Lab Results #5: The Debriefing of a Library Technician in Training

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Today’s debriefing is brought to you by the rain pouring outsie and myself (and what looks to be around 5 other classmates) about to fall asleep in class. Not from the lesson mind you.

When you need to look up some thing fast, where do you normally go looking first? Okay after you go onto google to search it because lets be honest that is just how it goes. Normally the first couple websites would include Wikipedia am I right or am I just making an assumption here? You’ve probably heard of Wiki’s before since Wikipedia is probably the most popular one out there with just about everything and anything linked onto it.

  •  Give a brief summary of wikis in your own words
    • What is it? How is it used? Who uses it?

In a munchkin sized nutshell wikis are webpages which can be produced, edited, and maintained by a group of people or just a single person online. Anyone who has internet access (and is willing to do research though not necessarily maintain the page) is able to create one of these Wikis. You do not need HTML knowledge to create a page.

There are a variety of uses for a wiki page; just look at Wikipedia and all of its “babies”!

  • 2. Give your opinion of wikis.
    • Do you like it/dislike it? Is it useful? Would you/Do you use it?

I don’t necessarily dislike using Wikis, since I use various Wiki’s for just about anything, but I also am aware that they are probably not the most reliable source of information out there when needing information for an assignment in school or something like that. Sure I find it fairly reliable when I need a good footing or idea of whatthefuck I am getting myself into when beginning my research.

My rule of thumb that I have used since highschool research projects has been: Go to Wikipedia for my footing of the subject, from there ideally decide which areas are interesting, before going and searching on what can be considered a “proper” resource. This rule helps me keep organized and lessens the chance of me wasting my time by doing research that is pointless. This rule also helps me cross reference other websites. 2 or more websites that have the same thing as the Wikipage? Good chance that it is true.

Personally I have never actually edited any of the articles that I have come across. Although I do know a few people who have found articles so full of junk and missinformation that they took HOURS out of their day just to do research and rewrite the article themselves.

  • 3. Contribute suggestions for further uses for wikis in libraries.
    • Can it be expanded upon? Is it outdated and a newer technology should be used instead? Are there other ways it could be used in libraries? What types of libraries could benefit from its use?

I think that for libraries Wiki’s are a great idea AS LONG AS there is a strict moderation process which the article that has been edited must go through. Libraries are a source of information: information that is true, information that will be helpful, information that is relavent, and finally information that is current.

I do not believe that Wikis are outdated at this point in time. Maybe down the road in 5-10 years they could possibly though.

There are many ways that a wiki could be used in libraries. It can be used to organize various activities and events, persons who are working in the library by use of an internal library communication system, and being able to communicate to patrons who not only would be coming into the library but who would also not be physically able to come in.

I think that a library such as a Specialized or Academic would benefit from the use of a Wiki. These libraries have a greater set of division in them, different areas of study for example, and by using a Wiki they would be able to have a large space to work with internally. The divisons would not be as divided since with a Wiki everyone would be able to access and edit it.

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