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Harnessing the Hive

June 24, 2007

I went to an interesting program this morning, “Harnessing the Hive: Social Networks and Libraries,” sponsored by MARS. There were 3 speakers. Matthew Bejune talked about his Wiki research. He said that libraries are using Wikis mainly for collaborating with other libraries or with library staff, but few are using Wikis to collaborate with their users. This is where he focused his research. He created LibraryWikis as a companion to his upcoming article in the September 2007 issue of Information Technology and Libraries. Matt was followed by Meredith Farks, aka Queen of Wikis, who maintains Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki and who is the Distance Learning Librarian at Norwich University in Norwich, VT, spoke about “Knowledge Management.” She demonstrated several ways that libraries are using Wikis. Her presentation can be found at http://meredithfarkas.wetpaint.com/. The final speaker was Tim Spalding, creator of LibraryThing, an online service to help people catalog their books. He describe LibraryThing as social cataloging. Libraries are starting to incorporate LibraryThing into their online catalogs. Currently only one library, the Danbury Library in CT is using this, but Tim said that within the next month more will be added. For more info about how your library can incorporate social cataloging, go to http://www.librarything.com/forlibraries/. On the negative side, I overheard some people chatting as I was waiting in line in the rest room the they were unhappy with Tim’s criticism of Library of Congress Subject Headings.

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