Israeli librarians finished first in a recent global competition, making 4,700 edits to Wikipedia pages in a three-week span. The campaign known on social media as #1Lib1Ref (“One Librarian, One Reference”), asks librarians from around the world to both update existing Wikipedia pages with valid references and create new posts altogether, in an effort to spread awareness and combat inaccurate online information.
Held biannually, #1Lib1Ref is organized by the International Federation of Library Associations, and the Wikipedia Library, a research hub run by a team of Wikimedia Foundation staff and global volunteers. Their goal is to make access to information “free, easy, collaborative and efficient,” according to their website.
For the most recent campaign, Israel’s National Library teamed up with Wikimedia-Israel in an effort to be awarded first place. Seventy-six Israeli librarians participated, mostly from the National Library of Israel.
Israelis edited and added accurate references to pages about autism, ebooks, bereavement, Ahad Ha’am and Robinson Crusoe, among other subjects.
In addition to the 4,700 edits made in Hebrew, there were also completely 61 new posts created by Israelis. New Hebrew posts included information about Vienna’s Jewish Museum, medical treatment for premature babies and North African prayer, to name a few.
Director of Israel’s National Library Oren Weinberg said that because of the internet, scientific information has to compete with digital inaccuracies, and it is the responsibility of librarians to make Wikipedia as reliable as possible.