Posted by: deirdrea | January 12, 2009

WLS Thing # 9 — WIKIS! (Plus, a nice wintry picture)


Ice covered tree, originally uploaded by deirdrej.

Hi, everybody!

I hope you enjoy the photo above. I took it this afternoon, through a skylight. The vertical lines you can see on the left of the picture are streaks of ice forming on the glass. I think ice is very beautiful actually — especially when it’s not dangerous! ;-D

Now, on to the assignment. This week, we were supposed to learn all about Wikis. Which is a “broad field,” as Theodore Fontane would say! Of course, lots of Librarians (including me) will tell you that Wikipedia, the granddaddy of them all, can be unreliable. It does have TONS of really good information, though — so, like the internet in general, it’s a teaching and learning opportunity. I’ve been urging students to analyze how articles are written and what source materials are cited, both in print materials and online, ever since I became a librarian. And in that respect wikis are no different. However — thier great strength — interactivity — is also their greatest weakness, where reliability is concerned. Actually, the editors of the Schools’ Wikipedia put it best. (btw I LOVE that site!) And here’s what they say:

Wikipedia CANNOT guarantee, in any way whatsoever, the validity of the information found here. It may recently have been changed, vandalized or altered by someone whose opinion does not correspond with the state of knowledge in the particular area you are interested in learning about. Wikipedia:Featured articles process, but even the articles listed there may have been mercilessly edited shortly before you view them. –>

BTW, I did not “mercilessly edit” the above. I am telling the truth! That “featured articles process” line was already there! before I got to it!

Which leads me to my considered opnion. I loved the common craft video example, on Biography and Memoir page! The organization is brilliant, with links to library databases, books in the catalog, ways to chat with a librarian, a link to the library blog, and best of all (imo) links to help people with their own projects. Plus, the page can only be edited by librarians — I love it!

The Booklover’s Wiki  is great, too! What an awesome idea — an online Summer Reading club with special prizes for reviewers! I’ve been looking for a cheap — or free — way to get our summer reading game online, and it’s been impossible so far. Maybe a wiki is the way to go.

One thing that jumped out at me when doing this assignment is that all the library wikis I’ve seen are restricted and/or require registration. I think this is an excellent idea, too!

I actually listed The Mount Kisco Library on Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki in the Podcasting section some time ago. I thought it would be a good way to let colleagues know what we were doing, and also to gather ideas. I haven’t had time to do more than look at the wiki every once in a while ….but this assignment has inspired me, and I intend to continue learning!

That will be all for me tonight, though. I’m trying to get over a truly terrible stomach bug, so I have to go to bed.

Stay well, everybody, and Goodnight!




  1. You know, putting summer reading club on a wiki is a great idea! I had thought the social/creative aspects of wikis were stronger than the informational ones – but a reading club/reading game IS social and creative, and I think the kids would love it.

    Terrific idea. )

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