Libraries Get A Second Life


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Presentation for Digital Cafe 2008, Tilburg Netherlands

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Libraries Get A Second Life

  1. 1. Libraries Get a Second Life Library Services in a Virtual World
  2. 2. What is Second Life? <ul><li>Alliance Library System (ALS) established the first library in this new virtual world; Bradley University was the first academic library in SL. </li></ul><ul><li>A 3-d virtual world </li></ul><ul><li>ALS and virtual libraries have 2 main projects: adult Second Life (18 yrs and older) and Teen Second Life (for ages 13-17) </li></ul><ul><li>SL is populated by close to 15 million avatars </li></ul><ul><li>SL is a complete community with currency, culture, programs, businesses, recreation, buildings, and services </li></ul><ul><li>Over 5,000 library visitors per day </li></ul><ul><li>SL is also being used to facilitate meetings and education, i.e. ALA </li></ul>
  3. 3. Avatars <ul><li>In Second Life, an “avatar” is a digital character that represents you </li></ul><ul><li>Avatars can walk, talk, fly, swim, anything you can do </li></ul><ul><li>Each participant gets to create their own avatar – tall, short, male, female, buffed or not </li></ul><ul><li>Every avatar is a resident of SL and you may have more than one avatar </li></ul>
  4. 4. Birth of an avatar
  5. 5. The Transformation of Puglet Dancer
  6. 6. <ul><li>Second Life has its own currency – “lindens” </li></ul><ul><li>$1 USD = about 265 lindens </li></ul><ul><li>Can be used to purchase clothing, hair, houses, land </li></ul><ul><li>Can run your own business </li></ul><ul><li>Some people make a real life living in Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>Check out economic statistics at </li></ul>Commerce in Second Life
  7. 7. Librarians in Second Life <ul><li>Speaking specifically of the islands that are part of the Info Island Archipelago </li></ul><ul><li>Many librarians are volunteers who are in Second Life on their own and do not represent their library </li></ul><ul><li>Have about 200 total volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>More and more educational institutions are entering SL </li></ul><ul><li>Librarians want to partner with teaching faculty to use SL as an immersive learning tool </li></ul>
  8. 8. How It All Started <ul><li>April 2006 – First rented building, first small plot of land </li></ul><ul><li>Alliance Library System and Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Library agree to collaborate on project </li></ul><ul><li>May 2006 – First island – Info Island I </li></ul><ul><li>August 2006 – Info Island II donated </li></ul><ul><li>October 2006 – Grand opening of Info Island I </li></ul><ul><li>October 2006 – Eye4YouAlliance opens on Teen Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>October 2006 – Cullom-Davis Library, Bradley University opens </li></ul><ul><li>December 2006 – Eduisland built as rental for educators who wanted to work together and to be close to library </li></ul><ul><li>December 2006 – HealthInfo Island built with NLM GMR consumer health outreach grant </li></ul><ul><li>December 2006 – Cybrary City built for participating librarians donated by Talis </li></ul>
  9. 9. How it kept going <ul><li>January 2007 – Sirsi/Dynix Announces Sponsorship of Info Island I and Eye4YouAlliance Island in Teen Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>February 2007 - Built Rachelville </li></ul><ul><li>February 2007 – Put up new ALS building </li></ul><ul><li>February 2007 – Put up new opera building, ALA building, and machinima school </li></ul><ul><li>March 2007 – Renaissance Island, an immersive education environment </li></ul><ul><li>2007 – Rich Idiot built to promote the book Why is This Idiot Rich and I’m Not by Richard Shemin </li></ul>
  10. 10. And kept going <ul><li>June 2007 – Bradley University Island </li></ul><ul><li>2007 – HealthInfo Island </li></ul><ul><li>2007 – Land of Lincoln to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas debates and upcoming bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth </li></ul>
  11. 11. Why are Librarians in Second Life? <ul><li>To investigate library services in virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>To attract new users to the traditional library through referral </li></ul><ul><li>To provide library services 24/7 </li></ul><ul><li>To meet librarians from around the world </li></ul><ul><li>To be where many of our users and non-users are! </li></ul><ul><li>To work with faculty to enhance the learning experience </li></ul>
  12. 12. What types of services do libraries provide? <ul><li>Reference – in avatar, virtual, and email </li></ul><ul><li>Programs – weekly programs on an array of topics </li></ul><ul><li>Exhibits – World War II posters, Alzheimer’s Disease, art shows </li></ul><ul><li>Collections grouped by topic – web resources and Second Life formatted books </li></ul><ul><li>Book discussions and author visits </li></ul>
  13. 13. Programming and Events <ul><li>Lifeblood of the second life library – keep people coming back </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life Literary Festival </li></ul><ul><li>Ball at Lincoln era White House </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing book discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Art shows </li></ul><ul><li>Author talks </li></ul>
  14. 14. Reference <ul><li>Info Island recognized as one of central education centers in Second Life because of live staffing at reference desk </li></ul><ul><li>In 2007, 6769 patrons were served </li></ul><ul><li>They asked 1921 SL directional questions, 2292 SL reference questions and 186 real life directional questions </li></ul><ul><li>Reference desk is staffed 80 hrs/wk by about 40 volunteers </li></ul>
