Deepening the Conversation

thinking about questions of authority, technology, learning, and 2.0 in academic libraries

Wiki’ing and blogging aho!

1 Comment

Yesterday I built a new blog and a conference wiki. Neither were particularly difficult (although there was a bit of a challenge in finding the right tool for the job in regards to the conference wiki) and the conference wiki, at least, seems like a natural part of my job. But I’m trying to remind myself that a lot of the things I do are not regular parts of librarianship, at least as practiced, and I think making the conference wiki is one of them (I also think they are part of my job as practiced, and my title is Instruction & Collection Development librarian, not Emerging Technology Librarian!).

The wiki had an interesting birth: I was looking for a tool to allow my panel to do a specific thing during our presentation. Mostly, I wanted a way to avoid having to do a lot of data entry after the fact without disrupting the plan we already had in place. A 1.0 PBWiki solves the problem. While I was creating that space, however, it occurred to me that other folks might also want some sort of collaborative space during their sessions, or some other space for tracking stuff about the conference. So, I opened it up to the membership of the organization, and seeded it with pages for our bloggers and tweeters to identify themselves and set it loose.

Now, the conference is in two weeks. We could have done a lot more with the wiki if we’d been thinking about it. But no one thought about it. How strange is that? I didn’t even think about it, except as an afterthought.

And there’s something else I did a little differently than perhaps is usual. I didn’t ask permission first. I made a tool, opened it up for collaboration, and set it on its way.

The real question is, how are these tendencies described, in resumes, and job descriptions? in annual reports
for P&T? For essential skills out of library school? What do you call this kind of stuff when you try to talk about it? (and when and how do you try to talk about it?)


One thought on “Wiki’ing and blogging aho!

  1. The SUNYLA 2008 wiki is a great idea and wonderful that you were able to create something for the entire set of conference go-ers when your original thought was just to have something for our MEOW presentation.

    As for how you might term this kind of tendancy . . . perhaps you can go back to your most recent post re:facilitation v leadership. First, you are a practical innovator. You saw a need for online note-taking and developed a tool to support that goal. But you didn’t stop there. You saw the bigger picture (all possible needs for conference attendees) and expanded the “tool” to suit everyone’s needs. In this case, you are facilitating communication across the entire conference and well into the hands of those librarians not able to attend the conference. Acting on your instincts (a wiki would be a helpful tool for all) shows leadership. You didn’t ask permission first. You took the bull by its horns and led the rest of us to a resource that will hopefully be well used.

    Its late. I need to be up early to come visit you in Potsdam. I hope what I’m writing makes some kind of sense. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s