Friday, July 24, 2009

LISWiki – Cataloging & Classification

Similar to the famous Wikipedia but more focused, there is a Wiki just for library topics called LISWiki. Begun in 2005, it still needs lots of work by knowledgeable librarians since many of the articles are just “stubs”.

For those new to libraries, it looks like a good place to start since most of the articles are not lengthy and therefore easy to read in a short period of time. Check out both of the categories Cataloging and Classification. Each has a link at the top of the page to the other, so once you’ve located one, it’s easy to find the other.

Cataloging has 52 articles and 3 sub-categories (Authority Control, Cataloging Elements, and Catalogs) each with several articles of its own. As stated earlier, some are only stubs. Classification has 26 articles. Many articles have a link to the Wikipedia article on the same topic. While the texts are similar, they are not identical.

As cited on the “About” page, the reason for having a separate Wiki devoted to library and information science is to allow for
-Conjecture and other original research
-Opinion and position pieces not written in a neutral point of view (with factual information properly presented, of course)
-Lists, directories, esoteric library information, and non-encyclopedic knowledge that may not meet Wikipedia's inclusion criteria.

Here’s a chance for catalogers to contribute to the professional literature. You can embellish upon the existing topics or add new pages for topics that need coverage. Wikis are easy to edit – which is the whole point.

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