Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

History of Wikipedia

'The Hive,' written by Marshall Poe in the September issue of The Atlantic Monthly, provides a brief history of the men behind Wikipedia- Jimmy Wales & Larry Sanger. The article addresses some of the trials they faced as they attempted to create a 'volunteer-built' online encyclopedia. A wiki is a 'web site that allows multiple users to create, edit, and hyperlink pages.' Poe chronicles the growth of Wikipedia from 2001 to present. Of particular value is the discussion on how Wikipedia redefines truth, suggesting that the community decides what is true by consensus.

Hm, we could enter into an interesting discussion over the impact of postmodern thought on library services...I have an article about a postmodern approach to reference librarianship if anyone is interested. Basically, this approach asks the librarian to shed their authoritative role and join the patron in a journey of discovery.


  • At 2:42 PM, Blogger kc said…

    i'm sure that all of us in reference "join the patron in a journey of discovery" everyday; i know i do. But if we completely shed our role as information authority then the patrons might as well do as many of them already do, and just ask their friends. And anyway, some questions simply beg for the librarian to assume the authoritative role, e.g., yesterday's question, "How do I find articles on John 11 in New Testament Abstracts?" There's no journey of discovery, at least on our part, there's simply "Let me show you how that's done."

    You should circulate a copy of the article.


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