Introduction

Hi! I’m just over one month in post and it’s high time that I introduce myself as SLIC’s new Wikimedian in Residence. I’m Delphine Dallison (@delph_dallison) and on the 30th April, I took over the post of Wikimedian in Residence as my predecessor Sara Thomas went on to start her new and exciting role as Scotland Programme Coordinator with Wikimedia UK. Lucky for us, I’m new in post, but I’m an old hat at Wikimedia UK where I have been volunteering since 2013, back when I was a SCONUL trainee at the Glasgow School of Art Library. In 2014, I underwent the Training for Trainers with Wikimedia UK and I’ve been a certified trainer for them ever since, helping with events and editathons whenever time permitted. I was originally introduced to the world of Wikimedia thanks to the first Wikimedian in Residence in Scotland who carried out her residency at NLS and I’m delighted to now be following in her footsteps.

 Wikimedians Sara Thomas and Delphine Dallison_by Morag Wells_CC-BY-SA

Why Open?

Open knowledge and the open sharing of data, resources and information has been at the core of my personal philosophy for some time now and in no small part thanks to my involvement with the Wikimedia movement. My background is as an artist and 3D designer and I previously worked as the Education and Outreach officer at MAKLab in Glasgow. During my time there, I was able to see first hand the results of working in a community that freely shares their knowledge and expertise and subsequently experience how people’s creative ideas can get rapidly accelerated from simple ideas formulated in their head to fully functional prototypes ready for the market place.

3D printing, which libraries are so fond of these days, is the perfect example of how this free and open sharing economy can help boost creative outputs from unexpected avenues. Most people think that 3D printing technology has only come about in the last 10 years, but it is actually 35 years old. The reason why we didn’t hear so much about it for the first 25 years was because it was all locked away in industry, serving only the very specific purpose it was designed for. In 2009, that all changed when the patent on Filament Deposition Modelling technology ran out and technology enthusiasts started working on open-source versions of the technology, bringing down the cost of equipment and making it accessible to everyone. Wikipedia has the same potential of transforming lives and when we make knowledge freely available to everyone, we all reap the rewards.

Delphine Dallison presenting at SCURL AGM_by Sara Thomas_CC-BY-SA

Project Update

Since the beginning of May, we have initiated Phase Two of the SLIC Wikimedian in Residence project in Scotland. During phase 1, Sara had focused on working with a trial group of volunteer libraries and librarians to put together a training programme for librarians which would take them on a journey from learning about the Wikipedia project, doing their edits through to running their first editathons. The Inverclyde Library and Museums Manager presented a case study on their experience during the CILIPS Conference in Dundee on the 5th June.

Following the success of this first group, Phase Two will now look at rolling out this programme of training across Scotland along with providing resources to sustainably support librarians with their Wikipedia projects beyond their first editathon. In order to advertise the opportunity on offer with the SLIC Wikimedia Residence, throughout May we offered 5 full-day training sessions for librarians in Inverness, Dundee, Glasgow, Stirling and Galashiels, which were attended in total by 43 librarians from across 17 Public Authorities. This resulted in the creation of 16 new articles from underrepresented topics of Scottish culture, including 11 new biographies of notable Scottish women. In the coming months, I will continue to build on this success by supporting these librarians to identify items in their collections which could help add content to Wikipedia and helping them run their first editathons.

If your library would like to get involved or found out more about the residency, please contact me at d.dallison@scottishlibraries.org.

Top Photo: Wikimedia training in Galashiels_by Sara Thomas_CC-BY-SA