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Welcome to Chicago State University Library's Staff Wiki

Table of Contents

The developing Table of Contents is available at the Community Portal.


If you are unaware or unsure of what a WIKI is, you will benefit from this short read.

The content is available to all who have access to Wikis have the potential to profoundly change the way libraries manage their Web sites and foster student and faculty collaboration.

This is a collaboratively edited web site and wiki, but it is not available to non-staff viewers. It is not a public wiki. A public wiki can easily be implemented. Will a CSU library public wiki be built soon? Such a wiki could become a growing and accurate resource for students, staff, and faculty. In the meantime, all staff can access StaffWiki and practice skills at as they form the plans for bringing wikis to the CSU user community.

A wiki is web pages

This is a web area where you may create or change pages yourself using very simple markup. The markup is in wide use by young and old for easy web page creation. This site is for the accumulation of useful information.

Some Examples

... in short, whatever you want. Of course in these examples you would replace "Restoring_Files" and "Mary_Sue_Moore" with your own label for your file. Just remember that all and any logged in users can edit the page.

What a wiki is

This wiki is to become a set of documents supporting the programs and staff operations of the university library. This wiki is a shared online information repository created and maintained by self-selected library staff. The notion of shared institutional knowledge is central to all wikis. Ease of locating and referencing information is central to wiki structure.

What a wiki is not

A wiki is not about discussions. It is about shared information. Blogs (weblogs) and listservs are about discussions. In a blog you can not edit an entry, you can only comment on it. In a listserv you have to add your comment as in a blog, but have to worry about its distribution and importance also. These functions are distinct from the wiki entry, which you can change. Your colleagues will then see your corrections immediately.

Why MediaWiki?

The Webmaster chose MediaWiki after listening and attending to faculty and staff wants and desires. He had much personal experience using and assisting classmates with the difficult Confluence ® wiki software. Other software was considered. Several things tipped the balance to MediaWiki.

  • MediaWiki provides a very easy interface
  • It provides multimedia capability
  • It is better documented than most (if not all) others
  • It is administratively attractive
    • Technically
      • Security enhanced
      • Performance enhanced
    • Managerially
  • MediaWiki allows styling and scripting for nearly unlimited possibilities

It is easy

This software is as easy as any to use creating basic web sites. It also provides sophisticated resources for the more demanding authors who wish to create sophisticated web sites.

It is secure and robust

This site uses the MediaWiki software package. MediaWiki is acknowledged among the best, and is particularly suited to the low mantenance environment at our library. MediaWiki software is robust, built on PHP and mySQL, which also support the library web site itself. The software is media capable, easy to learn, easy to use, secure, and field-tested. Wikipedia, Google, and many other corporate and educational sites use this content management system.

Examples of library wikis

Few large university libraries lack wikis, collaboratively edited information stores which support staffside and public purposes. There are many innovative uses. Here are some examples.

Heavenly County Library
Companion website for he Minnesota Library Association Conference, October 2007
Kazakhstan National Academic Library
The ALA sister library website for Kazakhstan hosted on an ALA server
Blogging Libraries
A wiki which collects academic library blogs
Wikipedia on "Academic Library"
Wikipedia is built using MediaWiki
Biz Wiki at Ohio State
The Biz Wiki is a collection of business information resources available through Ohio University Libraries.

Easy page authoring

You log in and create or edit pages in StaffWiki using no or very little text markup, described here. This wiki, a type of Content Management System (CMS), is community written and edited.

Changes are transparent, never anonymous

All additions, changes, and deletions are documented, logged, and saved. These logs are used by the Web Committee of the University Library and/or the Webmaster of the University Library, to counter abuse and help with auditing changes.

Getting Started

The only needed tool is your favorite browser.

Set a bookmark in your browser

In each browser you use set a bookmark to Enable cookies. To use this wiki, browse to

New users

New users should consult the User's Guide for information on using the wiki software. There you can familiarize yourself with the options available. Explore the many details at, Mediawiki's Main Site, or focus on the basic editing information.

Many wiki users need never venture into the details of adding images, media, or scripting to their site. Details of these operations are available in the usage help pages. A useful web page can be created by merely typing text.

Logging in

Create an account

New accounts must be created by a Systems Operator. New users cannot with security create their own accounts. This is a MediaWiki drawback, but one that can not easily be changed.

For a new account, choose a username and password and notify Bill Graham, x2257. Your account must have a single email address, preferably your CSU email address. Login using this username and password. After login, change this initial password to a privately known one.

Log in

Enable cookies in your browser. Recall your user name and password. Obtain your user name and password, then click "Log in / create account" located in the upper right corner of the browser's window.

Forgotten your user name or password?

If you have forgotten your password, have the log in page email it to you at the email address you used when your account was created or changed.

If you need help doing this call the Webmaster, x2257.

Creating a page

In your browser's address bar type something like, replacing Francis_Bacon with a name you choose. You may now edit the page (which will create it), navigate away from the page without saving changes (which will ignore it, making no changes), or update an existing page of that name (which will change it). This is the normal way to navigate to a page without following a link.

Some examples to get started creating and editing pages
Click on the above. Click on "edit this page." Then experiment with the edit tab, save, preview and other fields. Leave some errors and misspellings for others to correct.

You can do no harm on this page.

Formatting, renaming, moving, or deleting a page

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