HARLEM — Now's your chance to create a Wikipedia page about your favorite hangout or an underrated neighborhood hero.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, will host Black Life Matters, a Wiki Edit-a-Thon focusing on improving the online encyclopedia's articles on Black history and culture on February 7. The free event will be from noon to 5 p.m. with a reception afterwards.
While there is an emphasis on Black culture, participants are free to create and contribute to whatever articles they feel passionate about, associate chief librarian Maira Liriano said.
“We’re hoping to have anyone involved in whatever way they want to be involved,” she said. “Hopefully they’ll be empowered by creating something new or enhancing an already existing article.”
People will have access to the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, which has hundreds of thousands of materials they can use as resources, she added.
Representatives from Wikipedia will be available to help participants figure out how to navigate their website.
The idea for edit-a-thons started a couple of years ago as an effort to increase the representation of women and people of color in Wikipedia, Liriano said.
Previous incarnations include Wiki Gangs of New York — in which people wrote about different neighborhoods and their history — and Wikipedia the Musical — for people interested in adding content to Broadway and theater entrees, Liriano said.
People who attend the events often meet others who share similar interests and learn different editing and computer skills, she added.
“The idea is to make people aware of the fact that they can contribute to Wikipedia,” Liriano said. “People spend so much time online, this is a way to be online and connect with people and do something productive.”
The event is free to the public but space is limited so people are encouraged to register.