The paper seeks to describe how tools like wikis can be used to improve collaboration and communication in project‐based teams and general work groups.
Over the last few years a number of wikis have been used by New Zealand libraries for cataloging related purposes – two as project management tools, one as a repository for project documentation, one as a national knowledge repository, and one as a local institution‐based knowledge repository. The paper examines both positive and negative aspects of using wiki technology in this environment.
Wikis prove to be very efficient project management and knowledge management systems. Information can be shared very quickly, efficiency of communication increases, and team productivity is higher. In all described cases a free and open source platform was chosen. Externally hosted solutions were preferred because they enable wikis to be immediately available for use. They are also easier to edit, and there is no need for local IT support. There remain concerns about disaster recovery and the long term preservation of documentation.
Experiences such as the ones presented in this paper can encourage other librarians to explore how new technologies can be used in their work environment.
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