Advocacy, Community, and Information Literacy: Using Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to Advance Your Library's Strategic Priorities

Monday, 12/10/2018
  • 1:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 12:00 PM (Central)
  • 11:00 AM (Mountain)
  • 10:00 AM (Pacific)

Wikipedia occupies an unusual niche in our information landscape: It is both a website and a community of volunteer editors striving to compile the sum of all human knowledge. Librarians are uniquely positioned both to navigate Wikipedia as an information source AND to participate in the community of editors working to make Wikipedia better. Hosting an edit-a-thon can provide the perfect entry point for librarians to begin engaging with Wikipedia.

In this session, the presenters will address the many benefits of hosting an edit-a-thon, including community engagement, professional enrichment, and opportunities for modeling and teaching information literacy practices; discuss the ways in which edit-a-thons can serve as a platform for advocacy by filling in gaps in Wikipedia’s coverage of certain topics; explore how edit-a-thons can help you advance your library’s strategic priorities; and provide concrete instructions for hosting these collaborative events. Participants will leave with a set of how-to resources for coordinating their own Wikipedia edit-a-thons and ideas for developing edit-a-thon themes appropriate for their communities.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this webinar, the participant will be able to:

  • Articulate opportunities and challenges for hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon
  • Explain how a Wikipedia edit-a-thon meets the strategic goals of their institutions and advocate within their libraries for edit-a-thon
  • Kick-start planning a Wikipedia edit-a-thon, including ideas about themes relevant to their library

Who Should Attend

Public, academic, and special collections librarians would all benefit from attending this webinar. Subject librarians, outreach and programming librarians, and special collections librarians would be the people most likely to run and promote Wikipedia edit-a-thons at their libraries. This is also an excellent opportunity for public and academic librarians to learn about how they can collaborate to support their communities through Wikipedia edit-a-thons. Wikipedia edit-a-thons highlight our library collections, help us to make connections with current and new library users, offer an opportunity to enhance information literacy, and promote diversity and inclusion in libraries. Basically, it’s teaching, research, and collections all rolled into one.


Kristan Shawgo, Social Sciences Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, serves as the library liaison for the departments and centers of Public Policy, Women's & Gender Studies, Sociology, Sexuality Studies, the Carolina Women's Center, and the LGBTQ Center. 

Therese Triumph, Science Liaison Librarian for the Kenan Science Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is an established science librarian, author, library associations participant, and a researcher in the field of retention of women in the STEM fields and teaching data literacy to undergraduate students. 

Alice Whiteside, Head of the Sloane Art Library at the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill, participated in the Art + Feminism since its launch in 2014, helping to organize Wikipedia edit-a-thons at Mount Holyoke College, the Rhode Island School of Design, and most recently UNC-Chapel HIll. 

Emily Jack, Engagement Librarian for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, manages the library's social media presence and coordinates efforts that engage the UNC community with the library in research and learning activities outside of the curriculum. 



Individual registration rates are as follows:

RUSA members: $45

ALA members: $50

ALA student & retired members: $25

Non-members: $65

Group rate; $99 single login, $38/per person multiple logins (min 2 people)

How to Register

Register Online

Tech Requirements

This webinar will be offered using Zoom . Please ensure that you have internet connect. Audio for these sessions will be streamed over computer speakers and via a teleconference line. You will be able to ask questions and interact with the presenter and other webinar participants via chat.


Questions about your registration should be directed to

Technical questions about the webinar should be directed to Ninah Moore, RUSA Training & Events Coordinator, at

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!