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Abstract

The term wiki, derived from the Hawaiian adjective “wiki wiki” meaning quick or fast, was coined by Ward Cunningham who created the original WikiWikiWeb for the Portland Pattern Repository (Leuf, 2001, 15). Touted by Cunningham as “the simplest online database that could possibly work” (Cunningham, 2002, June 27) “ wiki” is alternately used to refer to both a wiki website and the software used to create and maintain it and was designed to allow multiple users to collaborate in its development (Klobas 2006, 3). Wikipedia is perhaps one of the best examples, as well as the most recognized, of wikis. The website, created in 2001 as an encyclopedic reference source, includes more than 21,000,000 articles in 280 languages and has more than 85,000 current contributors (Wikipedia, 2012, Wikipedia:About). Wikis provide a collaborative space for many people to contribute and edit information, thus serving as an ideal repository for a library’s manuals and guides which require continual revision.

Publication Date

Fall 2012