Collaborative Effort: Relevancy of Wikis in Libraries by: Stuart Maddocks

Wikis are a great way to collaborate on various projects. I inquired into their usefulness for libraries for my third lab for Red River College’s multimedia course. Wiki sites are extremely beneficial allowing us to get things done.

History of wikis:
They originated as a way for programmers to share code with one another. Today, they are used in a variety of ways. They become a way for users to collaborate and provide user with an easy to share info.

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What are Wikis and Why We Should use Them?
Wikis are defined as “quick” in Hawaiian. Today it is defined as, “a website that allows collaborative editing or its content and structure by users.” Wikis changed from sharing code to users working together for specific projects or events. They are composition systems, a discussion medium and tool for collaboration. Wikis are built to be as simple as possible to write on a web-page. Most users come to read articles or whatever appears on the site. Being a collaborative site makes it easy for: editing, control over to the user and let others know of the site’s progression. Hyperlinking another crucial part of wikis. Users can add links to other sites with ease, facilitating the growth of the site. Wikis are also good for businesses. Allows managers/executives to update employee manuals/procedures, track sales and create a searchable online catalog.

Here’s a simple overview of Wikis from “Wikis in Plain English” video

Wikis in Libraries
This article discusses methods librarians use wikis in a collaborative way. Librarians use them in the following ways: collaborate among themselves, libraries and their patrons. Basically looking at other library’s wikis for inspiration in their website.

I looked at different wikis to get a feel of how libraries would use them, how it is set up and enhance communication with each other.

HLWIKI International:
It is a wiki for medical librarians. It lists all the regional medial libraries from Australia to the USA. It provides methods to research medicine. HLWIKI has access to research portals to look at scholarly journals and communication outlets. Sadly it is outdated, there’s no edit button and soon to be shut down.

Library Success:
It is more of a blog than a wiki. Covers the treatment and status of librarians. The author comments on her blog and responds to readers. Writes her own book of the year by New Years Eve.

Benson Library:
Reminds me of Windows file explorer, dating back from 2008/09. A lot of the links in the site are obsolete and don’t run properly at least on my computer. Since it is outdated, users can’t comment or collaborate on the site.

Comparing the three sites provided, I prefer the HLWIKI because it is what a wiki should be like despite the it being shutdown.

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Lab 3 Q&A

  • 1. Give a brief summary of wikis in your own words
    • What are they? How are they used? Who uses them?

Wikis are collaborative sites users can creative themselves for different purposes. They are used for anything from planning a trip to making a medical library database. Anyone can use wikis because they are easy to create, edit, and use.

  • 2. Give your opinion of wikis.
    • Are they useful? Would you/do you use them?

Yes, they are extremely useful because of reasons stated in my blog. I would use them and had used them before.

  • 3. Contribute suggestions for further uses for wikis in libraries.
    • Are they obsolete? Are there other ways they could be used in libraries?

No way! They are handy with the user potential and libraries should take the opportunity to respond to their patrons and listen what they have to say.


Collected Belonging: On Blogging by Stuart Maddocks

What are blogs and their structures:
As part of my second lab for my multimedia course at Red River College, I learned about blogs. This is second in series of posts about multimedia, how they shape our lives and how libraries use them for everyday use. Today, I am writing about blogs in my own blog. Writers have a unique way of communicating their thoughts and ideas through this medium. A blog is defined as a site which articles are posted and displayed in chronological order. They cover any topic and are not constrained by editorial process. Everyone from an average person to institutions can write their own blogs. I learned about the structure of a blog. Blogs contain: posts, permalinks to access points in the blog, keywords/search bar to help users find certain points in a article, basic information like author’s name plus date and time  and comments to allow readers and the author to converse with one another.

Article PDF
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I learned ways libraries use blogs. They use them in multiple ways: to promote events and services in their institution. Libraries can also advertise their building and book reviews their staff wrote. So how do they use blogs? Libraries exchange and gather up-to-date information about their services and books. Plus conversations ranging from scholarly talks to discussions with students.

History of blogs:
As former history student from the University of Manitoba, I was excited to learn about the evolution of news sharing and blogging. Here’s my reflections:

In the 20th century, the news was very professional and stories were tightly picked by editors. However, 21st century news has become personalized and professional too.  Websites are organized by blog posts with new ones on top of old posts.
Eventually becoming a collection and a discussion among readers and the author of the post. What matters according to the video is what we do with the blog that counts. Each blog reflects one’s perspective. Bloggers often, “read, quote and reflect one another.”

