Submissions:2024/LOFESQ (Lots of Farmers Empty Silos Quicker): building community through a named entity Wikibase

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This submission has been noted and is pending review for WikiConference North America 2024.


LOFESQ (Lots of Farmers Empty Silos Quicker): building community through a named entity Wikibase

Type of session:

Lecture (15-30 min)

Session theme(s):

GLAM (Galleries/Libraries/Archives/Museums)


As a complex of organizations including museums, archives, libraries, research centers, each with their own collections systems, disciplinary focus, and data cultures, the Smithsonian Institution is no stranger to siloed data.

In 2023, our own siloed unit – the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives– began setting up WikiNames, a named entity Wikibase to help manage linked data about the people and organizations appearing in Smithsonian collections.

After the technical issues were ironed out, our WikiNames group began pondering the silo problem. Recognizing that silos reflect neglected relationships among and between keepers of data, we set out to remedy this. In our presentation, we will discuss the way we tried to cultivate a community of like-minded folks, and the benefits inherent in focusing on emptying, rather than breaking down, silos.

Starting off as a grassroots project, we are working to raise the profile of WikiNames among individual data practitioners in our Smithsonian networks. We will evaluate the success of broader and more focused efforts at engaging our Smithsonian colleagues, comparing the efficacy of group-based outreach work (recordings, trainings, and written documentation) with individualized, one-on-one guided introductions.

Author name(s):

Deborah Shapiro, Richard Naples

Wikimedia username(s):

BornOnTheCob, Drastician

E-mail address:

Affiliated organization(s):

Smithsonian Libraries and Archives

Able to attend without scholarship?


Estimated length of session

25 minutes

Will you be presenting remotely?

I will present in-person

Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

Previously presented?

Special requests: