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Using Wikipedia to promote digital collections

Wielding Wikipedia, by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed. (April 5, 2011).

With its magnetic pull on students who might have otherwise burrowed into the stacks, Wikipedia might seem like a library’s natural enemy. But to librarians at the University of Houston the popular online encyclopedia has become a valuable ally, helping to draw more eyes to their digital collections than ever before.

At the annual meeting of the Association of College and Research Libraries here on Friday, the Houston librarians explained how they had recently enlisted a student, Danielle Elder, to evangelize the content of their Digital Library on Wikipedia, the eighth most popular website in the world, to see if it would improve exposure for their artifacts. Wikipedia quickly became the No. 1 driver of web traffic to Houston’s online collections, surpassing both Google and the university’s home page.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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