The following post was authored by Digital Archivist Paul Kelly.
Join us at Mullen Library on September 16th for CUA’s first Wikipedia Edit-a-thon! In conjunction with the Know Your Campus guided tour taking place later that evening (which you should totally hang around for), the library will be opening its doors to students and the wider community to usher in the Fall semester, eat some free food (thanks, AGLISS!), get to know one another, and get to know our neighborhood. The subject matter – Brookland, the experts – you!
So what exactly is an edit-a-thon? In short, it’s an event where a group of people get together with the goal of editing Wikipedia content for a specific topic in a short space of time. Subjects can have significant cultural importance (like Asian-Pacific American Artists, or closing the Wikipedia editor gender gap by expanding content related to art and feminism), but we’re starting a little smaller. We want to improve content related to the Brookland neighborhood right here in Washington, DC, and will be adding articles about landmarks and famous residents, copyediting existing pages, inserting links to other Wikipedia pages, and adding and checking citations to ensure that information is reliably sourced. The point is, though, that we all have something unique to contribute.
Never edited before? Never even thought about checking the sources on that article you cited for a paper? Don’t understand why citing Wikipedia is probably not a great idea in the first place, but is a good place to start your research? A representative from Wikimedia DC will be on hand to answer questions, provide training, and help get you started. Believe me, it’s super simple, and once you fall down the editing rabbit hole, there will be no turning back. You would not believe how much time I spent researching and updating the exhibition formats for AFI Silver’s page last month. Shameful.
So sign up, grab your laptop, stop by the FYE room (2nd floor) between 11 am and 3 pm, and see what the fuss is about. Even if you don’t intend to edit, come by and say hello! We’ll be handing out how-to guides, buttons, and stickers, so what excuse do you have? Did I mention there will be snacks? If you aren’t swayed by now, I don’t know what to tell you. Buttons, people!
As always, thanks for reading. See you next Wednesday, folks.