19 JULY 2023
AfLIA, working closely with a network of dedicated library representatives across Africa, successfully organized the fourth edition of the African Librarians Week (#AfLibWk 4.0) from May 14th to May 26th, 2023. This year’s campaign extended over a span of two weeks, allowing editors ample time to participate as it coincided with the 2023 AfLIA Conference held in Accra from May 22nd to May 26th, 2023.
The African Librarians Week serves as a valuable opportunity to utilize the wealth of information resources available in African libraries to ensure the accuracy and currency of African knowledge on Wikipedia. It is an exciting period where African library and information professionals collaborate to provide reliable and factual information about Africa to the world through Wikipedia, as part of the global #1Lib1Ref campaign.
Aligned with the African Day celebrations, AfLibWk aims to actively promote the sharing of African knowledge with the world through Wikipedia and Wikidata. The theme for the 2023 African Librarians Week was “African Knowledge to the World.”
The Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia Library have generously provided the prizes (shopping vouchers) available for grabs by the top contributors of the campaign. The prizes are as follows:
1st Prize: $100 | 2nd Prize: $70 | 3rd Prize: $50 | 4th Prize: $30 each | 5th Prize: $30
Additionally, the top 30 contributors will receive Certificates of Excellence, while other participants who contributed a minimum of 25 citations/references to Wikipedia during the campaign will be awarded Certificates of Participation.
This year’s edition witnessed the active participation of 206 editors, including 13 new editors, who signed up on the event dashboard to engage in the competition. The outreach dashboard monitored the progress on English, French, Arabic, and Portuguese Wikipedia, as well as the Wikidata and Wikiquote projects.
Notably, there was an increased emphasis on contributions to Wikidata during this year’s campaign, likely due to AfLIA’s ongoing Wikidata training project aimed at fostering an active cohort of African editors on the platform. Of particular interest is the remarkable growth and influence of editors from French-speaking Africa. For the first time in the history of African Librarians Week campaigns, the highest contributor hails from Cameroon, and four other Francophone editors have secured positions among the top 10 overall editors.
At the end of the campaign, approximately 14,000 edits were made across various Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Commons. Furthermore, 2,905 new references were added to both Wikipedia and Wikidata, while close to 900,000 new words were contributed across the Wikimedia projects. On Wikidata alone, the campaign resulted in over 10,400 revisions, including the creation of 760 new articles, the addition of 116 interwiki links, and 865 labels.
Despite mobilizing a slightly smaller number of editors compared to the 2022 campaign, this year’s campaign exhibited remarkable progress compared to the previous year. In total, the active editors of AfLibWk 4.0 created 797 new articles (on Wikipedia and Wikidata), and 270 new images were uploaded to Commons. As of now, the cumulative contributions of AfLibWk 4.0 active editors have reached an impressive 1.32 million readers worldwide, with the number of article views continuing to rise. For detailed campaign statistics, please click the button below.
The active editors participating in AfLibWk 4.0 included dedicated library and information professionals from Benin, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, and Zimbabwe. Here is the leaderboard showcasing the top 30 contributors:
If you are among the top 30 contributors, we kindly request that you complete the online form with your full name as you would like it to appear on your Certificate of Excellence. Please ensure that you submit your name no later than July 25th, 2023.
In conclusion, the 4th African Librarians Week was a great success. The campaign helped to improve the quality of information about Africa across Wikimedia projects, particularly Wikipedia and Wikidata, and it also helped to train and mentor new African editors. We are grateful to all of the editors who participated in the campaign, and we look forward to even more success in the years to come.