Still Not Ready for Prime Time? Academic Librarian Attitudes towards Wikipedia in a Networked Age

By Christy Zlatos.

Published by Journal of Technologies in Knowledge Sharing

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 3, 2015 $US5.00

How do information literacy librarians regard Wikipedia? Researchers (Lim, 2009, Menchen-Trevino & Hargittai, 2011) have called for greater librarian involvement in providing guidelines for the use of Wikipedia and in teaching its use to undergraduates but academic librarians have been reluctant to answer this call. To explore the reasons for this reluctance and to reveal their attitudes towards Wikipedia, the author polled academic information literacy librarians in the United States by questionnaire. The questions covered the personal (vs. professional) use of Wikipedia, its place within the context of classroom teaching, and the suitability of the information utility for an academic audience. Wikipedia’s ease of use and the functionality of the open web ensure its popularity throughout the world, but contemporary academic librarians seem less likely to embrace Wikipedia professionally for reasons that include Wikipedia’s evolving nature and authority, the pervasive campus attitude that views Wikipedia as not scholarly, and time constraints in the classroom that direct focus to more substantial library resources.

Keywords: Wikipedia, Academic Librarians, Information Literacy

Journal of Technologies in Knowledge Sharing, Volume 11, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.1-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 3, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 620.721KB)).

Christy Zlatos

Subject Specialist Librarian, Holland and Terrell Libraries, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, Washington, USA