  15. 15. Collection Development <ul><li>Most collections are made up of urls for websites on a topic </li></ul><ul><li>Each subject area contains interactive displays as well as a surrounding ambience </li></ul><ul><li>Special exhibits for special celebrations such as Martin Luther King Day </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Islands of the InfoIsland Archipelago <ul><li>Continues to grow and have recently moved the Archipelago to allow for more expansion </li></ul><ul><li>About 7 or 8 islands are waiting to join </li></ul><ul><li>Mixture of islands owned by ALS and other nonprofit institutions such as libraries, colleges and universities, museums, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Still have places where libraries can have a space for a short period of time to establish a base, learn and explore opportunities </li></ul>
  17. 17. From one island to almost 50 <ul><li>Info Island International with an information desk and other areas with information on various cultures to reflect the international flavor of second life </li></ul><ul><li>Renaissance Island, an immersive learning environment for 16 th century Tudor England </li></ul><ul><li>Land of Lincoln to celebrate the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth </li></ul>
  18. 18. Islands continued <ul><li>Eduislands 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and Cybrary City 1 and 2 for libraries and other educational institutions to work together to have their own presence in second life </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Ability island to assist disabled to exist in Second Life </li></ul>
  19. 19. HealthInfo Island <ul><li>Medical library </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer health library </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility center </li></ul><ul><li>Path of support to work with other health support groups in Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>Training programs on how to find good medical information on the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Blog entry in Consumer Reports blog </li></ul>
  20. 20. American Library Association in Second Life <ul><li>ALA Arts InfoIsland donated </li></ul><ul><li>Successful celebration of Banned Books Week </li></ul><ul><li>Build of ALA Island by SJSU graduate students </li></ul><ul><li>Members of ACRL in SL meet regularly to discuss what can be done in SL and recently had panel discussion </li></ul><ul><li>SLA will be here in 2008 </li></ul>
  21. 21. Teen Second Life <ul><li>Eye4You Alliance Island thrives under leadership of Kelly Czarnecki </li></ul><ul><li>Land of Lincoln Teen Grid added to celebrate bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth </li></ul><ul><li>Successful college fair and many other events held </li></ul>
  22. 22. 2008 Initiatives <ul><li>February 2008 – held Literary Festival </li></ul><ul><li>February 2008 – Talis Cybrary Island for new international island for libraries and information organizations to establish presence in Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>March 2008 – Virtual Worlds conference </li></ul><ul><li>April 2008 – Two year celebration </li></ul><ul><li>June 2008– Stepping into History conference </li></ul><ul><li>July 2008 –Investing InfoIsland, funded by ALA/FINRA to promote the library as an unbiased source of investing information </li></ul><ul><li>August 2008—Only Yesterday grand opening, American experience of the 1930s -- from the migrant camps to the golden age of radio and Hollywood film </li></ul><ul><li>Land of Lincoln development and events in Second Life and Teen Second Life </li></ul>
  23. 23. Challenges <ul><li>Funding and Sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Staffed by volunteers thus burnout is an issue </li></ul><ul><li>It is like the gold rush – everyone is going to stake their claim – partnerships are key </li></ul><ul><li>Steep learning curve </li></ul><ul><li>Explore </li></ul><ul><li>What types of library services do virtual world users want? </li></ul><ul><li>Not everyone understands when you are in SL you are working – you might be having fun too; sometimes convincing bosses of this is challenging </li></ul><ul><li>Hardware and connection required – must have fairly new computer and use broadband connection </li></ul><ul><li>Can be highly addictive and takes a lot of time </li></ul>
  24. 24. What Have We Learned <ul><li>Virtual world residents do want a library – we built it and they are coming in droves! </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration is the key and partnerships are essential </li></ul><ul><li>Exhibits are very popular and author programs attract a crowd </li></ul><ul><li>SL is fun – it’s this fun factor that is encouraging such amazing growth. </li></ul><ul><li>The speed with which this is unfolding is unbelievable! </li></ul><ul><li>Believe it or not, people still ask for books in a virtual world </li></ul>
  25. 25. Collaboration is not only key but king <ul><li>Talis – funded Cybrary City to help libraries establish a presence </li></ul><ul><li>OCLC – provided test of Question Point </li></ul><ul><li>Sirsi-Dynix – sponsored Info Island for one year and Eye4You Alliance </li></ul><ul><li>NMC – allowed us to use beautiful conference space </li></ul>
  26. 26. Buzzword for 2008 and for libraries in virtual worlds: <ul><li>Immersive education experiences – change the current learning model to one of immersive participation, roleplay, observation through building, reenacting, writing, and participating </li></ul>
  27. 27. Second Life/Info Island blogs <ul><li>Second Life Library – </li></ul><ul><li>YouthTech Eye4YouAlliance blog – </li></ul><ul><li>Health InfoIsland blog – </li></ul>
  28. 28. Educational Uses <ul><li>Immersive learning </li></ul><ul><li>Professional development </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Global events without traveling </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction and searching </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ICT Library </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Future trends <ul><li>Google’s Lively </li></ul><ul><li>Open Source </li></ul><ul><li>Businesses/publishers in Second Life </li></ul>
  30. 30. Questions/Comments/Contact information <ul><li>Questions/Comments? </li></ul><ul><li>Barbara (Puglet Dancer) Contact Info </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn,etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Guus (Namro Omran) Contact Info </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. </li></ul></ul>
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