Leveraging Wikipedia: Connecting Communities of Practice. Edited by Merrilee Proffitt. Chicago: ALA, 2018. 256 p. Paper $68.00 (ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1632-2).

The refrain that reappears throughout Leveraging Wikipedia is that Wikipedia and GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) are natural allies and a fair amount of text is dedicated to convincing the reader of this. It promises practical strategies for putting this alliance to work and ultimately delivers on that promise, if in a circuitous and somewhat repetitive way. After the first few chapters it becomes clear that there are only so many established ways for library professionals to harness the audience and infrastructure of Wikipedia for the benefit of their library. The authors offer a wide array of examples for how they tailored these tried and true methods for the specific niche of their work. The task of building on this existing foundation with innovative new partnerships between Wikipedia and libraries rests on the shoulders of the reader.

This book is not an introduction to Wikipedia. The authors write for an audience of their peers, GLAM professionals of all kinds who use Wikipedia every day. Nevertheless, most of the essays introduce parts of the broader Wikimedia empire that may be less familiar, such as Wikidata, Wikiprojects, or the Wikipedia Library Project. A veteran Wikipedian may find the explanations of these different projects tedious. Reading this collection of essays cover-to-cover will mean that even a novice is in for the occasional slog through a chapter that is barely relevant to their day-to-day work. Eventually, academic and public librarians alike will find at least one strategy described in this volume that will work well in their own library.

Although each chapter offers a unique perspective, the authors largely offer the same few suggestions: host a Wikipedia edit-a-thon, establish a Wikipedian in Residence, or use Wikipedia to teach information literacy. Leveraging Wikipedia is less a handy toolkit for the library professional who is ready to begin implementing these programs in their own library and more a source of encouraging testimonials.—Natalie Mahan, Undergraduate Learning Specialist, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas


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