Library:Wiki Documentation

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A quick aside, most ideas/functions presented are typical of any wiki, but DPL is an extension that's been installed. Dynamic page lists are very useful and allow automated listing of wiki pages based on category, page title, space, etc. Here's the basic: Help:Dynamic_Page_Lists. A more complete documentation can be found on the DPL extension page.

Library Space Permissions

Only library staff can create/edit pages in the library space. However, there is not way to automatically add library staff, so it must be done manually (adding and removing). All web services staff should have administrator status for the library space. Simply go to the special user rights page, search for the user (remember, it's capital sensitive like everything else in the wiki) and add them to the library space.


Perhaps the best way to start is from the Library:Home page.

The home page acts as a front or portal page to other pages as well as where we have displayed our wiki guidelines and guidelines on the use of the wiki. These guidelines fluctuate as the use of the various tools grow and discussions happen surrounding related issues.

Future Guidelines Work

Beyond these existing guidelines, there's a lot of interest in seeing standards or conventions established. In particularly, naming conventions (especially for categories, but possibly for pages too). Some relate to layout/content, which is discussed below.

Library Home Pages

As you can see, there are a few pages that have been created under which any library wiki page should be able to fit. The idea is that wiki pages in the library space can be easily found if it is properly categorized simply by browsing. Here are a couple of quick notes on the purpose of each page and how it's created.

  • All Library Pages - goes to the Library category page, which is the top level of the hierarchy (see below for further explanation)
  • Branches - page where a dpl has been created for each library branch that currently have their own category (i.e. many branches do not)
  • Committees and Groups - this is a manual list linking to the committee or group's "home" page
  • Help & Services Portal - made with dpl lists. Help is divided into the various categories as organized on the actual Help Portal, but Services is just one category as there are only a few pages that are fed from the wiki
  • Instructional Materials - dpl list of various categories related to tutorials/instructional content in the library space
  • Learn to Use the Wiki - links to the library version of the using wiki tutorial. As there is also a Library:WordPress_and_Wiki_Tutorial now, some consideration might go into having a page that lists wiki/wordpress/ltk/other(?) tutorials that are created by LSIT folks as well as a list of tutorials created by other UBC areas, such as Documentation:WordPress_Basics
  • LTK Manual - as the name suggests, link to the LTK user manual

Library Space Organization


As with the general UBC wiki, the practice in making related pages is to use subpages. e.g. Library:Microforms is a big topical/resource page with related material or parts of this page being created as subpages e.g. Library:Microforms/AmericanFiction

Deleting Pages

Since pages cannot be deleted, the wiki administrator takes care of that. Mark pages for deletion using the template: {{Delete}}


Beyond the home page acting as a portal, categories that are typically being used in the library space has been organized into a kind of hierarchy. Obviously, since the wiki is not a strict child-has-only-one-parent structure, it can become much more complex.

In most cases (so far), users do not categorize their own pages. Thus, it is up to someone in LSIT to do so. As the library space grows, categories will likely need reorganization/rearrangement (e.g. Category:Library Units was only recently created). How that's done is up to the community in essence, but LSIT can provide a basis or direction perhaps for this simply by example. So far, it's really been a "create as needed to group pages or categories" approach. Higher up categories all lead back to the main Category:Library allowing users to browse library related categories and pages in a more organized manner.

Currently, uncategorized library space wiki pages are listed using a DPL in the description of Category:Library page.

Future Organization?

  • Categories are generally assigned based on the most specific category (or categories) that are applicable, but users do not always do it this way (e.g. categorizing a page in both "Library Tutorials" and "Finding Library Resources"). So far, this has been left alone, but for better organization, more work may need to be done in explaining to our users best practices.
  • So far, categories have only been added to uncategorized pages (i.e. no library related category). However, you would always want all the related categories to be applied to a wiki page. For example, a user may create a tutorial, such as Searching Web of Science, and categorize it only under their branch, say HSSD. Since this page has a library related category, it no longer shows up on uncategorized. However, this page should also have the category 'Searching Databases' on it for others to find it. More advanced DPL lists could be used to help with this, but this has not been set up as of yet.
  • Some library users have also started using more general categories that so far have been considered outside the library's specific use. For example, Nursing, Literature, History, HSS (Humanities and Social Sciences), etc. No work has been done yet in organizing these categories, but for the greater UBC Wiki use, you may want to coordinate with the Wiki Administrator (in CTLT) to help organize these categories.

Use of Tranclusion

One of the most appealing parts of the wiki (other than being able to embed it on WordPress and LTK) is the use of template or transclusion (or as some refer to it, importing of content, but this term doesn't reflect that it also imports layout/structure).

So far, it has mostly been used for the reuse/redistribution of guidelines and parts of wiki/wordpress tutorials.

