Wikis…

June 13, 2007

I think out of all the social software tools available to librarians the wiki has the most potential in quite a number of applications.  In the readings by Meredith Farkas most of the applications are delinated well: reference, collegial interaction and teamwork, knowledge management (which Angela Kille’s discussed in greater detail) to annotated the library catalogue, being a centre of community information, and acting as a pathfinder (i.e. – subject guides).  I do agree with Jill’s comments that wikis can lead to more work for librarians, I think that overall it allows patrons to contribute in ways that librarians otherwise cannot.  In the instance of a pathfinder, as Farkas points out, librarians cannot necessarily be expected to thoroughly account for all sources of information and allowing students and faculty to input on the subject can improve upon what already exists.  I believe it also provides a cheaper and easier to implement reference service than the vendor provided virtual reference software.  Also, having the reference questions available to be viewed and commented on by all can be encouraging to many afraid or unsure whether or not to ask librarians questions, and to getting a more complete answer to a given question.  Though I don’t want to speak too glowingly about wikis, I believe that they are the best tool available if libraries want to really connect with their patrons.

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3 Responses to “Wikis…”

  1. shnnon Says:

    Wikis really a means of connecting a group in a way no other communication technology can. You’re right, sharing the pressure of creating content can both lead to an increased workload for librarians while resulting in richer content for users.

  2. qingyi Says:

    I also agree that librarians should be involved in wikis. Because librarians are information professionals, they have skills and responsibilities to collect, evaluate and share useful and correct information with users.

  3. Jill Says:

    I agree that wikis are the best of social software tools for library uses. And there are so many uses, public and internal, to which wikis can be adapted.

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