What: Invite representatives from the Australasian cultural institutions together for a two-way dialogue to determine how to use the two communities' strengths to mutual advantage. Achieving this would involve:
- why and how cultural organisations could get involved with Wikimedia projects; and
- what Wikimedia needs to do to make collaboration easier and more effective.
When/Where: 1½ - 2 day Workshop, 6-7 August, Canberra.
Who: Representative decision-makers of copyright, web & sales departments from Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) across Australia and New Zealand. Representatives from the Wikimedia community including staff from the Foundation and volunteers from the various wiki-projects (including international attedees).
Why: Wikimedia projects are the largest, most consulted, most accessible and most easily improved information source available. However the projects' success is dependent on having available good primary and secondary sources (including multimedia and expert knowledge) to share freely. Cultural institutions have a mission to preserve cultural content and the expertise but often lack time, money or staff to do this. Further, preservation requirements or budgetary limitations often conflict with the mission of improving public access. Both Wikimedia and Cultural institutions have a clear common goal to make our cultural heritage available. Using the strengths of each to counteract the disadvantages of the other, both Wikimedia projects and cultural institutions could benefit from collaboration.
The proposed workshop will call together representatives from Australian and New Zealand cultural institutions to produce a world first - a consensus for how to interact with Wikimedia projects which can form the basis for similar discussions around the world. Furthermore, it would produce a set of mutually-agreed guidelines for what each community needs in order to make any collabotation more positive and productive.
The tangible outcome of this workshop would be a pair of guidelines - one for the Wikimedia community and one for the cultural institution - each containing specific, practical measures to enable the achievement of better online public access to cultural heritage. Whilst underlining the unique nature of each institution's role these guidelines would demonstrate a shared response to the issues raised at the workshop.
For Cultural institutions
The guidelines page would subsequently be presented to the respective boards of management at each institution, indicating their collaborative creation and commonality. Each institution would then be free to act upon these recommendations as it sees fit (the Wikimedia Australia community would assist if requested).
Other outcomes would be to:
- Appreciate the advantages of allowing content to be used in Wikimedia projects and be able to actively engage/assist.
- Compare the state of Australian cultural heritage on Wikimedia projects relative to other countries and see examples of those countries' efforts to improve it.
- Learn practical ways to [help] improve content in Wikimedia that is consistent with an institution's mission.
For Wikimedia community
The guidelines page would be presented to the Wikimedia community at its annual conference - to be held in Buenos Aires in late August. Attending the meeting in Canberra would be staff representatives of the Wikimedia Foundation (HQ) as well as volunteers from European chapter(s) who would report back and integrate the outcomes into their planning.
Other outcomes would be to:
- Appreciate cultural institutions' concerns regarding Wikimedia projects.
- Compare the various means by which the cultural sector is engaging online, and the place of Wikimedia in this sphere.
- Learn best practice for digital restoration, metadata, citation etc.