Submissions:2023/Perspectives on Wiki-based student placements programs

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2023.


Perspectives on Wiki-based student placements programs


Community Initiatives, Education, Equity / Inclusion / Community Health, GLAM / Heritage / Culture

Type of session:



Since 2020, York University Libraries has partnered with York’s Department of History to provide a public history placement opportunity for several fourth-year undergraduate students. These experiential education programs have been focused on teaching students to use archival and special collections materials within the Libraries to contribute to the public record on Wikipedia and Wikidata. The placements give students the experience of public outreach, writing for public audiences, and learning how to create and contribute data on local topics as diverse as Black histories, historical maps, and Toronto jazz and folk performances.

In this panel, two placement supervisors and one student from the 2023 placement will discuss their experiences with Wikimedia projects. Katrina Cohen-Palacios, archivist, hosted rounds of placements in 2020 and 2022 and will share her experience of building the original placement programming and their contributions to Wikipedia and Wikidata. Alexandra Wong, data visualization and analytics librarian, hosted the 2023 placements that focused on contributing local Black histories to Wikipedia and helping to facilitate the Black Histories Wikipedia and Wikidata Edit-a-thon, an annual event in February coordinated by York University Libraries, University of Toronto Libraries, Toronto Metropolitan Library, and the Toronto Public Library. Alanna Brown, graduating History student, will share her Wiki journey, from first learning to edit in January 2023 to creating a History of Caribana Wikipedia article by April 2023.

We will discuss our motivations for participating in the placements, our experiences and challenges faced, and our future goals.

Slides at

Author name:

Alanna Brown, Katrina Cohen-Palacios, Alexandra Wong

E-mail address:,,

Wikimedia username:

abrown824, kcohenp, alixwongo

Affiliated organization(s):

York University

Estimated time:

30 minutes

Special requests:

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


Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)