i’m so vain

It has been reported in the press on many occasions that politicians have been rather enthusiastic in their participation with the likes of wikipedia, or rather they’ve been very keen to remove unfavourable comment. One of the more classic instances was the Bush vs Kerry edit war. These days there are even tools for tracing anonymous edits. In today’s SMH comes news, that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library has sent out instructions to its patron base on how to edit wikipedia.

This is mostly a “yeah, yeah, whatever” as far as I’m concerned as the librarians are doing as all librarians do, providing instruction and information literacy to their patrons. As Roxanne Missingham, the Parliamentary Librarian comments,

She said the Parliamentary Library was justified in advising MPs how to edit the site because part of its role was to help them “use new technologies effectively”.

The amusing bit here is how their patrons have so quickly taken the instructions on board. In any other situation, the patron response would have been laudable. Teaching people how to edit a wiki is a fundamental part of any LIbrary 2.0 training. I suppose an important aspect of any literacy training is focussing on the interests of the trainees and politicians particularly, seem very concerned with keeping up appearances.

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