Tuesday, September 19, 2006

#16 Wikis - Group Edited Resources

I could easily see creating wikis for subject guides on topics similar to SJCPL's Subject Guides that we get asked about all the time. Especially for popular topics such as: local information, careers and jobs, geneology and local history, and senior exit projects. The IS File pathfinders on the Staff Intranet would be an excellent candidate for conversion. Also, I'm sure that every branch has staff finding lists for reader's advisory and homework support that would translate well to a wiki. The thing for any group wanting to create a wiki is to deceide--are we all going to create our own wiki on our topic and then link them in another wiki that links back to all of ours OR will there be one centralized library wiki and everyone goes in and adds posts on their topic? And how will we facilitate customer feedback? Will it be something that only librarians will contribute to or will patrons be able to contribute too? Also consider the costs of conversion, especially staff time required to do it.

The Book Lover's wiki looks like something the library already does with the Reader's Club website but with the ability of readers to add comments to a book that has been reviewed.

Library Success : a best practices wiki is a great idea. But like any group project it's only as good as it's contributions. Some areas don't have any entries yet.

The ALA 2006 New Orleans wiki was very easy to follow and understand. Everyone who is a conference participant would want to read the wiki to find out more information and topics of interest. They could also post what discoveries they had to share with others. I could see turning large library events into wikis such as the Novello Festival of Reading.

The Bull Run Library Wiki seemed like an example of a work in progress. It had features that were a cross between a blog and a wiki.

Other wiki examples that I found useful were:
1. The UCONN Library Staff Wiki. After looking at this site I immediately thought of our staff Intranet. If it was a wiki then all staff could post updates directly without having to go though a webmaster.

2. Biz Wiki from Ohio University. This is similar to our Bizling.org website. If conversion was an option, the same things that applied to the subject guides listed above would be factors here. Something else to consider--would it be better to just create a wiki separately as an adjunct to the website? Is there any other information that would be worthwhile adding that isn't already provided by the website?

3. The USC Aiken Gregg-Graniteville Library Wiki is sharp. Everything is so easy to find. I especially how they made finding articles in their online databases intuitive. It's not a cluttered site but everything seems within easy reach. What is difficult for any library homepage is to facilitate the fewest mouse clicks possible but still have the page not appear "busy". Also consider how much accessibility are you willing to give with the site--only have library staff add updates or have it open for all patrons? How will patron comments be presented? Will there be an assigned moderator of comments or will this be allowed to be moderated collectively?

4. The FLICC/Fedlink Environmental Scan Project blew me away with it's information. It's findings should make libraries take notice. A must read for anyone in libraries. Content and accessiblilty to all parts of the project were easy to follow with the outline in the sidebar and in the body of the page.



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