Inside Wikipedia: How it Works and How You Can Be an Editor

Rowman & Littlefield. Sept. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9781538163214. $34. REF
At first glance, this might appear only useful as professional reading for librarians who want to contribute to Wikipedia—and it is indeed useful for that. But the book will also find a wider audience—report writers covering “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit,” patrons thinking of contributing their time and expertise to it, and those interested in how things work. As Thomas (library specialist, Univ. of Kansas; former Wikipedia Visiting Scholar, Univ. of Pennsylvania) notes, most of us use Wikipedia and know that anyone can contribute to it, but most don’t know who edits it and how and why they do this work. Thomas explains all in plainly written chapters on the history of the resource, what to know before editing, getting started, and growing as an editor in “Concrete Ways to Make Wikipedia a Better Resource.” Crucially, there’s a closing chapter on countering bias in the work. Particularly helpful to librarians will be the section for editors who want to work with libraries and museums, as it is a mini lesson for librarians on what these patrons expect.
VERDICT Pair with LJ’s profile of Wikipedia editor Susan Barnum ( to get fired up for some editing!
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