Friday, October 02, 2009


Wikipedia is often my first and sometimes only source of information although sadly I have never cited it for my papers or reference questions. Actually, once upon a time I did tell a customer that “according to Wikipedia…”

It was several years ago when I was working in a branch one evening I got a call from a guy who would like me to look up a Japanese movie star for him. So he spelled out her name and I googled it. To my surprise, all the websites about her were blocked except Wikipedia (the only site without pictures, that’s why), which introduced her as a Japanese porn star. So I asked the guy what he wanted to know about her as a porn star, and he said that he was not sure whether she was animated or a real person. “Well, according to Wikipedia, she was born in blah blah, Japan, on blah blah 19xx, and her height and weight are blah blah blah…”

I found Wikis in Plain English on YouTube interesting. I think collaboration and collective wisdom are the main reasons that wikis are so popular now.

When I was the YA person in the branch, I always thought it would be so cool if we had a wiki for Teen Team Volunteers so that they could talk about their stories, feelings, tips, etc. One girl from the library school created a wiki about OU SLIS Comps, and I benefited a lot from various Survivors’ Stories.

Libraries can use wikis to get staff and users more involved in library operation and programs. Recently Sarah created one for floating collection so that everyone interested/concerned can contribute thoughts and comments.

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