored way to build some momentum,” said Jack. “In the end, though, it’s really a collaborative project that brings the library community together, whether that’s across town or around the world.”

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Last modified: 02/08/18
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