Liam Wyatt (@wittylama on Twitter) and Gillian White have been actively promoting a Wikipedian in Residence at the New South Wales State Library as the first GLAM Wikipedian in Residence in Australia. It is not. It is at least the second one. One earlier one was a Wikipedian in Residence at the National Sports Information Centre in conjunction with the Australian Paralympic Committee. The National Sports Information Centre is a government funded library, and one of the best sport libraries in the world. This residency has been extensively documented on Wikimedia Foundation projects and started in December 2011.
This is not a matter of opinion. This is a matter of fact. Don’t like sports? That sucks. The National Sports Information Centre is still a library. Do not think sport represents culture? Sucks, because sport as culture has been extensively documented. Added to that, sports are an area of culture that attract huge amounts of interest. There are a number of sport related libraries and museums around the world. Galleries and archives have exhibits dedicated to sport. Sport is part of GLAM.
Liam and Gillian are choosing to rewrite history to downplay this Wikipedian in Residency because they dislike sports and to further their own position. Rather than be concerned about the Wikimedia Movement as a whole, rather than trying to build on a history of success, they personally seek to engage in historical revisionism. In the process, they make the Movement in Australia look worse because hit suggests Australians were so incompetent they could not do this despite Liam being a big driver of this since the onset. It makes the State Library of New South Wales look bad because they are encouraging and library to publish factually incorrect information. It makes it harder for people to take Wikimedia Australia seriously, and it makes it harder to get other GLAM partners in Australia because there is very little history of success if you take away the NSIC work and the work done by others in the GLAM movement. It puts the focus on individuals who instead of working towards free information work for themselves.
As a movement, we need to set aside this personal pettiness, our personal biases, and instead focus on repeating success, sharing information freely, etc.
There is no future for GLAM in Australia if this cannot be done, especially in the chapter level. The major success story that the WMF recognised at the latest funding request is the one Liam and Gillian and the State Library of NSW wrote out of history. We need to highlight and build on these success, especially if we want Australian donations to the WMF to come back to Australia… as opposed to the $0 that Australia got the last time.