For this assignment I chose to create a wiki concerning Canadian government information, specifically what resources to use to find certain information. I chose this topic because I feel that more people should understand it and understand how to access what they need through government websites. From personal experience, I know that this can often be difficult because of the wealth of information that there is. In creating this wiki, I would hope to direct it to public libraries that can use their own expertise and encourage their users to contribute in creating a finding aid for others.
I also created a short PDF tutorial on how to access a document through Statistic Canada’s library catalogue, BiblioCat. I did this because searching for and accessing documents through government websites can be quite different than what the average user is used to when searching their public library catalogue.
I created a Facebook page as well, to go along with the wiki as a means to further market the site and its contents, to provide updates and post pictures and accept feedback from those who do not wish to edit the document. A public library could easily create links to the wiki through their library Facebook page or website.
Being that this topic is far too broad for one person to handle in a limited amount of time, a wiki seemed like the perfect medium to use to discuss and explore this topic. A wiki allows for collaboration among individuals, but still allows the creator to monitor changes and make sure they are correct and helpful to the potential user.
It was also my first time creating a wiki, and I checked out several platforms, including Google Sites and PB wiki, but I ultimately chose Wikispaces because it was the easiest and most aesthetically pleasing platform that did not require a gmail account to edit. Furthermore, Wikispaces offered so many great widgets that enabled me to add to my wiki, which is something I really enjoyed doing.
I also created a Facebook page to go along with the wiki/topic of government research.
Since it was my first time using a wiki, simple things like re-directing pages and adding widgets challenged me in the beginning. Luckily the staff at Wikispaces are very helpful and I was able to figure things out and continue with the creation of my wiki, and build on the contents with the use of widgets and other useful tools I discovered - such as the Google custom search which I customized to search strictly Canadian government websites.
Ironically, it was the Facebook page that I found was the most challenging. I have never created a page for an organization or community before and was and am still unfamiliar with the interface and the tools offered. It is not as intuitive as the personal profile that I created over 5 years ago.
After creating this wiki and being very aware of the limited scope of information provided within, I would be very interested in recommending the idea to a public library. The beauty of government information is that it is available freely to everyone, and anyone can be an “expert” in finding, accessing and using the information. It would be a great opportunity to allow librarians to collaborate with users to provide an excellent resource.
Please, take a look!
The wiki is available online at: http://canadiangovtresources.wikispaces.com/Welcome%21
(and through WebCT)
PLEASE feel free to contribute any knowledge you have on government information! Create a page, post some pictures, or edit/add some information!
The (lame) Facebook page can be found at:
The PDF tutorial is available through the “Statistics Canada” page on the wiki, and it is posted in WebCT.