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Reflections on Wikis

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 7 months ago

Individual librarians are working on using wikis for conferences, symposia, etc. as well as more long-term projects. Libraries themselves are also starting to create and use wikis. As you can see from the Bull Run Regional Library wiki, this library is not only using the wiki to communicate with its patrons, but to make the regional library itself stand out. If you click on the link below the library's address, you're taken to the Prince William County Public Library System webpage. By creating its own wiki, Bull Run differentiates its offerings to its community.


Other wikis help pull together information in new ways. For example, the Ohio University Libraries Lit Wiki provides links to databases for the fields of literature, film, and drama. The Princeton Public Library wiki allows patrons to add their own reviews, another great way to include patrons and gather their input.


We are also seeing wikis created specifically by and for librarians (for the most part), such as LISWiki. Like most wikis, LISWiki is a collaborative effort. There are several areas covered: discussion groups, "blended librarianship," Library 2.0, "roving reference," etc. Another interesting wiki is the Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki, which literally discusses what the title says. The Introduction states: "This wiki was created to be a one-stop-shop for great ideas and information for all types of librarians. All over the world, librarians are developing successful programs and doing innovative things with technology that no one outside of their library knows about." Here is the true utilization of a wiki - as a virtual space to create both community and content. As one delves further into this wiki it is clear that a lot of collaboration has already been accomplished, but there is also a lot more to be said.


The fact that a wiki is always a work in progress is what makes it such a useful tool for libraries. The library world is always changing - not only technology, but policy, patrons needs and wants, continually updated resources, etc. Wikis can be a tool in the discussion of change as well as assist librarians to participate in the changes themselves.

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