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Posts Tagged ‘Wikipedia’

Librarians versus Wikipedia, the debate rages on. There appears to be two predominant camps; those who love it and those who loathe it. I make this assumption based on the amount of messages I receive daily via the library mailing list I subscribe to.

I won’t go into the pros and cons of user generated content as I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, but you might be interested in recent comments from Niko Pfund, Vice President and Publisher of the Academic and Trade division of Oxford University Press in New York:

“I’m actually increasingly bored by this question of whether Wikipedia is good or bad, and even more so by the easy vilification of it…Oxford English Dictionary, arguably the greatest reference work in the English language (and certainly the greatest reference work ABOUT the English language) found its origins in a wiki model…”

I always think of Wikipedia as something of a ‘problem child’; one that needs nurturing, direction and support, rather than damnation from its parents, the qualified information professionals. I don’t think it should be perceived as the ultimate source for all our information needs but does it make me a bad librarian if I use it sometimes as a first port of call?

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