Thursday, July 10, 2008


Using wikis to create online communities was a good overview for me re libraries and wikis. I know the general concept, but apart from using Wikipedia as a fast place to check pop culture type 'facts' (Who DID win this series of America's Next Top Model'?) I don't use wikis much at the moment.

The St. Joseph subject guides are lovely; check out the Genealogy page. It includes links to e-resources, with info about whether you need a library card to use them, and a guide for using each of them; local, regional and national genealogy links; how to guides for searching for different common types of genealogy info. It's a neat way of pulling together all the online sources of information into an easy-to-use whole, and also being able to duplicate some of the common reference query answers in online form. I also liked an example I saw elsewhere where they had a video file of a reference answer on the wiki. I can really see some great uses for this kind of tool on our website; maybe an exciting way forward for supporting our research and reference staff! Or maybe I'm just a wiki geek.

Of course, if we did something like this, we'd make it look prettier and more colourful-like, to keep people like Catatonia happy, so it doesn't look so much like learnin' and stuff...

I'd also like to see some kind of ability for staff and customers to review our library material, maybe on a wiki of some kind. I've been requesting a lot more since Next Reads started, and I get to the end of a book and often want to finish with some feedback about what I thought of it, and at present we don't have any way outside of the reading programmes to feed back a review. I gather there's some sort of initiative going on with Outreach to create some kind of readers' advisory resource down the track - would be good to hear more about that.

Update: According to Paul, Outreach are indeed thinking about ways to get more of a two-way conversation going with our readers out there, and will be looking at ways to encourage and display online reviews in future, as we take on board new features such as Next Reads and readers' advisory training. Watch this space.

No comments: