One thing I noticed when I started my new job is that there was no manual of any sorts at all. Not even something with general info about policies or the college.
Everything is learn as you go. Which is fine, but sometimes it’s just annoying to have to stop what I am doing and search out someone to help me. I have no problem asking questions, but if all I need is a password, or the code to the photocopier, then it just seems like a waste of time.
Not only is there no manual, but the information that is out there, is spread out and sometimes hidden. The computer monitors at our information desk currently have bits of paper taped all over them with various login and password info (eg. wireless access, disability services, etc.). Some staff members keep papers under the calendar where we mark down our stats, but I never think to look under it for info. Library policies are sent to staff via email, so if it wasn’t for one Lead Hand going “oh, you’ll probably want this”, I never would have discovered some of them.
It probably sounds like I’m dissin’ my work, but that’s not at all what I’m getting at. From OLA I had an idea that I’d like our subject specialists to start using wikis for the subject guides. To get them to buy-in a bit and introduce them to wikis, we all sat in on the Web conference from The Education Institute on wikis and libraries by Darlene Fichter. I realized shortly before this webinar, that what we could really use before diving into subject guides, was a staff wiki!
So after that presentation, a co-worker and I got together and we discussed products we liked and decided to go ahead and use PBwiki. So On April 11th, we started our staff wiki and we decided to give it some format and content before showing it to all the staff. There were a couple who heard about it and started inquiring and wanting the password to it, so we gave it out, but in general we kept it to ourselves. We sent the link to our manager at the end of last week and she just told us it’s fine and to go ahead and distribute to everyone now (and she started by adding a page too!). My co-worker is planning to spend some time one-on-one with most of the staff to show them how to use it and explain it all. I know it’s a useful resource to have. So far we have just some basics – policies, campus info, logins, etc. but we’ve also made it a place where we can have discussions.
At the moment we are pretty happy with PBwiki. It is fairly easy to use. I was surprised that we were able to upload files – quite a handy feature. We chose the “educator” blog which means it’s ad-free; not really a big deal, but I know some staff would get confused by the links to ads. Anyway, I kept seeing their PostOnBlog project so I figured I might as well share with all of you how I’m using PBwiki at my library! Now I want a sandwich :p