Sara Thomas Wikimedian in Residence_Jenny Foreman

Sara Thomas is SLIC’s Wikimedian in Residence. The project aims to advance Open Knowledge objectives in Scotland’s public libraries, and runs August 2016 – April 2019. The focus of the project is to improve the contribution libraries make to the digital landscape and widen access to the rich content stored by libraries. 

Aims & Objectives

The residency aims to establish public libraries as quality content creators in the digital sphere, and to provide open access to freely usable content about Scottish culture. This will be delivered through training, advocacy, and events. SLIC recognises that the aims of Wikimedia, and the aims of Scotland’s libraries, are in alignment.  

In each phase, tailored training and support will be offered to participating library services. Training in how to edit Wikipedia will be delivered to interested library staff, with support and resources offered to enable further self-study. Each participating service will commit to deliver a Wikipedia editathon (a staff led Wikipedia content creation workshop with volunteer participants) with a view to delivering more in the future. Resources from the library service will be used in the course of the workshops. Editathon_Sara Thomas

The initial focus will be on Scotland’s culture & heritage – with content being created on local history matters and biographies. In addition, there is an emphasis on notable Scottish women who are under-represented in general across Wikipedia content. This makes a significant contribution towards promoting culture and creativity as part of Strategic Aim 5 of Ambition & opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015 - 2020

Editathons are tailored to local circumstances but also factor in wider cultural developments such as the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.

The project will build upon the range of digital skills public libraries already offer and will open up the benefits of the internet to a wider audience. This supports the delivery of Strategic Aim 2: Digital Inclusion of Ambition & Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Library in Scotland 2015-2020

Ultimately the Wikimedian project will help to widen access to the vast collections of high quality information held in Scotland’s public libraries.

Project Funding

The Wikimedian in Residence project was proposed by Inverclyde Libraries in partnership with Culture NL Libraries. It is funded through the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF), which is administered by SLIC on behalf of the Scottish Government.  

Phase 1: August 2017 – January 2018

The first phase of the Wikimedian project focused on three library services – Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire and North Ayrshire, delivering initial training to staff and gathering feedback from those services. Those services are now looking toward delivering their first editathon events, with support from Sara.

Phase 2: January 2018 Onwards

During this phase, the project will be expanded. This will include developing the training provision for partners and hosting more editathons to encourage learning and participation. It will also include continued support to phase one partners, further advocacy, and engagement with Higher and Further Education services.

Call for Participants

Are you interested in open knowledge, culture & licensing? Would you like more people to gain access to, and use, your collections? Do you have collections of material which you feel would be suitable for licensing under and open licence? Do your service have staff who may be interested in getting involved with this project? Please email

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