Friday, April 11, 2008

Kankakee Public Library asks "How Wiki should our Wiki be?"

I've mentioned before how the folks at Kankakee Public Library (Chicago, Illinois) have consistently impressed me with their Web 2.0. forays like blogs and podcasts.

And now they (specifically Steve) have plans for a wiki:
Often, our reference and genealogy staff uncover some fascinating tidbit of information, only to have it sent off to the questioner, never to be seen again. I thought this an incredible waste of our talents: hence KanWiki. The question is how wiki should our wiki be. The coward's way would be to try to lock down and control every article, lest some online vandal write something unflattering in an alderman's article.
The main concern is about vandalism to the wiki entries. Read the rest of Steve's thoughts, here.

Steve may already be scouting for a wiki, or in the midst of creating one on their server. For while there may be skepticism about dealing with wiki-vandals effectively, Steve says their library is willing to try.

I left them this comment, citing my experience with the Singapore Social Media Directory.

I'll also add here that instead of worrying about vandalism to the wiki, libraries should assume there WILL be a minority who intends to do just that. And then prepare accordingly.

Perhaps recruit a pool of library volunteers who will help monitor updates to KanWiki. Provide the volunteers with tools and knowledge on how to monitor the wiki (e.g. RSS and/ or email notifications).

All that aside...

What's more important is that before starting any initiative (nevermind Web 2.0. or otherwise), its purpose and "Why" must be clear.

For the proposed KanWiki, it's crystal clear to me.

[Keyphrase: Kankakee Public Library]