Submissions:2018/Bringing feminist pedagogy to Wikipedia training for US public library staff: Reflections from the OCLC Wikipedian-in-Residence

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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


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Monika Sengul-Jones

E-mail address

Jones.monika at

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, 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, to edit / improve Wikipedia. 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 approaches can be taken in trainings to ameliorate biases or asymmetries that accompany the gendering of professions?

I will begin to address these questions by describing how I looked to feminism and critical race pedagogies for guidance in my work with the OCLC WebJunction team to design and deliver Wikipedia learning to US public library staff. I’ll give concrete examples of how feminist pedagogy translated into particular choices like course recruitment materials, examples, and online interactive defaults. I’ll also critically reflect on challenges and how we might do better, for those of us in the Wikimedia movement keen to incorporate feminist and critical pedagogy in future outreach and educational trainings.

The Wikipedia + Libraries project concluded with the release of project materials, including the curated curriculum and course materials for anyone to share and adapt under a CC BY SA 4.0 license. Project learnings and outcomes will be shared in a complementary talk; this presentation will describe how feminist and critical pedagogical approaches helped me design and deliver the training as a Wikipedian-in-Residence, working in close harmony with the experienced OCLC WebJunction team.

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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, there were also two general presentations covering the research and project design made at WikiCon and Wikimania 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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