CRGH Medical Library Wiki: Improving staff communication and interaction to enhance user services
JR Philips and KR Lee
Concord Repatriation General Hospital Medical Library
The Medical Library at Concord Repatriation General Hospital has four full-time staff members - Library Manager, Reference Librarian, Document Delivery Officer and Library Officer, and a volunteer who assists ½ day a week. This team is involved in the development and implementation of a variety of projects to aid library clients, who comprise staff of both the hospital (a principal teaching hospital of the University of Sydney) and the wider Sydney South West Area Health Service, as well as students from a variety of other tertiary institutions.
Whilst staff meetings once every other month provide a framework to drive these projects and a time to discuss required topics such as occupational health & safety, security and quality, the introduction of a wiki to improve Library staff communications and interaction across all these areas seemed both timely and beneficial. With this in mind, the following research was undertaken.
Development and use of a library-oriented wiki to enhance communication and interaction within the Library.
1. Identify potential wiki applications, based on the following criteria:
Authentication to prevent unauthorised access
Easy to use (WYSIWYG editing)
RSS and email updates for changes made
No extra software required to run the application
Runs on Windows
Stable and upgradeable
File based storage
HTML tag support
2. Seek advice from SSWAHS Information Management & Technology (IM&T) in relation to any policy relating to use of wikis in the Area.
3. Implement preferred wiki on a trial basis.
4. Provide training in wiki use.
5. Survey users to measure usefulness of wiki in improving communication and interaction.
Potential wiki applications were identified using http://www.wikimatrix.org/ in conjunction with the previously identified criteria.
Two categories of wikis were identified; those externally hosted and available via the Internet and those internally hosted and available over LAN/WAN:
Externally hosted wiki applications:
o BrainKeeper http://www.brainkeeper.com/
o CentralDesktop http://www.centraldesktop.com/
o Metadot Wiki http://www.metadot.net
o PBwiki http://pbwiki.com/
o SamePage http://www.etouch.net/
o Socialtext http://www.socialtext.com/
o Wikispaces http://www.wikispaces.com/
Internally hosted wiki applications:
o MoniWiki http://kldp.net/projects/moniwiki/
o Oddmuse http://www.oddmuse.org/
o PhpWiki http://phpwiki.sourceforge.net/
o PmWiki http://www.pmwiki.org/
o PukiWiki http://pukiwiki.sourceforge.jp/
o TWiki http://twiki.org/
An externally hosted wiki (PBwiki) was chosen as a pilot for the concept as it enabled a wiki to be set up very quickly and required minimal training time. This application was chosen from the short-list as the wiki implementor (JR Philips) had experience using this wiki elsewhere
Library staff have been trained in the use of PBwiki.
A survey to measure the usefulness of the wiki in enhancing communication and teamwork is currently being developed.
Advice has been sought from the CIO, SSWAHS to ensure that the externally hosted wiki is compliant with Area policies and IT requirements.
Depending upon IM&T requirements, it is recommended that PhpWiki, PmWiki and Twiki be trialled first in the event that an internally hosted wiki is required as they have the largest range of other features available out of the six listed.
The project has yet to be completed, but at this point the different sections of the pilot Internet-based wiki appear to be worki