Thursday, 24 May 2007

SINTO wiki

I have to confess that I can't claim that this image is relevant to librarianship in South Yorkshire! It is a piece of sculpture in a quarry on the coast of Jersey.
We ran a repeat of the Social Computing course yesterday and I was inspired to try including some pictures on my blog. Sheila Webber in her Information Literacy blog always includes photos of flowers so I thought I would try the same.
The SINTO wiki continues to be developed. I have updated the page for Social Computing and added a page about library blogs. I have also created a page for School Librarians. With these and the other wiki pages I hope that people will add their own material.
Since the wiki was set up in March there has been an average of 28 visitors every week. Anyone can post a comment on the wiki (as with this blog) but users are also invited to register with the site. You can then become a Registered User or a Writer which gives you the ability to add new pages and edit existing pages. This of course is the whol point of a wiki - it is a community web site to which any member of the community can contribute.
This may be a difficult concept for librarians to accept! It's not just that the technology is new. A role of librarians is to preserve documents, whether they are books or websites. We don't like it when users add comments or make changes in library books and we are suspicious of Wikipedia where there is no permanence or authority for entries. The idea that a website can be changed and rewritten by anyone ( at least anyone in a defined community) goes against our instincts.
The benefits I hope are obvious. Expertise is spread throughout the SINTO community and it should be shared. I would like you all to see yourselves as part of a community that extends outside your own library. I hope you will contribute and will encourage your colleagues to do the same.

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