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The 2018 Upper Midwest Digital Collections Conference (#UMDCC18) will be held on November 8-9th at St. Catherine University campus, St. Paul, Minnesota. The UMDCC provides opportunities for digital collections creators and curators in the region and beyond to network, share best practices, participate in hands-on workshops, and learn from leaders in digital cultural heritage.  
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Friday, November 9 • 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Wikipedia as "Makerspace": A New Perspective for Learning and Making in Libraries

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Most people think of Wikipedia as a searchable web-based database. It’s more than that; Wikipedia is made up of an impassioned community of participants (volunteers, editors) who are emotionally and intellectually vested in the collaborative creation of content. We posit that by producing content in Wikipedia, contributors act as “makers” of knowledge; deepening their own curiosity and learning while participating in a collaborative community designed to democratize knowledge.  

Libraries are working closely with Wikipedia by adding information to this free online encyclopedia, primarily through hosting Wikipedia Edit-a-thons. These one-off events are a great way to introduce Wikipedia to the public and for providing training. But is there a more consistent approach for providing ongoing Wikipedia experiences to the public? The answer might be in activating libraries as a “makerspace” for creating content in Wikipedia, which in and of itself is like an online “makerspace”.

The Mia Library has hosted three Edit-a-thons. A key observation take-away from these events is the idea that the participants value the process of learning and the self-affirming sense of well-being that occurs from the act of editing, and that the entries of created information (although very important) are more by-products of this positive experience and not necessarily the primary result. The experience taps into the human instinct to create, collaborate and share with others.  

Our session will focus on what a “makerspace” is, how it could be applied to Wikipedia as an ongoing program in Libraries, and potential ways to measure the human qualitative impact.  

Friday November 9, 2018 2:45pm - 3:45pm CST
110 (Library Instruction lab) Coeur de Catherine