Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where to Wikipedia

Wikipedia has just turned ten this year. Library Services co-sponsored and participated an interesting panel discussion to explore the past, present, and future of Wikipedia.

Our guest speaker, Sarah Polkinghorne, public services librarian from the University of Alberta, gave an informative presentation to answer some of the foundational questions about Wikipedia: what is Wikipedia really? How does it work exactly? Who created it and who uses it? Where is it headed? It is interesting for the participants to get to know that 90% of the Wikipedia contributors are male and there are so called five "pillars" that summarize the fundamental principles by which Wikipedia operates.

The panel and participants further explored issues such as: potential classroom uses for Wikipedia; the changing face of "peer reviewers"; individual versus collaborative intellectual property; critical thinking in the age of Web 2.0; quality research and non-print literacy; writing for Wikipedia as scholarly activity.

The panel members created a wiki page that lists some inspiring articles about Wikipedia. It can be accessed @ http://wiki-panel.wikispaces.com/ The wiki-panel wiki page can also be a perfect spot to carry out some further discussions on Wikipedia.

Panel members (l-r): Lilian Li, Terry Chapman, Avril Torrence,
Sarah Polkinghorne, Leigh Cunningham, Lorne Jeal
Thanks to the sponsors (Division of Arts, Library Services, Faculty Association Professional Development Committee) and to the participants for making this event a success.

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