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Crowdsourcing Information Worldwide: The Wikipedia Phenomenon: Tues Oct. 25th

The Rutgers University Libraries invite university faculty, staff, and students to meet Wikipedia leaders on Tuesday October 25th, from 4:00 - 6:00 pm, in the Scholarly Communication Center, on the 4th floor of Alexander Library. This program, "Crowdsourcing Information Worldwide: The Wikipedia Phenomenon," will feature three invited panelists from Wikipedia:

Richard Knipel is president of Wikimedia NYC and Wikipedia Regional Campus Ambassador to the Northeast US, and has been a volunteer for Wikipedia for several years, with a special focus on outreach initiatives to New York area libraries, museums, universities and nonprofits.

David Goodman, formerly the biology librarian at Princeton University, is a Wikipedia administrator and vice president of Wikimedia NYC. He focuses on improving the coverage of academic journals and academic people, and on rescuing borderline articles from deletion across as many subjects and languages as he can handle.

Ann Matsuuchi is an instructional technology/systems librarian at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY. Her research interests include: gender studies, science fiction, free culture, online communities, and the future of the book.

The speakers will discuss the efforts to improve Wikipedia quality, new programs to encourage the use of writing for Wikipedia as a component of college courses, and the initiatives to incorporate contributions from major archives, libraries, and museums. The speakers will also discuss opportunities to get involved in Wikipedia.

There will be a reception, with light refreshments, after the formal program to allow time for attendees to talk one on one with the speakers.

Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has grown rapidly into one of the largest reference websites, attracting 400 million unique visitors monthly as of March 2011 according to ComScore. There are more than 82,000 active contributors working on more than 19,000,000 articles in more than 270 languages. There are 3,759,419 articles in English. Every day, hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world collectively make tens of thousands of edits and create thousands of new articles to augment the knowledge held by the Wikipedia encyclopedia. [source: Wikipedia, "About" page]

This program is held by the Rutgers University Libraries in celebration of Open Access Week, to showcase Wikipedia's importance as a global information source. The program is one of three events that the Libraries is hosting this year as part of the "Technologies without Borders/Technologies across Borders" program series sponsored by the Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs.

For more information on this program, please contact Laura Bowering Mullen, Rutgers' Behavioral Sciences Librarian, at lbmullen@rci.rutgers.edu or 848-445-3663.

Posted October 7, 2011