French libraries and Wikipedia

This article marks Wikipedia’s tenth birthday by looking at the participation of French libraries in the collaborative online encyclopaedia. Wikipedia’s unique validation process meant that the project long had a bad press in a profession where the reliability of information is paramount. However, the author notes that the situation has moved on at an individual level, allowing librarians and wikipedians to work together. While some institutions are involved in Wikipedia, this remains on a small scale, and only the BnF has completed a project of any significance. However, partnerships may encourage greater involvement in the near future with the aim of showcasing French institutions and their collections. Producing content on Wikipedia is not an end in itself, however; it should be part of a wider strategy of improving online presence, taking account not only of the institution’s own wishes, but also of its capacity as a reliable source of knowledge.