Libraries and Wikis

After reviewing the hcplc=Lib 2.0 lesson on wikis, I am chock-full of ideas. One I would like to see implemented at my public library is a wiki that combines our FAQS and librarian-created User Guides. This has been done before and would provide a more fluid navigation of these key library-specific resources for both customers and staff. In addition, there could be the option to access or search the wiki from the library’s home page.


Some examples of other libraries involved in using wikis in this fashion include:


St. Joseph County Public Library 

University of Richmond’s Boatwright Memorial Library



Goodreads and LibraryThing

Being the quintessential book lover, last fall I signed up for both LibraryThing and Goodreads. Yes, I belong to two social networks for books…and use them both. Thanks to some neat applications, I can display recent titles added to LibraryThing and Goodreads on my Facebook profile. I connect with different friends on each site. And actually, I like both so much that I see no reason to drop one anytime soon.

I joined Goodreads first. After adding about 100 books that I had read off the top of my head, I decided to use Goodreads for my current reading lists. I love having lists of things I have read, things I am reading and things I wish to read. I also created a list of titles I have partially read but put aside (and maybe will get back to someday…some titles may just have to linger in partially-read limbo.)    


Then, as if I needed another distracting project, I joined LibraryThing with the intent of using it to catalog my personal collection. This project is probably 1/3 complete, as it has been very fun (yes, seriously fun!) but not a priority. I am now a lifetime LibraryThing member and hope to add more titles soon. Other features offered by LibraryThing keep me interested in the site even when not adding to my library. These include the inimitable UnSuggester (great reverse RA tool!), LibraryThing Local and some quirky groups. Check out the legendary I See Dead People’s Books group for the libraries of assorted famous individuals from Thomas Jefferson to Tupac Shakur.


Using Goodreads and LibraryThing sure beats the old paper list standby…






Social Network for Language Learners

Ready to learn a new language? Tired of listening to audiobooks? Try out Livemocha and communicate with native speakers across the globe. Users also have the opportunity to tutor others in their native language. There are standard grammar lessons, too. This site covers English, Hindi, Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese and German. More, the site is in beta version and currently all content is available for free!

Livemocha was recently featured in the New York Times:

Learning From a Native Speaker, Without Leaving Home
By Anne Eisenberg