In April 2017, the William H. Hannon Library partnered with faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies to host an all-day Wikipedia edit-a-thon to support teaching information literacy and digital literacy skills to students enrolled in “Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Contemporary Society” (WGST 1100). Students from these classes were invited to drop-in anytime during the 8-hour event to learn basic techniques for reading, analyzing, and editing Wikipedia articles.
As part of the LMU Library edit-a-thon, librarians pre-selected a list of Wikipedia articles related to the topics discussed in WGST 1100 and that needed improvement (in some cases, articles for the topics discussed in class did not yet exist). Librarians were on-hand all day to help students set up Wikipedia user accounts, understand the editorial philosophies of Wikipedia, and learn about basic editing techniques. Students were encouraged to explore pages related to class topics that interested them, to examine what voices or perspectives may be lacking, and to use library resources to in order to supplement existing articles with that content. If it was the case that an article on their topic did not exist, students were encouraged to create one! By the end of the day, over 80 students stopped by to spend at least one hour learning about and using Wikipedia.