Wikis & Zoho Creator

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Emily Belanger & Sarah Feldman

Presentation will be posted on NELA website.



A wiki is a collection of web pages that be edited by anyone with administrative permission. They promote collaboration and communication and are most popular and successful  when used for project communication and documentation. There is a trend toward replacing static web sites with wikis.

Edits are instant and use plain text instead of complicated programming language. If you can write an email you can edit a wiki.

If considering using a wiki it is best to buy wiki software; it’s relatively inexpensive. Look at for software suggestions.

A wiki offers only very basic text, ie, italics, bold, different sized fonts, and color. It will not support fancy graphics like a website does.  The focus of a wiki is on content, not looks.


Zoho Creator is a custom database creation tool. Like a wiki, it is a shared space for data, all staff can contribute and view. There is a low learning curve, and low (free) cost.

It is especially useful for keeping reference statistics.

The address is

Do it yourself Technology

Speaker- Deanna Gouzie youth services librarian at Baxter Memorial Library in Me.

MySpace for your library

A librarian may encounter resistance in setting up MySpace for their libraries

  • As librarians we need to model positive use of MySpace
  • Children have ways to circumvent filters to get to these social networking pages
  • Teens will look at library MySpace as opposed to a library website

Developmental assets – What teens needs to become functioning adults

  • Teens learn to communicate with peers, authors, and even politicians
  • They learn the correct boundaries

Why teens

  • Many teens dedicate time and imagination to create their pages, they are proud of their accomplishments
  • MySpace or other social networking sites are here to stay
  • Americans spend 12% of their time on MySpace
  • How to set up a MySpace
    • very simple if you keep it basic
    • It only takes a few minutes to activate your account
    • No need to write in HTML
    • Privacy is important – you can only see a person’s account if they allow you to be their friend.
    • You can also edit friends…or block someone
    • Top 5 – very important to teens
    • Pimp my MySpace…many sites that help you to design your site
    • Very empowering for teens and helps them master technology skill
    • just fill in the blanks to put in personal information

    Library Myspace pages give teens a safe place to explore and learn about literature.

Theresa Maturevich – Beverly Public Library in Ma.

Some uses for blogs in a library setting

  • Readers advisory – book reviews, recommendations, summer reading lists
  • Upcoming events- programing, pictures,
  • Movie and music reviews
  • News about library renovations
  • Subject specific blogs – most blogs are searchable by their tags
  • Communication between librarians
  • To host an entire library website…No HTML needed…
  • Can place a link to your blog directly to the library website

Setting up a Blog

  • easy to set one up – go to or
  • make a user name and password
  • decide the purpose of you blog
  • then just start typing
  • You can add categories that allow others to search your blog
  • you can easily link words to any other webpage

Wiki – an editable webpage – that anyone can edit (but this can be controlled)

  • Also easy to set up
  • Can become very unorganized if pages are not thought out and set up initially
  • Can be private of public – can be just for staff
  • Password can help control those who may edit
  • Files or pictures can easily be attached
  • Can link to URL or other websites
  • Can use templates or just be a blank page

Many can be started for free. Of course, you get more bells and whistles when you pay. The good thing is that you can begin with a free site and upgrade when you feel the need.

Why create a blog or wiki instead of just a website?

  • There is more flexibility
  • Can easily allow the input of others
  • Can get immediate feedback from your readers
  • Cost…this type of communication can be started without cost…just the time involved
  • Anyone can write in this format…
  • Can be edited from anywhere that has a internet connection