Wikimedia Community at the Darien Library

     This past Thursday, Darien residents gathered at the Darien library to listen to Katherine Maher, chief executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, give a talk about the Foundation’s global community of volunteers in an event sponsored by Person-to-Person and Volunteer Square. Ms. Maher discussed the importance of community involvement in a free-access source of truth that benefits and unites users around the world. She also explained the benefits that Wikipedia and other Wikimedia services, like Wiktionary, provide to minorities and people in developing nations. Ultimately, the community Ms. Maher represented is an improbably successful one built on mutual cooperation, trust, and a common desire to advance humanity’s collective knowledge base. Although there are some obvious differences as an internet-based organization, the philosophy on which the Wikimedia Foundation is built has much in common with local volunteer efforts in terms of goals and group engagement. There is much volunteer communities of all varieties can learn from one another, and this event at the Darien library is an example of just that.