To Collaborate or not Collaborate….

Internal collaboration within libraries would seem to depend upon the culture of the particular library.  A library that is open to change and is comfortable with introducing new technologies would be more likely to succeed than a library where change is a complicated process and where the librarians do not like to use new technologies.

Introducing something like a wiki to a library would not only depend upon a culture that was comfortable with change, but also upon a culture that had a certain amount of trust amongst its members.  The nature of a wiki allows for editing by several people.  With community driven social software like wikis, lack of trust may mean the difference between a successful wiki rich with content, and one that is not updated and underutilized.

Before implementing a wiki a library should evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the library and staff.  Would a wiki be relevant for the needs of the particular library?  Will the staff use the new software?  Are they comfortable with new technologies?  Does staff collaborate willingly on other projects?  If the answer to any of those questions is no, then software like wikis may not be a practical thing to implement.

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3 thoughts on “To Collaborate or not Collaborate….

  1. In your post, you focus on the issue of trust. For librarians to achieve the level of trust needed for internal collaboration, we need to continue to work hard, promoting competence, reliability, integrity and communication within our professional relationships. Without competence, our partners will be unsure of whether we can do the job. Without reliability and integrity, our partners will not value our word. Without communication, our partners will be unsure of what to expect next. This is just a brief analysis of the meaning of trust though remembering these factors should help in building trusting professional relationships.

  2. Yes, you are right; library which is ‘open to change’ can truly embrace the concept of internal collaboration in the organization. In fact, the organizations that are up for change and adopt collaborative technology tools perform better. Moreover, the employees who use collaborative technology tools would form greater balance between work and personal life.

  3. I”ve seen so many wikis fail because this basic evaluation was not done at the onset. Sure, a wiki sounds like a great idea. What’s not to like? However, when the creation of the content is the responsibility of the users, you seem to get quite a different response from people when the wiki is launched, and it usually only ends up a failure to be revisited, relaunched, and re…failed the next time someone thinks about how wonderful it would be.

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