On Friday, January 27th, fifteen members of DePaul University Library staff sat down to collaborate with librarians worldwide on a common goal: improving Wikipedia, one citation at a time. This is DePaul’s second year of participating in the #1Lib1Ref (One Librarian, One Reference) campaign. Recognizing that Wikipedia is one of the first stops for researchers, this annual January event, supported by the Wikipedia Library, challenges librarians to “imagine a world where every librarian added one more reference to Wikipedia.”
This year’s #1Lib1Ref Workshop was led by our Wikipedian-in-Residence, Cassandra DellaCourt, and Rare Books Librarian Nora Epstein. Participants from a variety of DePaul Library departments were provided with step-by-step instructions and plenty of coaching as they created Wikipedia accounts, identified articles requiring additional documentation, located reliable sources, and finally added the citations using Wikipedia’s editing tools.
During the course of the event, Library staff were able to add 37 reliable citations to Wikipedia articles on a variety of topics, from photography, art and poetry to potato salad. At the conclusion of the event, participants felt empowered by the experience and excited to know that their expertise and knowledge will have a direct impact on Wikipedia users. Part-time Reference Librarian Susan Bazargan noted, “Knowing the source of the information you disseminate and validating its legitimacy is extremely important in our profession.”