23 AUGUST 2020
Choosing from a good pool of candidates was extremely difficult as applications were received from many wikimedians with experience and expertise for the post of a Wikipedian in Residence for African Library and Information Association and Institutions (AfLIA). However, a choice had to be made and finally, AfLIA has signed on Alice Kibombo as a Wikipedian in Residence to actualize the AfLIA/Wikipedia project of training at least 10 librarians each from 30 African countries.
Alice Kibombo is a member of Wikimedia Community User Group – Uganda where over the last 4 years, she has coordinated and facilitated a number of Wikimedia campaigns, workshops, contests and edit-a-thons in Uganda and Africa. She regularly contributes to both English and Luganda Wikipedia, WikiData and WikiSource as well as other Wikimedia Projects. She was one of the Champions of the first ever African Librarians Week (24th -30th May, 2020) which was an integral part of the 1Lib1Ref campaign.
In addition to being a volunteer with Wikipedia, she also practices as a librarian at the Goethe-Zentrum Kampala. As a librarian, she engages a lot in research, outreach, user education and technical literacy, experience that comes in handy and is transferable to various Wikimedia projects.
Her interests include enabling collaboration and exploring new roles for librarians in technology innovation as well as the use and appreciation of local languages in electronic environments. These areas of expertise developed from her day-to-day work as well as volunteering with Wikipedia.
AfLIA and its network present an untapped resource for Wikimedia and thus her work as a Wikipedian-in- Residence will aim to foster collaboration between the Wikimedia Community and AfLIA for their mutual benefit. As daunting as it is for outsiders to engage with the Wikimedia Community, a number of Wikimedians do not have strong connections with the institutions that share their same goal of contributing to the “….essential infrastructure for free knowledge”. She also hopes to share her varied experience and understanding of Wikipedia culture with AfLIA members and guide them into developing their individual and collective Wikipedia-related skills and then taking their place in the Free Knowledge Movement.
AfLIA will engage with Alice on Twitter through a chat on Saturday, 29th August, 2020 at 4:30pm GMT. You can follow AfLIA – @AfLIACon and Alice – @owakakalamu on Twitter and join the conversation with the hashtag #WikiAfLibs.
You can read about some of her varied experiences in the Wikimedia World here:
Visiting Wikimedian Blog Post – https://blog.wikimedia.de/2020/07/16/visiting-wikimedian-2020/
On the Knowledge- Equity Gap – https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_Equity_Calendar/24
Experience at Wikimania 2019 – https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:TPS/AKibombo/Wikimania/2019/Report