Using Wikipedia to Extend Digital Collections

A colleague in the main library here at UVic brought to my attention an interesting article in D-Lib Magazine for May/June 2007 by Lally & Dunford “Using Wikipedia to Extend Digital Collections” . The article discusses a project at the University of Washington to integrate the university library’s digital holdings by inserting links to these resources directly into Wikipedia. As the article states, they UW did this in response to a 2005 OCLC report that states, inter alia, that “only 2% of college and university students begin searching for information at a library website” This strikes me as a great application of web 2.0 to added value.

There are some very good references in the article, particular to the Pew Internet and Life Project.

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  1. Our esteemed colleague Sabrina Pacifici similarly taught me that the best way to reinforce the idea that you may know what you are talking about to the people inside your organization is to come up in their hits in a Google search. Therefore, not only is it important to harness a tool such as Wikipedia, but it the indexing and naming of articles/blog posts are important for higher ranking in the search engines.

  2. The Free Government Information blog reports on the case of the University of North Texas libraries that boosted usage of their locally digital document and photograph collections by adding relevant links to Wikipedia articles.

    They created links in 600 different Wikipedia articles back to the library. They report 400,000 unique users who visited them by cliking through from Wikipedia:

    http://freegovinfo.info/node/1220