Are you overworked in your “real life” (RL)? Maybe what you need is a brand new self in “Second Life” (SL). I’m Esther Grassian from the UCLA College Library I’m one of the panelists here today to talk with you about how academic libraries are experimenting with this 3D virtual world… We’re using avatar representations of ourselves & library simulations to fulfill & even expand on some of the imp functions we offer in RL, Real Life
This is my avatar--Alexandria Knight HOW MANY PEOPLE HEARD OF SECOND LIFE BEFORE YOU SAW THE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THIS SESSION? DOES ANYONE HERE HAVE AN SL AVATAR? Articles about SL are popping up everywhere & there are a number of books about it, including Virtual Worlds, Real Librarie s, & Coming of Age in Second Life I’ve listed some on the bibliography I created to accompany this slide show
In the next 30 or so minutes, I’m going to be talking w/you about what SL is, who’s involved Examples of how academic libraries and librarians are using this technology to support teaching, learning, and research, and also to have fun We’re also doing our best to broadcast the audio of this panel session in SL & have our slide shows there too This is why I’m saying “NEXT SLIDE”—because Agnesa Capalini, Sandy Vella from UC Davis, is advancing my slides in SL. Thank you, Agnesa! And thank you too to Adra Letov, Diane Nahl at the Univ of Hawaii, for inserting my text into the SL chat.
What Is SL? HAS ANYONE HEARD OF “WORLD OF WARCRAFT” OR WOW? It’s like SL, in that both are modifiable MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games), Both use avatars, but SL really isn’t a game because it doesn’t have a goal you try to reach by winning something WOW has many more users than SL—Over 1.7 million characters used it in just one 7-day period in 2009, In contract 769,000 unique users logged in to SL in Dec 2009
… SL a virtual world loosely based on the cyberpunk sci-fi novel, Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson… HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE READ SNOW CRASH? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it…
SL has community standards established by Linden Labs, the creators of SL SL residents design & build everything you’ll see there & following Lawrence Lessig’s advice, they retain intellectual property rights to those items They decide whether or not something they’ve created can be copied, modified, transferred or sold to other avatars And there are many shops where people sell their SL objects
SL has its own currency, called Lindens & a floating exchange Exchange rate is about L$260=US$1 SL’s economy is robust, even in these dire economic times… In 2009 there was a hefty 65% increase in sales in SL over 2008, to the tune of $567 million US dollars Residents’ gross earnings amounted to $55 million US dollars, an 11% increase over 2008 95% of those earnings were Net Proceeds (Profit!)
Who’s participating in SL? 16 million registered users from 150 countries (SL Cloud video) 45%=18-24; 34% = 25-34 As of last June, 50% were US participants Residents spent 481 million hours in Second Life in 2009, 21% more than in 2008 So, now you have a bit of background about what SL is, and its demographics In a minute, I’m going to show you what SL looks like from the inside, but what else should you know about it?
1 st , in order to use SL, you must download the SL software, you must have a computer w/ very strong graphics capability, & you must have a high speed Internet connection On the plus side, you can download SL software to a flash drive & push it to computers in a lab using classroom control software But, the cost of equipment & Internet connectivity for SL use may contribute to the digital divide According to an April 09 Pew survey, only about 63% of Americans have a high speed connection at home This is especially problematic when you consider that even at large research institutions like UCLA, some students don’t own computers, & there aren’t enough computer labs to go around On top of these issues, because of the increased interest in use of virtual worlds, it faces competition from open source alternatives like Open Croquet, Wonderland and Sirikata
Though you can get a free Basic Account there’s a learning curve involved in figuring out how to manipulate your avatar, how to move around in & communicate within SL, how to create or manipulate objects, as well as teach & do research. You have to allow about 4 hours to go through Orientation, that is… IF you don’t spend much time changing your avatar’s appearance. I’ve learned a lot thanks to spending many hours fumbling and bumbling around in SL since April 2006 when I first got an avatar, but I still goof up every once in a while & smash into a wall or fall to the bottom of the sea… Ok, finally, you should be forewarned that there’s a sleaze factor to SL, THOUGH THE LINDENS HAVE DONE THEIR BEST TO RESTRICT IT TO ADULT-ONLY AREAS… Alright, now with all of this in mind, let me introduce you to Second Life…
Here’s an example of a business in SL selling shoes You can also buy skin, hair, clothes, fur, wings, furniture and lots more!