Everyday, seventy million blogs and news sources are created using simple website designs like: WordPress and Square space.

Original video:

According to the Miriam Webster dictionary, “blogging done with severe space or size constraints typically by posting frequent brief messages about personal activities”

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Blogging is a whole new experience for me despite my use of social media. I am a heavy user of Facebook and Instagram it helps me connect with the world. With Twitter and Facebook, it is possible to share bits of information no one ever sees outside public life. If you are new to blogging and social media, here are some the important tips: be yourself, know your audience and reach out to the world.

Libraries use social media and blogs in creative ways through different styles and formats from events, training, archival information, their hours and contact info. Libraries can also advertise their building and book reviews their staff wrote. So how do they use blogs? Libraries make their twitters appealing as possible to entice readers, exchange and gather up-to-date information about their services and books. Additionally, libraries host conversations ranging from scholarly talks to discussions with students.

Original video:

Library micro-blogs:

23 Great Library Blogs

Winnipeg Public Library Twitter

JFK Library Twitter

University of Southern California Library Twitter

Lab Activity Q&A:
Like the previous lab, I answered questions relating to blogging and micro-blogging:

  1. What new information did you gain from today’s lab on blogs and micro-blogging? 70 million blogs are created every single day; by millions of creators’ world wide. Blogs as a reflection of what the writer’s perspective is. Blogging can be used by an individual to government organization.
  1. Out of the blogs and Twitter feeds you looked at today, which one(s) did you prefer? Why? I prefer blogs. Blogs go more in depth of what libraries have to offer i.e. teaching patrons how to use a copy machine.
  2. In your own words, discuss the ways in which you think using a blog and/or Twitter in libraries could be useful to patrons. I think Twitter will be more useful for patrons. The ability to connect with readers/patrons of the library is easy and accessible. Together they can communicate with each other on the latest events, book/movie reviews and provide feedback.

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Us and the Machine: Web 2.0 Reflection by: Stuart Maddocks

In Red River College, I am training to become a Library Technician and related positions. As part of the process, I learned about Web 2.0, how it changed and intertwined the internet with ourselves over the past 3 decades. Web 2.0 is a participatory software allowing users to connect and share beyond the confines of their homes, libraries where ever they be. Web 2.0 is used on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Blog/Vlogs, Podcasts, etc. These sites allow users to create content regardless of experience, profession, medium, on any topic, anytime. The public regardless of class and economic status has access and used Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 became part of the internet from the 1990 evolving into the current software today with Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge/Bing and Yahoo Search. During a video titled: “The Machine is Us/ing Us” by Michael Wesch, it claims digital text is active and changing. The video covers the whole evolution of Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 from a simple software like HTML culminating in Google Chrome. As part of an exercise, I looked at blogs from public libraries from Toronto and New York City, a Master of Library Sciences and tips on how to use Web 2.0 effectively. The Toronto Public Library has playlists of how to get kids into reading, what’s going on during different seasons and their talks with intellectuals, authors and entrepreneurs.


In the New York Public Library Twitter page, users are encouraged to ask for recommendations, checking out podcasts done by librarians covering issues libraries have to deal with.


Tips on using Web 2.0:

Tame the Web Blog:

Expand on my answers

Q&A About my history and potential with Web 2.0:

1- What was your knowledge of Web 2.0 before doing this lab?

Sharing messages, content though social media platforms and email, text messaging on my cell phone,

2- What was your knowledge of Web 2.0 being used in libraries?

Having the tools to access social media and other forms of communication.

3- What is your opinion of the integration of Web 2.0 technologies in libraries today?

I believe it is a good thing because a large portion of society is becoming tech savvy and on their smart phones/computers; libraries need to evolve too. Since sharing information and communication with others becomes easier, the library can help such connectivity possible.

4- At this point, how comfortable do you feel using/participating in Web 2.0 technologies such as blogging, podcasting, or tweeting?

I feel extremely comfortable with participating in Web 2.0. I have used social media for many years particularly Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Blogging and the possibility of podcasting is something I would be able to do.

5- Do you have any questions you’d like to ask?