Some of the benefits of wikis:
• Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
• Tracking tools allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
• Earlier versions of a page can be rolled back and viewed when needed.
• Users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content.
Libraries all over the country have begun to wikis to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, ALA conference wikis, staff handbook wikis, and library best practices wikis. As you can will see when you view the wikis in the list below, the content of a wiki depends on the knowledge and commitment of participants.
1. Watch this Common Craft video on Wikis. It is a quick and easy intro to wikis.
2. Take a look at some library wikis and blog about your findings. Here are a few examples to get you started:
- SJCPL Subject Guides – a pathfinder wiki developed by the St. Joseph County Public Library system.
- Book Lovers Wiki - developed by the Princeton Public Library.
- Library Success: A best practices wiki
- The Albany County Public Library Staff wiki – an example of a wiki created for library staff to document procedures.
- Library Bloggers Wiki
- Educational Heritage Project, a wiki from Minnesota Literacy Council
- Minnewiki from Minnesota Public Radio
- Beekeeping in MN wiki
- MN 150 wiki from Minnesota Historical Society
Use these resources to learn more about wikis:
- Using Wikis to Create Online Communities – a good overview of what a wiki is and how it can be used in libraries.
- This 2007 presentation by Joyce Yukawa, MLIS Program, College of St. Catherine at Minnesota Library Association is a great resource on how libraries can use wikis as their Web presence.
- Wiki, wiki, wiki - from the Core Competency blog of the Public Library of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County.
- Wikis: A Beginner’s Look – an excellent short slide presentation that offers a short introduction and examples.
- What is a Wiki? – Library Success wiki presentation.
- What did you find interesting about the wiki concept?
- What types of applications within libraries and schools might work well with a wiki?
- Many teachers/faculty "ban" Wikipedia as a source for student research. What do you think of the practice of limiting information by format?
- Which wiki did you edit?
1. Want to create your own wiki? These sites provide free wiki hosting. 23 Things On a Stick Wiki uses PB Wiki ("easy as making a peanut butter sandwich").
2. Choose a topic, create the wiki, add entries, and let us know what you are doing.