This is Empyrean, a giant store that sells hair, glasses, even umbrellas, for that sudden rainstorm in SL!
And there’s Entertainment… Someone said that the 1st businesses to open in a new frontier are taverns & brothels… There are plenty of those in SL But when the libraries start to appear, you know the place is getting civilized… & there are lots of libraries in SL too! Well, anyhow, I put bazaars under entertainment, though lots of avatars go to bazaars just for the free stuff…
Here’s a bazaar, called Yadni’s Junkyard, a freebie site.
along with annoying signage that sort of yells at you…
Here’s the Texas Stampede Bar where you can drink and dance!
Now, in addition to business & entertainment, you can find publications in SL A few years ago there was just one SL newspaper called the Metaverse Messenger You just clicked on the kiosk to get a copy of the latest issue
Now there are many SL Newspapers & magazines that report on news & events, publish interviews, have regular columns & even ads, just like RL newspapers There’s even an SL magazine just for librarians, called Rez Libris You just click on any of these kiosks to get a copy of the latest issue of that publication You see me here on Info Island International, set up by the Alliance Library System of Illinois or ALS ALS supports all types of libraries in a particular region including academic libraries, This SL area has now branched off as the Community Virtual Library, which is why you see the signs that say SERIALS—librarians put up this exhibit & the signs, of course!
Can you have an academic library in a 3D virtual world like SL? Yes— there are many Let’s talk about current usage, benefits & potential for academic libraries in SL 1 st , the SL search isn’t great—it needs librarians’ help! But a March 2d search for college library retrieved 364 people, groups, & some places A search for university library retrieved 553
Here are just a few examples of academic institutions in SL, & the other panelists will be providing more examples Some are very creative about using SL for a variety of purposes Let me show you some snapshots of all of them
Sometimes the Library takes the lead for the entire campus, as at the University of Calif Irvine UCI faculty teach classes on this island & these are some of objects their their students created
Here you can get to Ask a Librarian if you have a reference question, or get more info about the UCI libraries, or watch some UCI Library videos
Re-creations of college campuses, like Texas Women’s University, can be helpful for student orientation, or for prospective students and parents
This is the Stanford University Library’s island… Some Stanford classes are taught on this island, & they offer exhibits, linked to their collections—
Here, for instance, is part of an exhibit on the history of Egyptian films, with posters that can switch between English and Arabic with just a click Clicking on an image will get you to the catalog record for that film.
