Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thing #16: Wikis

Thing #16: Wikis

A wiki is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. With the benefits that wikis provide the use and popularity of these tools is exploding. Some of the benefits that make wikis so attractive are:
  • Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
  • Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
  • Earlier versions of a page can be viewed and reinstated when needed.
  • And users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content. In most cases simple composers similar to word processing software are used.

As the use of wikis has grown over the last few years, libraries all over the country have begun to use them to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, ALA conference wikis and even library best practices wikis.

To complete Thing #16:

1) Explore the following links:

  • LibSuccess: What is a Wiki? Check out this page for an introduction into wikis and then explore the rest of this library-themed wiki.
  • Wikis: A Beginner's Look a slideshow put together by Meredith Farkas gives good examples of how wikis can be used.
  • BookLovers Wiki by Princeton Public Library - For library staff and public
  • Subject Guides by St. Joseph's Public Library - For library staff and public
  • Youth Services wiki by the Allegheny County Library Association - For youth services staff in all 40+ independent libraries around their county.

2) Blog about your findings and what you found interesting/beneficial/faulty/etc. For what reasons could we use a wiki within our libraries?

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