Children’s authors in the spotlight with Iedereen Leest (Everyone Reads)

26 Apr 2021

Wikipedia is often the first stop in your online search for information, as is also the case for children’s literature. A lot of information about Flemish children’s authors and illustrators is currently lacking. Everyone Reads wants to rectify this by giving them the attention they deserve on Wikipedia. In addition to writing sessions taking place later this year, three interns have already started work on the online encyclopaedia.

With the 50th edition of the Children’s Book Month which took place in March in mind, Everyone Reads wanted to give Flemish children’s authors more visibility on Wikipedia. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic threw a spanner in the works and prevented the initial series of edit-a-thons from going ahead between 6 and 24 March as planned. But Everyone Reads didn’t give up on their goal and made a new plan instead. Three interns from Everyone Reads and the Letterenhuis are now working to give the illustrators of the Children’s Book Month posters – from the 1980s to the 2019 poster – their own Wikipedia page.

© Simon Bequoye and Everyone Reads

Tips & tricks

Interns Rosemarie Knobloch, Lore De Schutter and Sena Nyamador are each creating a series of pages and have already shared their best tips and tricks. Everything you write on Wikipedia, for example, needs to be substantiated by correctly referencing the source. An army of experienced Wikipedians always check the pages you create very carefully following publication. Wikipedia is also very accessible, so you don’t need to be particularly tech-savvy to write for the platform.

Why Wikipedia?

Everyone Reads wants to improve the visibility of children’s literature and make it much more widely accessible. The necessary information had already been available on Jeugdliteratuur.be since 2014 but, after careful consideration, Everyone Reads decided to stop this website in 2020. Meemoo looked at two main issues together with Everyone Reads. How can the website be archived in the best way possible? And how can its content be kept alive, added to and updated despite being taken offline?

© Simon Bequoye and Everyone Reads

Meemoo archived the website with the Internet Archive after this consideration, and the archived version also remains publicly available via the WaybackMachine. Everyone Reads decided to work together with Wikimedia Belgium to breathe new life into its data. This enabled pages about children’s authors and illustrators to be created and added to on Wikipedia, using information from Jeugdliteratuur.org. We supervised Everyone Reads in publishing the web texts under a free licence, to archive the website, in order to make this possible.

In addition to author information, Jeugdliteratuur.org also has a database with teaching tips and processing information for children’s and young adult’s books. These books were on the Children’s Book Month and Children’s Jury selection and nomination lists. The teaching tips from Jeugdliteratuur.org are linked to a specific book and have now been made available on KlasCement.

Wikipedia writing sessions

Everybody Reads will be reorganising the postponed edit-a-thons as soon as this becomes possible again. All interested parties can register for the supervised group writing sessions, which are intended for the general public and will take place in inspiring locations.

Everyone Reads is not alone in these sessions; Wikimedia Belgium is providing support, and the Letterenhuis and Villa Verbeelding are assisting with the children’s literature content. We’re also offering our expertise on Wikimedia platforms to make heritage visible and accessible online, and support great initiatives in the sector.

Interested in children’s literature?