On November 18, 2010, I was invited to present an overview of the UBC Wiki as part of the UBC Library Systems and Information Technology brown bag sessions. The UBC Library is one of the largest users of the Wiki, as well as being a great partner and supporter of the entire project.
The UBC Library, in what I believe is a very innovative approach to content management for a large academic library, is using the UBC Wiki’s embed functionality as one of the foundations of their website. They are creating, collaborating, and managing content in the Wiki and then embedding that same content into their WordPress-based website. You can see Paul Joseph, the UBC Systems Librarian, discuss this approach in these videos from April of this year.
Too often at universities, information and knowledge are stuck in vertical silos delineated by departments, faculties, or offices. My goal for the presentation was to highlight how the UBC Wiki can overcome this silo effect. The Wiki is a tool that can be used for collaboration not only between people but also but also between information systems. The Wiki presents an opportunity for the Library (or anyone) to collaborate on content with the larger UBC community; for example, imagine members of the nursing faculty or nursing students being able to instantly add their favourite resources to the library’s nursing subject guide.
The Wiki also allows other members of the community to republish and redistribute library content across platforms (from e-books to websites), thus allowing for their information to reach a greater audience and have a larger impact. For example, the Library’s nursing subject guide could also live on other UBC nursing websites or an instructor could email it out as an ebook to his class. The upshot of this approach is that the library’s content would not be limited to the library silo, instead it would live as part of the larger academic community.
In addition to my presentation, Cynthia Ng also spoke to how the library is currently using the wiki.
You can download our presentation slides here: Content / Collaboration: The UBC Wiki, WordPress, & Library Integration.
If you attended the event and have any thoughts about the presentation or suggestions on how to improve it, please don’t hesitate to let me know.