wikipedia for librarians

Jenny had a frustrating time recently trying to figure out why edits she made to the “anyone can edit it!” Wikipedia were speedily deleted. Since I had been around the Wikipedia block a bit, I understood both sides to the problem: community sites don’t behave like vendor/reference sites, and Wikipedia doesn’t have the most robust feedback loops for explaining their processes. If anyone has been following this specific issue [which was resolved later] or this issue generally, you might be interested in a Wikipedia Project which includes, Introduction to Wikipedia Culture for Librarians. It’s still very much in process, but note the focus on inclusivity and appeal over brute “this is how it is” FAQs.

Main point: we can’t expect anyone to be impressed by an approach that boils down to “stand back, I’m a librarian, I’m trained to handle this”. Our success will depend on our power to persuade, to come up with better ideas and to defend them.

[thanks sammy]

way to make a good impression, librarians!

No seriously. Found this blog post from Fil, a member of the “video game community” talking about meeting some librarians at a symposium about the future of libraries.

I imagined droning on about the Dewey Decimal System, and waxing rueful over the “good old days” before the internet ruined research.

I could not have been more wrong.

The people (at my table, at least) were dynamic, technically savvy people who are trying very hard to keep information “alive.” I had some great conversations about user interface, podcasting, RSS feeds, and the digitization of collections.