The Children's Museum of Indianapolis' Wikipedian-in-Residence Receives National Appointment
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is pleased to announce its own Wikipedian-in-Residence, Lori Byrd Phillips, has been named United States Cultural Partnerships Coordinator in 2012 for the Wikimedia Foundation.
Professionals from galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) are increasingly interested in discussing partnerships with Wikimedia as a viable way to increase accessibility to cultural resources just as The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has done. It has also served as a creative way to draw new audiences to their collections in our rapidly expanding multimedia culture. In her new role, Phillips will help create an infrastructure to connect local Wikipedians with interested cultural institutions and to provide the resources needed to establish successful partnerships.
Phillips views her new responsibility as another way she can help the cultural sector share their resources freely on a global scale. “I’m excited about the opportunity to help other museums realize the success we’ve had at The Children’s Museum,” said Phillips. “By making the resources and tools created by those of us in the GLAM-Wiki initiative more accessible to other cultural professionals, we hope to make cultural information accessible globally through Wikipedia.”
The Children’s Museum has garnered significant attention in the online world when it became just the second museum in the world to host a Wikipedian-in-Residence (and the first in the United States) in 2010. In July 2011, it became the first museum in the world to include a Wikipedian on paid staff, when it hired Phillips. “It has been extremely satisfying for us to be able to extend learning beyond a visit to the Museum through a large, online audience,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “This provides children and families with an avenue to explore parts of the Museum’s collection they may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience and to dig deeper into the significance and meaning of individual artifacts.”
“Lori has done an outstanding job of bringing our curators and Wikipedia editors together to improve articles in Wikipedia that relate to our museum,” said Angela McNew, director of websites and emerging media of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “Children and families around the world now have access to images and information about our museum objects that are written in their own language. We never would have been able to accomplish this without Lori’s efforts.”
Phillips has been involved in the GLAM initiative for nearly two years, carrying out a number of pilot projects that have served as best practice for museum-Wikimedia partnerships. Lori is also a graduate student in the museum studies program at Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis and has presented, written articles, and blogged for a number of professional museum organizations about her work with museums and Wikipedia. Phillips will continue her work at The Children’s Museum as she takes on her new role.
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences that have the power to transform the lives of children and families across the arts, sciences and humanities. For more information about the tourist attraction and museum, visit www.childrensmuseum.org, follow us on Twitter @TCMIndy, Facebook.com/childrensmuseum and YouTube.com/IndyTCM.
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