This was despite @libodyssey's very sensible tweet
RT @libodyssey: Libs: the #SOPA protest is *not* a chance to re-emphasise the value of lib resources, but to re-emphasise value of openness
— Sam Searle (@datalibsam) January 18, 2012
Admittedly, I tried to market my library during the blackout. Arguably part of the reason was that we librarians are naturally helpful and was preparing to assist our panicky users once they couldn't get to Wikipedia.
In any case, the Wikipedia blackout hit my region at around 1pm and I prepared a couple of tweets and Facebook posts to firstly mention the library and secondly mention workarounds to access Wikipedia. I suspect it was the later that got us some retweets, and some compliments.
Really have to commend @NUSLibraries for their use of social media.
— Syafiq Rahman (@syafiqrahman) January 18, 2012
I also monitored tweets with the keyword Wikipedia within a location of 1km around our library, to see what people (presumably our users) were saying.
What made me truly curious was whether Wikipedia downtime would lead to increase library usage, whether it be access to library website, eresource usage, reference desk usage etc. I happened to be on desk duty during the Wikipedia blackout and my impression was that while usage was up from the day before it didn't seem to be attributable to Wikipedia but was simply the effect of the academic year advancing (The term just started a week ago here). My tweet scan also didn't really pick up much panic, just general moaning though it was good that a few of our loyal fans actually tweeted at their friends who were moaning, to use the online library resources.
Still impressions are not everything and I was going to look at our statistics but it seemed Ken Varnum already did a pretty comprehensive analysis at his library (University of Michigan) The results he got at his library was very similar to ours basically.
"the increase was about the same as for the day before and the day after -- reflecting the increasing workload of the academic semester more than any Wikipedia-inspired bump."
Pretty much every article, commentary about how libraries are dying tends to mention Google and Wikipedia being some of the reasons why we are in trouble, so Wikipedia going down should have a bigger effect but it didn't. Why? Let me speculate.
"So what would happen if say on April 1, 2012 academic libraries around the country turned off their proxies? Would the world notice or would people just think that the servers at Science were down for the afternoon?" -- WHAT IF? The Library Blackout Scenario