Wikis

Wiki-wiki what?

A Wiki is a really great learning tool as well as a form of a collaborative tool. As states on Wikipedia about Wikis – A wiki enables communities to write documents collaboratively, using a simple markup language and a web browser. (See full article here)

The ideal example of current working wiki is Wikipedia. An encyclopedia with quick facts (using the word loosely) on a plethora of topics. The reason I use the term facts in a loose manner is that because Wikipedia is a wiki the documents can be edited collaboratively; in layman terms ANYONE can edit ANYTHING they please. This can be a very incredible and beneficial feature if you trust those editing the documents. As with anything on the internet, there is always a brain to the text, unfortunately the brain may only be 8 years old. Don’t get me wrong they could be kid-genius but it is highly unlikely.

Now that I have laid a very HUGE con out there about Wikis….why would a Library be interested in using one? Because a Wiki doesn’t have to be public. A librarian is an information professional; their job is to provide information to users in the most convenient and updated form. A wiki will allow the entire library team to keep information accurate while spreading the load responsibility across many. Not only that but we don’t know everything, no matter how much we wish we did. Having a wiki allows faculty and other experts to post information on a topic that we don’t know that much about. That sounds very appetizing right? Of course.

So you might ask, why don’t they just have a library blog? You can view this detailed comparison table about Wikis vs Blogs if you want, otherwise please suffice with my one voice, one opinion, limited knowledge here on my blog. Wikis provide a wide range of access, which means multiple editors, multiple brains full of info and multiple eyes to catch mistakes. Blogs are more personal.

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