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A wiki is a collaborative Web site and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove, and edit content. Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and perhaps the most well known of these knowledge sharing tools. With the benefits that wikis provide, the use and popularity of these tools is exploding (in fact, the site for this training was created using a free wiki program; see pbwiki.com).


Some of the benefits that make wikis so attractive are:

  • Anyone (registered or unregistered, if unrestricted) can add, edit, or delete content.
  • Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
  • Earlier versions of a page can be viewed and reinstated when needed.
  • And users do not need to know HTML (the "code" in which Web pages are created) in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content. In most cases simple syntax structure is used.


As the use of wikis has grown over the last few years, libraries all over the country have begun to use them to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, ALA conference wikis, and even library best practices wikis.


Discovery Resources


Use these resources to learn more aboout wikis:


Discovery Exercise


  1. For this discovery exercise, you are asked to start by simply taking a look at some library wikis. Here are a few examples to get you started:
  2. Create a blog post about your findings. What did you find interesting? What types of applications within libraries might work well with a wiki?


So what's in a wiki?  Find out by doing some exploring on your own!


Tracking Your Progress


Congratulations...you just finished the third BPL 2.0 exercise!  Don't forget to send an email to beckert@bouldercolorado.gov with the URL for the permanent link to your blog post about your work with wikis to get credit for your work. 






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