In wider library usage, it has mostly been used to create searching tutorials (mostly databases) and then modifying the examples to gear it towards a specific course/topic. For example, here's the test case: Sandbox:Library/How_to_Search_Web_of_Science as the main template page and then example use case: Sandbox:Library/How_to_Search_Web_of_Science_Psychology_Examples

Transclusion of Categories

When a page is transcluded, normally everything is transcluded including categories. However, there are a couple of categories, particularly 'Library Website', 'Help Site' and 'Services Portal', where this is not desirable (because these categories should only refer to wiki pages that show up on the library website). To prevent something from being transcluded (here it's being used for categories but can eseentially be used for anything), use the <noinclude></noinclude> tag, literally telling wiki, 'do not include this portion' when transcluding. More detailed information can be found in the Help Templates article.

Future Work

1. The current Help:Templates article may be difficult for new wiki users to understand. Consider revising it to make it more understandable for library staff and other new users of UBC wiki.

2. As with preventing library website categories from being transcluded, work could be done in teaching library users that they may want to add the noinclude tag when the branch category is used as well, so that faculty pages for example are not added to their library branch category. Whether is a good idea needs further discussion.

3. Note: what is discussed below is still the same concept of template or transclusion, but here the focus is more on when someone wants to create a "new page" rather than simply changing small bits and pieces of text of an existing page.

One of the things the library can explore is the use of the more traditional sense of a template. That is a pre-set structure (in this case, wiki markup) already in place when someone creates a page. This will give a more uniform look to pages, especially those that might be used on the main library webpage. Good examples where this might be useful are course/user library guides, tutorials on searching resources (e.g. databases) or finding materials. The template may be layout and/or content based.


Whereas the current use allows users to make changes to an existing tutorial to fit topically, this is a suggestion for a broader layout template be used for all database tutorials for example, so that they all look similar. Try the Course create a page (then preview) as an example. Taking searching databases as an example, there might be a set layout for the database name, interface/vender name (e.g. EBSCO), short description, list of subjects most useful for, link to database, access instructions, librarian contact info, etc. some of which could be in the side box at the top (much like the course template), then have some pre-set markup as a guide, but which is customizable. For example,

==Basic Search==
# Step 1 here <br>[Image:screenshot example.jpg|alt=description here]
# Step 2
#* Note for step 2

==Advanced Search==

==Print/Save/Export/E-mail Citations==

==Staying Current: Saved Searches, E-mail Alerts, & RSS Feeds==

==Other Useful Resources==
* [ name of website]
* [[Library:example page | name of another wiki page]]

Much like the one for Course pages, obviously, instructions can also be added to the top of the page.

User Guides

These two guides for example: Library:UBC_Library_Resources and Library:Library_Resources_for_the_Faculty_of_Arts have similar content and layout (as of April 2011). Beyond the fact that these pages have almost identical content and should use transclusion, the layout is similar enough that you might want this layout to be a pre-set template for all user guides.

Create a page box/form

If desirable, the wiki administrator will be able to help to set up a "create a page" for the library (much like the Main/Course/Documentation/Sandbox space ones), which can then be added to the library home page (or take a look at the Create a page code).


So far, workshops have been on request basis, with usually at least a basic workshop for those doing branch migration that see the need for wiki use. However, especially since summer is more quiet around campus, you might consider doing a couple of workshops where you just invite people in, create drop-in sessions (outside of the LSIT area where people can easily reach you), or coordinate with CTLT to sit in their drop-in session announcing to library staff that you will also be available at the same time. Or come up with some other event!

Workshops that people seem to be interested in:

  • basic workshop orienting staff to the Library space (and other spaces), creating/editing pages
  • Finding/using/adding/creating categories/subcategories, and organization of the Library categories
    • Note: It's especially important for users to know that categories can be used by anyone in UBC Wiki (unlike pages in the Library space). For example, 'Music' is not a good idea, but 'Music Library' works.
  • Transclusion/Templating


Although ideally to communicate about wiki page suggestion/issues are done through the discussion page or the user's talk page, many users do not make use of either (possibly because they are unaware of its function). The best way to discuss something is usually via e-mail, phone, or in person, and then also refer to and/or teach users to use the talk pages.


Below is what I used to have on my own talk page. It's basically a list of pages that I worked on/created. It's especially useful since many of the in progress/draft ones do not have a category yet, and they are part of the Help Portal migration. Others, such as templates are particularly useful in helping with wiki maintenance.



Services Site pages:

Help site pages:




For Learning Commons

Help Site In Progress:




Ever changing test page:


Old Work: APA Citation Guide

One of the projects that was started last summer was to move the APA and MLA citation guides to the wiki, starting with APA. The idea was to break up the APA guide into really small pieces so staff/faculty could potentially create custom guides with the types of examples that they wanted (e.g. journal articles with or without DOI). It was for this project that various templates, categories, pages were created. However, as those working on the project became busy, it was put aside.