Report:SLWA-WikiClubWest 2017, Bibliotech

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Overall this was a great space and WMAU appreciated the opportunity. During our time we were able to utilize the space to participate in the Wikimedia Foundation strategy process in exploring the future of Wikipedia over the next 20 years. The Australian co-ordinator of that was based in the room and hosted many discussions from there.

The Noongar language wikipedia which has been a joint project between UWA, Curtin University, Noongar communities and WMAU were able to host meeting and training session for a number a of groups including people from regional areas like Albany and Bunbury. The Wiki Loves Earth international photographic contest was able to use the room to judge the Australian section.

The local Wikimedia community(WikiClubWest) hosted a series of meetups on weekends and discussion evenings during the week. Additionally a number of individuals took the opportunity to use the room a base while researching topics and improve individual aspects of Western Australian content on Wikipedia.

Over the course of the time there we had over 100 unique individuals spend time in the room many of them multiple times. The activities were raised within the International Wikimedia movement with many international Wikimedia chapters showing interest in how an open public access point worked, we expect this concept to be replicated elsewhere in the world over the coming years.

We have listed below some key points that have had an impact on the success of the opportunity.

Positive aspects:

  • Fantastic opportunity for the Wikimedia community and we hope its a concept that the SLWA continues into the future as gave what is considered just an online community a physical presence that help us improve our efforts.
  • Fast reliable wifi, Desktop computers well used as discussed at the time please consider turn some of the power points upside down to enable recharging of devices(its something that could be done throughout the library with little cost)
  • Able to close the door to the outside library (and make more noise in meetings etc.)
  • Big TV for presentations worked better than the projector for smaller groups due to the volume of light as there were no means to darken the room sufficiently.
  • Access hours were great. We didn’t have any instance of wanting to hold an event outside of library opening hours.
  • Having printing credit was great, we used it for advertising, educational, and planning materials.
  • The flyers we created were well used, but having somewhere in the foyer to place them would have been a bonus
  • The upgrade to Mac near the end of the period was a significant improvement, though the PCs were effective and fast
  • The flexibility of the space including being able to divide it using cupboards creating a quiet corner that enabled different discussions to take place the same time was
  • Able to host a Storylines kiosk - some Noongar visitors did browse the project
  • Gideon Digby was able to discuss with Laurie Allen the details of a personal image donation to the State Library Collection

Negative aspect:

  • Couldn’t access on the wifi (but could on the wired computers).
  • We didn’t have much interaction with library staff during the time there this was missed opportunity to discuss and explore digital possibilities for provision of knowledge.
  • Signage at the front desk was removed for Disrupted and not put back and our presence wasn’t noted with any regularity on the daily sheets at the door.
  • Lack of in-library signage on digital maps and on lift signs to assist visitors locating the room.
  • Short preparation timing, needed a longer lead time including the opportunity to speak with Library staff about our presence and activities before commencing
  • Recognising that the communication aspects were disrupted with unavoidable staffing changes it wasn’t always clear who had authority to approve things like info and signage.
  • More Wikipedians available to help in the room during the week

The future:

Wikimedia Australia and WikiClubWest would appreciate the ability be able to host a monthly event in collaboration with the SLWA currently happens with the Northern Territory Library and State Library of Queensland, We would also like to see a Wikipedia in Residence program happen More interaction with other groups who work with the SLWA WMAU is happy to provide speakers and trainers for future SLWA activities and events

Wikimedia Australia and WikiClubWest would like to be considered should the opportunity for this or similar such activities take place in the future. We like to thank Molly, John, Damien and Sue for their individual support of efforts. Our thanks The State Library of Western Australia for creating this space and making it available to us we look forward to future collaborative opportunities.