Open Access Week (October 24 – 30, 2016) is not only about promoting use of open access resources, but also about making them better. Earlier this year, DePaul Library staff took part in the #1Lib1Ref project, and earlier this month our staff came together with community members to contribute to the first Wikipedia edit-a-thon sponsored by Chicago Collections.
The #BigShoulders edit-a-thon focused on improving Wikipedia articles on Chicago topics, and enhancing access to archives and special collections held by libraries, archives, and museums across the City of Chicago. With edit-a-thon events also happening during Chicago Open Archives week at Northwestern University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Wikipedia editors at DePaul improved articles on topics including “Lincoln, Park, Chicago,” “History of the Chicago Cardinals,” “Barat College,” “Chicago Blues Festival,” “Theoni V. Aldredge,” and more. With dozens of courses offered at DePaul on Chicago topics each year through Chicago Quarter (and other programs), projects like the #BigShoulders edit-a-thon promise to enhance the value of one of the most popular open access resources available to our students.
According to the Wiki Education Foundation, faculty in more than 700 courses have integrated Wikipedia editing into assignments used in the classroom, and at least one class at Northwestern University integrated the #BigShoulders edit-a-thon into its curriculum. Wiki Education provides a number of resources for faculty wishing to teach with Wikipedia or to design assignments that incorporate Wikipedia editing into the curriculum. If you would like to discuss how to use Wikipedia in your teaching, please contact Nora Epstein, Special Collections and Archives Librarian.