Tag Archives: 1Lib1Ref

#1Lib1Ref 2022: Your chance to broaden access to verifiable information!

The coming of the internet has, at least for those who are adequately connected, allowed billions of people to enjoy an extraordinary increase in the volume of information available to them.

This represents major progress towards libraries’ goal of guaranteeing meaningful access to information to all, but it is far from being the same thing as achieving this goal fully.

For one, there are still billions of people who have no access to the internet at all. Furthermore, those counted in the statistics as being online often only have slow or limited connections, and only have access to a restricted range of content in their own language, or covering the issues that matter for them.

Crucially, quantity and quality of information are also not the same thing. There is a big difference between a random claim, and an assertion backed up by references to other works which can be checked, controlled, and shown to be accurate and reliable.

While library users – especially those affiliated with national or academic libraries – may have possibilities to access high quality research collections, this may not always be easy as it should be.

Copyright laws may mean that it is only possible to consult works in person (something that may of course also be impossible, for reasons of COVID or disability for example), or simply local libraries may not have the resources for a major collection. Paywalled information sources are, by definition, only available to those people and institutions with the resources to pay.

The easiest option is therefore just to turn to the internet.

This is why, in order to achieve libraries’ mission of meaningful access to information, it is so important that people can benefit from a free and reliable – verifiable – source of information online. This is what Wikipedia seeks to provide.

Crucially, Wikipedia does not replace the work of libraries, but rather complements it. And in turn, librarians, libraries and their collections can have a key role in turn in delivering on Wikipedia’s potential as a comprehensive, accessible, and verifiable source of information.

This is what #1Lib1Ref is all about, with its call on librarians around the world to add just one reference to a Wikipedia article, in order to improve its verifiability!

#1Lib1Ref is taking place for the 7th year on 15 January – 5 February, and then again on 15 May – 5 June, with the first period coinciding with Wikipedia’s 21st birthday.

The Wikimedia Library, which organises the event, sets out some great ways to get involved, with translations in 46 different languages! Take a look at the blog they have prepared for more.

Key opportunities involve:

  • Add a reference: look at the instructions on how to find an article that requires citations or improved sources, including using the CitationHunt tool which is now available in 7 more languages!
  • Create a new article: for example, in order to help diversify the information available on Wikipedia, to celebrate unique people or things covered in your collections, or to share your expertise – find out more here
  • Organise an event so that others can add references with you!: take a look at the guidance on how to set something up (it doesn’t just need to be during the period of #1Lib1Ref!)
  • Create WikiData items for works on WikiSource: help strengthen Wikipedia by creating WikiData items for works already mentioned in your local WikiSource
  • Share!: as part of the guidance for adding a reference, there are instructions on how highlight that it is a #1Lib1Ref edit. If you are organising an event, you can register it on the Wikimedia platform (you’ll need to create an account first). And of course, just use the hashtag #1Lib1Ref to talk about your participation on social media!

Good luck!

The 10-Minute International Librarian #2: Improve a Library-Related Wikipedia Page

For those with access, the internet has opened up exciting new possibilities to access information and discover the world.

Libraries globally are doing great work to make it easier for as many people as possible to find and use their collections.

In parallel, sites like Wikipedia help bring together knowledge from thousands and thousands of contributors, and give access to this for free.

Indeed, we’re currently celebrating #1Lib1Ref – a biannual effort to work with librarians to improve the quality of articles on Wikipedia.

But Wikipedia articles don’t just need to be by librarians – they can also be about them and their work.

So for our 2nd 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, find and improve a library-related Wikipedia page!

Ensuring your library appears on Wikipedia can be a great way of helping both your users, and other librarians around the world find out about your building and your services.

Or you could ensure that the pages about key institutions or concepts related to libraries are up-to-date, helping colleagues elsewhere.

Find out more about how to edit Wikipedia on the #1Lib1Ref page and on our blog!

This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Strategic Direction 2, Key Initiative 2: Deliver high quality campaigns, information and other communications products on a regular basis to engage and energise libraries


As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box.

#1Lib1Ref from the 15th May to the 5th of June

From 15th May to 5th June, IFLA continues its support of the #1Lib1Ref campaign (1 Librarian, 1 Reference)

What is #1Lib1Ref?
#1Lib1Ref is an event launched by the Wikimedia Foundation and which aims to invite librarians around the world to add sources to Wikipedia! IFLA is delighted to promote and support libraries’ efforts to get involved in this campaign.

Why add sources to Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is one of the most popular educational and information sites worldwide. People use Wikipedia to find information, whether it is the general public, students, researchers or librarians. As a free resource, it can be, for many, a vital – or even the only – reference they have on an issue.

Improving the quality of articles on Wikipedia means both fighting false information, detecting and structuring information, and promoting knowledge of important sources in relevant fields.

Why do libraries around the world have a role to play?

Wikipedia has a very precise policy on the reliability of sources! Each piece of information added in Wikipedia should be backed up by secondary sources, either a book or two articles.
Libraries collectively hold a wealth of documents which can be extremely valuable documentary sources for Wikipedia. Each book and article ever published is a potential goldmine of references.
Several themes dear to libraries are at the core of this project: combating misinformation; access to information and knowledge; and the development of resources and spaces for learning that complement the work of libraries themselves.

In addition, it is valuable for libraries to engage in each country because each nation, each community has its history, its perspective on its history and the sources attached to it.

In order to have a better representation on Wikipedia, it is necessary to bring together different visions and sources so that citizens can build a balanced opinion.

How to participate?

#1Lib1Ref is an initiative which aims to invite librarians to contribute to Wikipedia, and provide an opportunity to think about how to integrate this as a new way of delivering on the mission of libraries to provide equitable and universal access to information.

Everyone can adapt this initiative according to what they consider relevant.

There are libraries contributing to the addition of references on Wikidata rather than on Wikipedia. Some libraries organise national contests between library institutions to find out who will contribute the most and others hold workshops with their audiences to teach them how to contribute and add sources on Wikipedia.

If you want more information, you can check this page: here.