This is the Stanford Library’s exhibit of archival material from their Special Collections. When you click on an archive box to open it you see a photo of the contents as if you were looking down into the box If you click on it again digital images of items from that box float up in the air
Austin’s Community College has an information literacy area called KnowHow Island Students can play a number of different games on this island, in order to learn information literacy concepts and skills
Here’s the Boolean pool—you pick AND, OR or NOT and then move the pool toys to the proper spot to match the correct Boolean operator
Here students see a description of 4 criteria for evaluating sources… Currency Reliability Authority Point of View … which spell out a memorable word…
After reading about these criteria, students apply them They click on the fortuneteller to get a notecard with a research question & instructions They go through the stores on the boardwalk, pick up puzzle pieces that may answer the question, & select those that are legitimate sources, based on the 4 criteria they learned
If they get the correct answers, they get a key to enter & ride the ferris wheel…
Ok, now we’re at the rather humble UCLA Library in SL… Though we have 13 libraries at UCLA, with >9 million volumes, spread out over a campus that serves 32,000 students, in SL we have a very small 2 story library, with one room on each floor… But, we have a SERVICE PLAN approved by our UL, & have accomplished quite a few key objectives with very little investment in time and money The UCLA Library has spent a total of US$200 in SL, since 2006, and I’ve spent a total of US$20 of my own money in SL since 2006 And I’ve been fortunate enough to have the help of 50 Winx in putting it together, Rhonda Super, a UCLA Library staff member
Our service plan goals, approved by our UL, Gary Strong, focus on 4 areas—building & enhancing: Library/faculty partnerships Research collections Services, especially IL Promoting our role as a vibrant academic research library Let’s take a look at some of the activities and projects I’ve been engaged in, in order to meet our service plan…
Here in the UCLA Library in SL, we’ve expanded access to our existing online website, research help & research tools. You click on the monitor on the table behind my avatar &…
up pops a notecard with links to UCLA library web pages…
To increase awareness of our research collections, we mounted copies of some images from our Campaign Literature digital collection in a slide show presenter You click on the forward or back arrows below the image to view more By the way, if you click on that colored ball on the left, you can get a copy of our service plan… Now, as to library and faculty partnerships, I’ve met this goal by partnering with instructors to help them learn SL so they can teach in this virtual world, and also so they can do conference presentations in SL, expanding their audience internationally
A few years ago I introduced Lisa Gerrard to SL. Lisa is a UCLA English Comp Lecturer who had been using MUDS and MOOS as online extensions of her in-person classes— MUDS & MOOS were text-only chat rooms, but died out when the web and social networking sites became popular Here’s Lisa sitting on a box in front of the UCLA Library surrounded by her students She likes to teach in a computer lab where the students are there in person and are also online. She says that students are more engaged online & participate in class discussions much more than they do in person Now, let’s go back inside the UCLA Library, to the 2d floor…
This is where Leigh Harris, another English Comp lecturer has been teaching UCLA undergrad classes too. At the back of the room, where we’re facing, I mounted a series of 6 artworks created by one of her students, called “Intersectionality: Black Female Experiences in the U.S.” It’s on a slide show presenter so you can advance through them all If you click on the green ball to the right of the slide show, you get a notecard with the title of each piece of art & the student’s notes about this exhibit
Here’s Leigh in the grey dress with her class when I did an information literacy session with them. We talked about the need to think critically about information of all sorts, regardless of its format, and then visited several SL sites I’d picked out as examples of the need for critical thinking in virtual worlds.
And here are a couple of the critical thinking questions I suggested we ask about SL sites, just as we do about web pages & other information sources Are they real and authoritative or are they fictional? Let’s take a look at a couple of examples…
The Heart Murmur Sim is very realistic… Before you can enter the Exam Rooms, you have to get a badge, and then they ask you to answer a survey form
Here’s the first Exam room w/ a 2-D patient on the bed You proceed through 3 Exam Rooms, listening to heartbeats, and reading diagnosis charts, In the last Exam Room, you’re tested to see how well you do in distinguishing among different types of heart murmurs, as opposed to healthy hearts WHAT DO YOU THINK--IS IT REAL OR IS IT FICTIONAL/ENTERTAINMENT?
Jeremy Kemp at the SJSU iSchool, the person who created it, said this: “This exhibit is for your entertainment only. None of the medical information presented here should be taken as true.” He went on to say, “ Needless to say, I don't practice medicine or dispense medical services through this exhibit. Call a doctor!” He was just trying to illustrate a possible training scenario in a virtual world.
