Friday, December 29, 2006


Wiki, Wiki, Wiki: Defines a wiki as a quick and easy to start website to share information. Wikipedia is currently the largest wiki. Benefits of a wiki is also it's biggest problem. It is open source with no editor. It can give up to date information but can also have subjective, opinionated or just incorrect data. This especially true of controversial issues.

Wikis A Beginner's Look: Describes various uses of wikis including subject guides, internal library page, community page, conference review, knowledge base, presentations, collaborative editing of documents just as examples.

What is a Wiki? Group can develop a website with no knowledge of HTML etc. This site gives you points to consider in setting up a wiki and how to get people to participate.

Using Wikis to create online Communities: Wikis allow many people to input on what's on a website. Ideas for library use for wikis from this site include: Subject guide, annotating the catalog with summaries and reviews, community information, internal uses such as collaborative group projects and updating policies, conference notes and comments and a source of collective knowledge.

What a variety of Wikis already exist! I had only heard of and used Wikipedia prior to this. The SJCPL Subject Guide page is interesting in that it serves to explain library resources, how they can be used, where to find them and even library terms such as the difference between biography, autobiography and memoir for their patrons. It also serves as a community/reference page by providing answers to common questions such as where is the local Red Cross located? Only the library staff can edit this page to control quality of information.

The Book Lovers Wiki was interesting too. Looking at the links to their catalog showed why this could be such a great site for their patrons since no summary of the titles I looked at was given. Thanks to everyone in Tech who adds a summary and or chapter headings for our OPACs!

Library Success: A resource for library staff of ideas already in use in other libraries. As well as links to library blogs and websites with ideas for programs, policies, etc.

ALA 2006: A guide to the conference.

Bull Run Library: This site is a public library page for patrons to find and share information and comments about the library and the community.

I liked the IRead wiki too. This could be a useful site when a patron knows a character but not the author or the title of the work at least for the mystery section. Site is password protected so only members can make changes.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gmail and Blogger

I already had a Gmail account so step one was easy. When I first started using Gmail it did take some adjustment to how Gmail does some things, such as labeling emails that you want to keep then archiving them (and it having to be selected to archive into the folders you've created) but now I love it! My favorite feature of Gmail - search. It's awesome to be able to search the emails for keywords to find an old message that I need to reference in order to answer a current question or refresh my memory.

Step 2 started out a bit confusing. The Beta testing is finished for Blogger so the set-up was slightly different than Robin described and the main page is full of computer-speak on all the wonderful new benefits of blogger, which for someone who has never used a blog before doesn't mean anything since the terms are unknown and yes, this is my first time to use a Blog. Actually setting up the page format was very easy. I was slightly surprised that there weren't more step by step instructions to check other settings under the different tabs so a new user would know that they could change things and how to change them.

I do like the spell check feature and italics, bold etc., and that they tell you the shortcut keys in case you can use in Blogger such as ctrl and "B" to Bold a word.