By Nick Heavey

Image showing 1 librarian plus 1 reference equals better access to knowledge for all with a picture of an owl

Most of us use Wikipedia every day to find out about the music of Ennio Morricone, the United States voting system or Extreme ironing (yes, extreme ironing). As much as students are dissuaded from using it, Wikipedia is one of the first places used when researching a new topic.  A surprising number of people use Wikipedia healthcare information. In fact, a US study found that a large number of medical students used Wikipedia (67%), however, 65% did not know how to correct mistakes. [citation needed] When so much misinformation has become the fabric of public discourse, the need for accurate, up to date information with high quality sources is more important than ever. And you, dear librarians and library assistants, can help.

What is 1Lib1Ref then? (Librarian murmurs with anticipation.)

It’s short for One Librarian, One Reference and asks us, librarians, across the globe to add missing references to Wikipedia. Because everyone can edit a Wikipedia article, a core strategy of Wikipedia is to ensure that all articles include reliable sources, so readers can verify the information. On the English Wikipedia alone 173,662 articles have no references. I’m sure you’re asking yourself the question: What if every librarian in the UK, all 24 thousand of them, [citation needed] added a high quality references to Wikipedia? 24 thousand citations added are by user just in the UK, twice a year. Something that would take 15 minutes for each individual (Librarian looks at calendar on wall; all events crossed out in 2021) would have an immeasurable impact on not only the quality of the largest encyclopaedia, but one of the most used sources of knowledge on planet earth.

How can I get involved? (Librarian assumes wide legged heroic stance, arms outstretched; a tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard.)

First you need to find an article that needs a citation. This is easily done as on the English Wikipedia over 509,480 have been tagged with [citation needed]. If you’ve a something in mind, head to that page and have a look at its current state. Does it have missing citations? Does it have a header asking for additional citations?

Screenshot from Wikipedia showing that the article needs additional citations for verification

What about the citations? (Librarian gazes ponderously into the middle distance)

Have you forgotten our old ally Library search, the sometimes buggy gateway to knowledge, lies at our finger tips 7.5 hours a day (minus lunch of course)? Through Library search we have access to some of the best quality research on earth. Whether that be databases on the history of women’s fashion or access to Nature journals. Right now, in the next 15 minutes, you can add a high-quality source to improve a Wikipedia article. Think about all the people who will be able to now locate a high quality source of information. (Librarian smiling from ear to ear, keeps smiling, ceases suddenly.)

What about humans without access to a university? You could also use the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) or the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), which will ensure that everyone can access the original source. For anyone new to Wikipedia watch this video on adding a reference to Wikipedia.

If you don’t have something in mind, then try using Citation Hunt. Watch this video on using citation hunt to find pages with need verification. Maybe you’d prefer to have a look at the list of articles which need tidying up. See the pages on how to participate for more suggestions.

(Librarian’s face assumes a steely resolve). Now no more questions. Immediately go to sleep and dream of a world of free and open knowledge at the point of use, which you helped to build. (Librarian exits, pursued by a crocodile.)

#1Lib1Ref: January 15th – February 5th and May 15th to June 5th.

Libraries and decolonisation: a conference report

By Alice Corble and Danny Millum

A couple of weeks ago we attended the ‘Decolonising the curriculum –the Library’s role’ conference at Goldsmiths, at which Alice was speaking. Given that the University of Sussex Library is in the process of formulating its own approach to decolonisation, and that this is both an extremely important and yet often frustratingly vague topic, we thought colleagues might be interested in a quick report.

Conference presenters. Photo credit: @ElizabethECharl on Twitter
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UKeiG 2018: Libraries of the Future

UKeiG 2018: Libraries of the Future

by Nicholas Heavey

I recently went to CILIP HQ to attend UKeiG 2018 Members’ Day to find out what is going on in the world of Geographic Information Systems, Smart Campuses and Intelligent Libraries, CILIP’s Privacy Project and how libraries and Wikimedia can work together. As it was my first library conference, I was interested to see what was going on in the information world and who exactly was in it. In attendance were information professionals from the NHS and the Home Office through to publishers and local libraries. The day offered up a feast of new ideas and I left feeling enthused about potential future projects. Below you will find information about some of the topics and ideas discussed on the day, as well as some useful links for anyone interested in finding out more.

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San Francisco adventures and visiting Gleeson Library

by Gemma Price

I visited San Francisco in August 2015. This post is about that trip and exploring the city. I’ll also talk about a visit to University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library.

There were many highlights to my time in San Francisco.
The locals had lots of friendly open conversations with us.
It was good to walk around the neighbourhoods, wandering and exploring. It led to finding interesting buildings and independent cafes and shops.
The city felt modern but with many nods to the past, such as the traditional architecture. There were also plenty of tourist areas and modern shops.
A vivid memory of the trip was the intense heat- often most intense whilst walking up the steep streets. Luckily Brighton is steep in most directions so it wasn’t too much of a shock! Being there felt (despite the heat) like a breath of fresh air.

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Work Experience in the Library

By Anonymous

My school, Dorothy Stringer, gives a chance for every student in year 10 to get some work experience. It can be a very nervous thing to do, but where I went I felt extremely welcome. I chose to work at the University of Sussex Library initially because my Mum worked there, but as the days went by, I really came to enjoy working there.

The reason why I am sharing my experience at the Library is because I felt so welcome when I entered the building. I also want to express how kind and caring all the members of staff really are. From sorting out and planning my day, to taking me to tea breaks, buying me lunch and all round being very positive. It seems to me that it could be quite a stressful job, especially for the Frontline team, however it doesn’t seem to stop them from having a good time and saying the odd joke here and there.

I enjoyed every single day I was there. I was taught about reading lists, fines, shelving, the process of overdue books and really how everything operates in the Library. It may sound like your typical boring library where you have to be silent and you feel like you can’t do anything. The Sussex Library is the complete opposite of that. Obviously there are some areas of the building where you have to be silent and of course there are rules. However this library is a lot more complex and advanced.

I am pretty sure there are around 800,000 books in the Library, plus another 50,000 online books and journals. That is a lot of books when you think about it and it requires loads of time and effort to keep them all organised. It seemed like they had that area covered.

Obviously there is a definite age gap since I am only 14, but personally I believe that I got on very well with the members of staff there and I really did feel welcome.

I am going to be completely honest and say that I thought it was going to be very boring at the Library, just compared to all the interesting things my friends were doing. But I really showed an interest in what some of the things people were working on. One thing I particularly enjoyed was inputting reading lists. It is where you check if you have a certain book that a tutor has asked for, and you create a list online for students to see what books are essential for their class. It may not sound like the most interesting thing in the world, but I found it very satisfying and enjoyed doing it.

If anybody is looking for some work experience I recommend the University of Sussex Library because without a doubt I promise you, you will have an excellent time and meet lovely people along your way. I don’t really like reading or writing but for once I think I came to enjoy it and so will you.

Turkish Delights (Rahat Lokum) Flavour Four: Frontline services, space usage, and support for families (Cinnamon)

By Philip Keates

Today’s tasty topic is broadly on the usage of the library space itself, with just a pinch of info from the coalface of library services (but not a pinch of coal. You probably shouldn’t put coal in your food. Just like you probably shouldn’t mix metaphors).

Phoebe Leung of Lingnan University mentioned a couple of ways in which they make their frontline services more engaging. They offer easy communication with staff through their WhatsApp a Librarian service. They also make their librarian orientations more exciting by including a QR code treasure hunt, with prizes for the winners.

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