#16 Wikis & libraries

    So what’s in a wiki?

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A wiki is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and perhaps the most well known of these knowledge sharing tools. 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 syntax structure is 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.

Discovery Resources:
Use these resources to learn more aboout wikis:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at some library wikis and blog about your finding. Here’s a few examples to get you started:
  2. Create a blog post about your findings. What did you find interesting? What types of applications within libraries might work well with a wiki?

So what’s in a wiki? Find out by doing some exploring on your own.


  1. A young gentlemen has just invented a software program so people can trackback and discover the IP addresses of people “editing” Wikipedia. Not surprisingly corporations and agencies of various sorts are eager to delete potentially damaging info about themselves. See the article here on NPR:

    Comment by Robyn Russell :: August 16, 2007 @ 1:43 pm
  2. Also suggest visiting this site for a fun video explaining wikis:

    Comment by Robyn Russell :: August 23, 2007 @ 1:44 pm

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