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Revision as of 23:14, 10 September 2018

This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2018.


Bringing feminist pedagogy to Wikipedia training for US public library staff: Reflections from the OCLC Wikipedian-in-Residence

Theme (optional)

Relationship Building & Support; Inclusion & Diversity

Academic Peer Review option


Type of submission



Monika Sengul-Jones

E-mail address


Wikimedia username
Shameran81 / Monikasj
Affiliation(s) (optional)

Formally OCLC Wikipedia-in-Residence; UC San Diego


On March 8, 2018, in honor of International Women’s Day, Merrilee Proffitt and I gave a presentation during a global conversation on 'women in the movement' about women in the [OCLC Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together project https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Project/OCLC/A_Wikipedian-in-Residence_to_Engage_500_Librarians_and_their_Communities], which was nearing completion at the time. We were asked to present because the majority of the participants in the OCLC project self-identified as women. And with the project nearly complete, we were well positioned to share out insights about their experiences. But speaking about the project as a women-focused initiative was misnomer, in part because the focus was to train public library staff -- not women. But it was also true that we could report on women's experiences, because of the make up of the profession. In the United States, the majority of library staff are women.

In this presentation, I will speak about the frictions and opportunities in training people in gendered professions, such as library work. What should we keep in mind when we’re doing outreach to a profession that is, for instance, feminized? What does that even mean? And what kind of approach can be taken to amiloriate biases that have led to the gendering of professions?

I will begin to address these questions by describing how I looked to feminism and critical race theories and pedagogies for guidence in my work with the OCLC WebJunction team, as Wikipedian-in-Residence. I’ll give concrete examples of how feminism can translate into choices, from course recruitment decisions, content design, to defaults. In the presentation, I’ll be sure to critically reflect on the challenges that are raised serve a professional class industry sector dominated by a particular gender / race / class, and lessons this experience offers those of us in the Wikimedia movement keen to incorporate feminist pedagogy into outreach trainings materials and approaches.

The Wikipedia + Libraries project concluded with the release of the curated curriculum and course materials available for others to share and adapt under a CC BY SA 4.0 license, and these learnings will primarily be shared in a complementary talk; this presentation showcase selections of the examples used during the 2017 course instruction and communication.

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Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?

The seed of this presentation topic was discussed at the Women in the Wikimedia Movement conversation; presentations have been made about the Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together project more generally at library conferences, I also made a presentation at Wikimania in the early stages of the project in 2017

If you will be incorporating a slidedeck during your presentation, do you agree to upload it to Commons before your session, with a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license, including suitable attribution in the slidedeck for any images used?


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  1. Mozucat (talk) 16:41, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
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