John Mark Ockerbloom:
I’ve heard the lament in more than one library discussion over the years. “People aren’t coming to our library like they should,” librarians have told me. “We’ve got a rich collection, and we’ve expended lots of resources on an online presence, but lots of our patrons just go to Google and Wikipedia without checking to see what we have.” The pattern of quick online information-finding using search engines and Wikipedia is well-known enough that it has its own acronym: GWR, for Google -> Wikipedia -> References. (David White gives a good description of that pattern in the linked article.)
Essentially we need three things: First, we need ways to embed links in Wikipedia to the libraries that readers use. (We can’t reasonably add individual links from an article to each library out there, because there are too many of them– there has to be a way that each Wikipedia reader can get to their own favored libraries via the same links.) Second, we need ways to derive appropriate library concepts and local searches from the subjects of Wikipedia articles, so the links go somewhere useful. Finally, we need good summaries of the resources a reader’s library makes available on those concepts, so the links end up showing something useful.