Libraries’ day-long Wiki Edit-a-thon to help shrink gender gap

March 13, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries and the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, in an effort to shrink the gender gap in representation, will host a wiki-edit-a-thon from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 21, as a part of a world-wide Wikipedia edit-a-thon initiative to increase the presence of women and non-binary people online. 

The Wikimedia Foundation has reported that less than 10 percent of its contributors identify as female and that less than 20 percent of all notable profiles are of women. While the reasons for the gender gap may be up for dispute, the practical effect of the disparity is not: Content is severely skewed by the lack of female participation, said the foundation.  

The daylong event, open to all students, faculty and staff, will be held in the Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library, on the University Park campus, and aims to foster a productive and open space for sharing knowledge, ideas, and experiences that results in enriching and creating more diverse Wikipedia profiles. Snacks will be provided throughout the day for all participants.

“We hope to assist women in finding the tools and confidence necessary for such a project, reminding them that their knowledge is powerful and that they deserve to see themselves represented on such an omnipresent and influential website,” said Lily Murray, Student Outreach and Engagement Intern and project organizer for the event.

Interested participants are welcome regardless of level of technology knowledge or experience. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop or electronic device to the drop-in event and can spend as much or as little time as they please. Murray said organizers are looking forward to supporting a wide range of involvement, from small edits to full page creation, and will have resources to help people get started with pre-selected materials from the Libraries’ Eberly Family Special Collections.

For more information, visit the Wikipedia meetup page for the event, which includes a link and information on getting started with a Wikipedia account and a link to enroll in the program.

For questions about event accommodations and the physical access provided, contact Hailley Fargo, Student Engagement and Outreach Librarian, at 814-865-1850 or in advance of your visit.

Last Updated April 24, 2019