Library Instruction West 2020
Seattle, Washington
July 22-24
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Thursday, July 23 • 3:15pm - 4:45pm
Collaboration and Conflict in Wikipedia: Empowering students and advancing justice in the world’s largest encyclopedia

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Wikipedia is becoming an increasingly common pedagogical tool incorporated into classes by both librarians and disciplinary faculty alike. Wikipedia’s policies can be fantastic hooks for information literacy educators by opening questions around source evaluation and the difference between primary and secondary sources, but they also raise fundamental questions about notions of neutrality, representation and voice. The systemic bias inherent in Wikipedia - its imbalance of articles, its double standards around notability, its skewed editor base, and its stance on neutrality - means that it is imperative that classes incorporating Wikipedia address issues of justice. Wikipedia education has the potential to contribute to a more just society: student editors of Wikipedia can leverage their information privilege to democratize information and become active participants in knowledge creation in their communities. This session will examine the alignment between Wikipedia policies and information literacy concepts with particular attentiveness to the justice issues inherent in Wikipedia.  The presenters will consider how librarians can invest in educational interventions that encourage information literacy and student contributions to the public knowledge commons, while also confronting the conflict-driven and discriminatory aspects of the Wikipedia community. We will discuss both theoretical questions and present concrete activities attendees can apply. The session will be valuable both to librarians who are working with teachers who use Wikipedia and those who are teaching credit courses and interested in incorporating Wikipedia into their class.

Thursday July 23, 2020 3:15pm - 4:45pm AST
MGH 234 (Seats 35)

Attendees (2)