I didn’t hesitate before accepting an invite to speak at the 2009 biblioteksvar conference. Biblioteksvar is a Norwegian consortium of libraries that organizes a virtual library reference desk. The conference centre was at Fornebu, the former location of Oslo Airport with the capital’s busiest streets within reach. Now, once upon a time I spent three years in Oslo studying. Great years on the ave of the 80’s. And going back is a thrill – each time.
On the spot, the conference participants agreed to fill out the same kind of form that I had used in my most recent study Teachers and Wikipedia – a story of love or hate? Which was great, because it was the first time I got to ask fellow members of my profession (librarians) how they respond and use Wikipedia. I have no idea why it took me so long. A friend suggested that I worried about them being negative about Wikipedia. The truth is that it doesn’t break my hart if they are.
This mini survey is so far only published in Norwegian language. I plan to summarize the most important findings in English, here on this blog. To read the study, just click on the read note pad (to the left).
I use this blog to comment on issues related to Wikipedia. To me, WP is not solely a free encyclopedia. It’s also a popular movement that I belong to. Others don’t. More than to tell anyone what to think about Wikipedia, I want to learn about people’s views on this particular encyclopedia.
I have conducted two studies on how Wikipedia is received at school, by the pupils and by their teachers. The principal of both studies was The Stockholm County Library:
The initial study Wikipedias fel och brister – en angelägenhet för biblioteken? (2008) is in its full length available only in Swedish, though you can read a short English version here on this blog. In July 2008, I had the privilege of presenting the results of this study at the Wikimania in Alexandria (EGY) – the annual Wikimedia world conference.
The following study was titled Wikipedia – älskat eller avskytt? In English, that would be Wikipedia – a story of love or hate? This study was based on questionnaire-answers from 266 teachers at upper secondary schools in the greater Stockholm area. A (beta) translation to English is now availible. Note: Appendix 1 and Appendix 2
At Wikimania 2009 in Buenos Aires (ARG), I presented the most important findings of this study.