Dear Ravi,

Congratulations on your new role and kudos for opening up for ideas. I
would like not to make a proposal but to throw an idea for further
development. It is something that will be attractive to those with an
interest in scholarly pursuit and I suspect, the kind of people who will be
interested in contributing more to wiki[m|p]media projects.

Build a network of volunteer community librarians. These vcl's will be paid
for subscription/membership to libraries in their city and will work to
highlight sources they have access to and handle community requests for
information using a ticket based-information request system (more or less a
bugzilla). The system can also run small contests on a theme where sources
on a theme are offered and new people are encouraged to add referenced
content to various wp projects. Initially this can be made open to all
seekers of information. Wikipedians are encouraged to stalk requests and
references found and incorporate them, highlighting their edits to newbies.

If this works reasonably, or too well to be handled by once-a-week trips to
local libraries, it could be scaled into something for a nominal payment
that makes it worthwhile for everyone's time and perhaps make chapter
membership meaningful with something that members can get as a
privilege-research aid.

The volunteers need to be interested in research themselves, willing to
reach out to librarians, spreading the word and most importantly enjoy the

I am happy to pitch in and help look up material for any information
requests particularly in the biological sciences. I have access to a few
physical libraries at the moment and can in any case help with JSTOR and
BNA sources (courtesy Wikipedia Library Project). I also offer some
introductions to information literacy, so far I have only done a session
for some students of St Joseph's College and some students of entomology at
the UAS, GKVK. I also keep an eye on WP:RX on the English wikipedia.

I have met some helpful librarians who are interested but wikipedia is not
something convenient enough for them. Reaching out to librarians is also
something that we need to try.

Best wishes

On Wednesday, September 24, 2014, Ravishankar Ayyakkannu <> wrote:
> Hi,
> Wikimedia India Chapter welcomes community driven grant requests and
project proposals that are
> * Innovative
> * Creative
> * Pan-Indian
> * Scalable
> * Reproducible
> * Impactful
> *
> *... (wait, that is already a long list of keywords :) )
> OK, let us think of something more than the typical outreach work we do !
> While the chapter gets ready updating a minimum set of requirements,
policies and procedures for awarding grants, please start discussing in
your community village pump about prospective projects. When we review
grant requests, we will be looking for signs of community approval or
> Stay tuned for more updates and let me assure you will get approval for
grants in a Tatkal basis :)
> Ravi,
> Program Director, Wikimedia India Chapter.
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