Last month, Chris Marino, Referenence Archivist and I helped to plan a Wikipedia edit-a-thon in conjunction with Women’s History Month. We worked with other librarians on campus to create an event for the UC Berkeley community of students, faculty, and staff to help close the gender gap on Wikipedia and ensure that published content is not skewed by the lack of female participation. The event used the Art + Feminism organizer’s kit which provided us with the materials we would need to host an edit-a-thon.
Open to all gender identities and expressions, the event addressed the gender imbalance on Wikipedia by editing existing pages relating to art and feminism. With less than 10% of contributors to Wikipedia identifying as female, events like this are essential to train a new community of editors and encourage active participation in editing and creating content for the site.
Our Wikipedia edit-a-thon took place on March 21, 2017 in UCB’s Moffitt Library during the afternoon. We offered three training sessions throughout the event for new editors, and encouraged those with experience to stay and edit content in a communal setting. Nearly 20 people participated in the event, resulting in 26 articles being edited and 1,500 words added. As of this writing, the event has resulted in the edited articles being viewed over 20,000 times. The planners for this event created a suggested list of pages that needed editing, and Chris and I included several names from EDA collections including: Edith Heath, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, and Geraldine Knight Scott.
Chris and I are planning a similar event for September 7, 2017 in conjunction with our exhibit exploring design and diversity, throughout the history of the College of Environmental Design, between women designers and powerful men, and significant work from a diverse group of designers in the EDA collections. We will post more about the event in the coming months, and hope you can join us!