Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Using Wikis at the Library

The 27things exercise on Wikis was pretty straightforward, and it was easy to add an entry to the SPL "sandbox." Although I can't see that it would be worth the effort to set up a wiki for planning a one-time event, such as a camping trip (the example given in the video "Wikis in Plain English"), I can understand how it would be a useful tool for an ongoing project. When it comes to library wikis, I'm impressed by the example of St. Joseph County Public Library's subject guides. Although these wikis can be edited by library staff only, the public is welcome to give their suggestions. I would think that with input from the public on these subject guides, they would become more reflective of the community the library serves.

On a smaller scale, I thought of two possible uses for wikis at the Sacramento Public Library - ones that might help the staff in certain jobs they do. At the Central Library, one librarian maintains Fast Facts, the in-house database of hard-to-find information that is used by all SPL staff. It might be helpful if she set up a wiki for all staff to add their ideas of possible new entries or updated information for Fast Facts, and she could choose which to add to the database. On an even smaller scale - at Central Library staff members teach computer classes. A wiki could be set up so that anyone on the staff could add suggestions for classes that might be taught. So - I hope that our library will start to explore more ideas of ways that wikis might be used.

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