The Wikimedia Foundation was given the highest rating (4 stars) by Charity Navigator, America’s leading independent charity evaluator of nonprofit organizations. The ratings are based on the organization’s financial health and accountability and the transparency of operations.
Wikimedia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the global distribution of free information in many languages. The most popular Wikimedia resource is Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia. Other resources include: wikibooks (free textbooks and manuals), wikiversity (free learning tools), and wikivoyage (free travel guides). Wikimedia does not sell ad space; instead, it is funded primarily by donations from individuals all over the globe.
My duties as a trainer at the ND State Library include going into the classroom and talking to students and teachers about the many online educational resources provided by the state to encourage learning. The subscription databases contain credible information that is cited in several formats like MLA or APA. The need for students to evaluation information found in the databases is minimal.
Teachers and librarians have strong views about Wikipedia as an educational resource, both pro and con. Probably most college professors will not accept Wikipedia as a bibliographical reference. However, Wikipedia can be a starting point that leads to credible information.
Evaluating information (an information literacy skill) is essential when using Wikipedia. Learning how to judge information is a necessary skill when navigating the Internet or picking out bias in news sources. Yes, you have to evaluate information found at Wikipedia, but every time you do, you hone your information literacy and critical thinking skills.
“Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.” –Kurt Vonnegut, author