Digital scholarship blog

Enabling innovative research with British Library digital collections

14 April 2021

Wrangling Wikidata With #1lib1ref 2021

Since starting at the Library at the beginning of March, one of the highlights of my working week has been meeting with the IFLA Wikidata and Wikibase Working Group. IFLA is the International Federation of Library Associations, a global body representing the interests of libraries worldwide.

This working group ‘aims to coordinate actions, events and preparation of documents to leverage Wikidata and Wikibase in support of documenting collections and support capacity building in linked data, structured data, and cataloguing work’. For the last six weeks, myself and Digital Curator Stella Wisdom, have been working alongside collaborators from such disparate locations as Jerusalem, New York and Toronto, amongst others, to prepare materials, events and opportunities for the upcoming #1lib1ref campaign.


The next #1Lib1Ref runs from 15th May to 5th June 2021. This campaign, run by the Wikimedia Foundation, invites library staff and patrons to improve the reliability of sources in Wikipedia. Using the philosophy of ‘1 librarian, 1 reference’ the campaign focusses on filling in the gaps of missing references – if just one person adds just one reference, think of what we could do collectively! Full information can be found at the #1Lib1Ref Wikimedia page.

Ahead of this upcoming #1Lib1Ref, IFLA’s Wikidata and Wikibase Working Group are offering a Train-The-Trainers workshop, for up to 50 participants, on Wednesday 21st April at 16:00 CET. This training session, run by Meg Wacha of City University, New York, will show participants how to set up an event to contribute to Wikidata during the #1Lib1Ref campaign period. More details and registration for this online event on Wednesday 21st April can be found on the IFLA website here.

The group will provide resources that can help you learn how to edit Wikidata, and demonstrate the advantages that Wikidata provides for library collections. They will also be holding online weekly informal open office hours throughout May and early June, in which participants can seek advice and guidance from experienced Wikimedians. The British Library will be hosting one of these virtual office hour sessions on Wednesday 5th of May at 3pm BST, details about these and how to book can be found here.

We hope to see you there!

This post is by Wikimedian in Residence Lucy Hinnie (@BL_Wikimedian)