As librarians, Wikipedians and teachers, we realized that one of the major gaps in last year’s edit-a-thon at Eyebeam in February, 2014 was a lack of training materials and trainers present on the day of the event. Edit-a-thons rely heavily on a limited number of tireless Wikipedia volunteers but a lot of the trouble-shooting that is needed during an edit-a-thon doesn’t require so much expertise (e.g. “how do you open new browser tabs?” and “how do I add a citation?”), so we wanted to empower regular folks to help out with on-the-ground training during the event. To do so, we first built out ArtandFeminism Training Lesson Plan that could be shared during our Train the Trainer events in NYC. After the first Train the Trainer in October, we realized that building out shareable training materials would be incredibly helpful for both our own events and our satellite organizers, especially those who cannot get many Wikipedians or experienced editors to their events. It’s our philosophy that with a little bit of training, the average editor can run an edit-a-thon. Of course, it’s always preferable to have Wikipedians present, but in the case that they cannot be there, leveraging the on-wiki resources and building out our own should suffice.
First, we decided to create re-usable Art + Feminism Training Slides that can either be used in an open source .pdf format or in PowerPoint with a notes field. Satellite organizers can use these slides to help lead or structure Beginner Wikipedia trainings. We then developed a Art + Feminism Beginner Training Video Series so that organizers can share this with local volunteers and interested colleagues. Part of what we think is important about this project is the “information activism angle.” By broadening access to training materials, we’re empowering people to build their own networks locally.