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Submissions/Wikipedian in Residence in the National Library of Israel - How can a success story be a failure?

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2015.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Wikipedian in Residence in the National Library of Israel- How can a success story be a failure?
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Daryag, Deror Avi
E-mail address
darya.ganor@nli.org.il; deror@wikimedia.org.il
Daryag, Deror Avi
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
The National Library of Israel, Wikimedia Israel
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

The National Library of Israel has a long ongoing relationship with Wikimedia Israel and wikipedia. All the original goals set by Wikimedia Israel were accomplishes during the residency of the three Wikipedians in residence. The collaboration started at 2012, when the first wikipedian in residence started working. After his year was over, the library wanted another one. The Second Wikipedian in Residence term has started, and Deror has accomplished much in his term: Uploaded over 6,000 images to Wikimedia Commons; Taught hundreds of people how Wikipedia works and how to edit; Established the Wikipedia program in the library which included teaching the staff how to edit Wikipedia, and making the library self-sufficient in teaching editing ("teach the trainers"); establish a library’s reference desk in Wikipedia itself, supplying references from the library’s collections. The programs were very fruitful and are still going on. The project was so successful that after having two Wikipedians in residence the Library decided that they need to continue with the program permanently, and Darya the Third Wikipedian in Residence and the first one appointed. Nevertheless, the Library continued the work of teaching how to edit Wikipedia and Uploading materials from the Library’s collection. The current library program is in many senses self-sufficient.

In view of that, was the program successful? Can a program be successful and a failure at the same time?

Of course we made mistakes along the way, tried different things, some of which worked and some didn’t. But even in our failures the Lessons were learn! And yet although we have archived all the official set goals, our lectures aren’t generating the products wanted, nor is our uploading program, in our opinion.

In our presentation we will provide tips, share lessons learnt and best practices which may be used in similar projects, will ask the following questions, and see if we can answer them:

  • Is such a collaboration considered to be a success? Or a failure?
  • How do you measure success?
  • What objectives are scalable? And what do we do with objectives that are not?
  • Are we measuring the right things?
  • What is the learning curve in such a project? Are we reaching conclusions too fast? and what if these conclusions are wrong?
  • Can a success be a failure? Can a failure be a success? What do you think?

GLAM Outreach

Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Not on Shabat.

Interested attendees

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  1. Millars (talk) 13:25, 17 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Sadads (talk) 15:52, 24 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 00:27, 25 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Panyd (talk) 21:43, 26 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Risker (talk) 02:33, 8 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Ovedc (talk) 08:25, 12 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Geraki (talk) 07:01, 14 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  8. eranroz (talk) 08:10, 4 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Hanay (talk) 06:46, 15 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
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