Submissions:2014/Forward to Libraries: Tools and data for connecting Wikipedia and local library resources

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Title of the submission

Forward to Libraries: Tools and data for connecting Wikipedia with local library resources

Themes (Proposal Themes - Community, Tech, Outreach, GLAM, Education)


Type of submission (Presentation Types - Panel, Workshop, Presentation, etc)

Curated Talk (15 min). Could also be on a panel with presenters on similar topics, if that works better.

Author of the submission

John Mark Ockerbloom

E-mail address



US state or country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

University of Pennsylvania

Personal homepage or blog

Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

The Forward to Libraries initiative enables readers to move between Wikipedia articles on topics of interest to them to other information resources online and in the local libraries of their choosing. The system's code and data also makes it possible for links to be created from established library subject and author terms to Wikipedia. Forward to Libraries allows people investigating a topic or a person to take advantage of the complementary information sources freely available in their libraries and freely available online, making the most of the benefits of both Wikipedia and their libraries. Currently the service forwards to over 500 library systems from over 1500 Wikipedia articles, and can easily grow to serve many more.

In this talk, I will describe the capabilities and potential of the Forward to Libraries suite of tools. Attendees will learn:

  • How to put templates on Wikipedia articles to link to subject and author searches in your local libraries.
  • How these templates compare to other kinds of library links on Wikipedia (such as book-specific links and special collections links) and when to use one kind of link rather than another.
  • How you can add more libraries to the forwarding service.
  • What makes the service work under the hood (a brief description of the code and data).
  • How the open-licensed data and code on the service's Github site enables others to develop new applications (such as forwarding from libraries back to Wikipedia).
  • Ways that the service can be improved and enhanced, and some ways in which Wikipedians can help.
Length of presentation/talk (see Presentation Types for lengths of different presentation types)
15 Minutes
Will you attend WikiConference USA if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)
Special request as to time of presentations

Prefer to present on Saturday. Not sure at this point what my Friday availability will be (if any).

Interested attendees

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