The Wikipedians are coming

Wikipedia is about to get a giant Aussie boost.

A Wikipedian-in-residence will teach 20 librarians from the State Library of NSW how to create authoritative and accurate Australian content for the world's most popular website.

The project will address a shortage of Australian content. The librarians are expected to contribute material on the Blue Mountains, the convict era, WWI servicemen, indigenous sacred sites, and many others.

Alex Byrne, the NSW state librarian, said there was "limited Australian content on Wikipedia compared to USA and Europe, and we want to provide more."

Dr Byrne said the Wikipedian-in-residence, Gillian White, would equip 20 library staff with the skills to create content on the significant people, places and events in NSW and Australia.

Ms White said librarians were a natural fit with Wiki because they were trained professionals with a passion for sharing knowledge.

They also appreciated the importance of referencing credible sources within their online contributions.

"It's not commonly known that Wikipedia articles and edits must be accurately referenced,” says Ms White.

The librarians from the State Library of NSW are the first to participate in the international movement, GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums). The project encourages these institutions and others, including zoos, to share their material via Wikipedia.

The volunteer-written encyclopedia contains around 24 million articles in 25 different languages.

In 2010, the British Museum became the first cultural institution to appoint a Wikipedian-in-Residence, with the Smithsonian Institution and Palace of Versailles following suit.

This story The Wikipedians are coming first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.