OK, This research and training site, called Virtual Hallucinations purports to study schizophrenia, & expose people to a schizophrenic’s world Again, you must click on the triangle to get a badge
When you enter, you hear voices, the floor drops out from under you, you see newspaper headlines directed at you, and more… IS IT REAL OR FICTIONAL? WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Peter Yellowlees, MD & computer programmer at UC Davis established this site He says, “the building contains a closely researched re-creation of visual and aural hallucinations, based on interviews of real schizophrenics.” It’s a realistic attempt to immerse you in what it’s like to be a schizophrenic It was designed to help families of schizophrenics understand what their loved one was going through So, those were examples of the sites I use for critical thinking/information literacy instruction in SL In addition, I’ve worked with UCLA faculty to expand the audience for their seminars & conference presentations
Here’s Leigh Harris on Entropia, the CLIR/DLF island I co-manage, where, if we’re lucky, SL avatars are listening to this sesion! Leigh and the Head of our Center for Digital Humanities did a presentation for a Sloan Consortium conference in San Francisco last June Their presentation was called “Teaching and Learning in a 3D Virtual Universe” You can find a copy of their slideshow on slideshare.net,& also listed in the bibliography I created for this panel session
Here’s another example of library/faculty partnership in SL During 2008/2009, I helped set up nine 3-hour-long Mellon Seminars in Digital Humanities, with a live video feed into SL of the seminars held at UCLA & taught jointly by a UCLA faculty member & a visiting prof from Stanford The Seminars were open to the public & drew an international audience in SL
During one of those Seminars, We went on a tour of the Dante Hotel in SL, created by Lynn Hershman. She’s an artist, an Emeritus POrof. of Digital Art at the Univ of Calif., Davis, & an A.D. White Prof. at Large at Cornell Univ. You can find a link to videos and transcripts of these sessions on the Mellon Seminar web site listed in the bibliography There’s also a citation to a blog posting about this Dante Hotel SL sim in the bibliography
Ok, now an example of reference service in SL… I couldn’t resist showing you this frog prince visitor to the UCLA Library when I was 1 st setting it up in 2007… — the frog was asking about UCLA Library resources, so it was a real reference interaction SL can also be an excellent venue to practice reference interviewing, as Kristine Condic points out in “Using Second Life as a Training Tool in an Academic Library” (2009), also cited in the bibliography
Back to the UCLA Library in SL Service Plan—promoting our role as a vibrant enterprise in the academic research library community and in higher ed To my mind, that also involves professional participation & global networking Organizations and institutions hold meetings & offer training and programs in SL, sometimes simultaneously with real life or RL events, or with other web conferencing software like OPAL This expands the audience internationally, and as a result, expands opportunities for communication, collaboration and networking,
For instance, ALA has its own SL island w/ areas for each Division & holds events here
— here you see a meeting of the ACRL Virtual Worlds Committee
This is part of an SL poster from an ACRL panel session on information literacy & Web 2.0 that I moderated in SL, The panel was put together cooperatively by library school students from Diane Nahl’s U of Hawaii LIS Program class It included panelists from different parts of the world, all participating in this session without leaving their desks
So, I’ve talked about what SL is, AND who’s involved , Examples of real and fictional sites to illustrate the need for a questioning, critical thinking attitude everywhere I’ve also provided examples of how libraries and librarians can contribute in a virtual world like Second Life. To conclude…
Why get into SL? In addition to meeting common library goals like reference, information literacy instruction, & promotion of collections, SL offers opportunities to learn new skills, It also offers opportunities for working with faculty, with librarians, & with technologists, worldwide, in a new and developing arena, where you can utilize & go far beyond what we now offer in the way of synchronous & asynchronous technologies to support teaching, learning, research & training. For librarians, it offers a means for us to highlight our skills and knowledge of information researching tools, in order to help people learn of their existence & learn how to think critically about resources of all types, regardless of their format. For instructors, it offers a means of engaging and working with students to improve teaching, learning and research And, SL is a popular social networking site with rapidly increasing membership, so it also allows you to…
… Go to & work directly with students, faculty and others where they are congregating, rather than waiting for them to come to us. I hope you’ll be tempted to jump in!
Second Life for Texas Library Association Conference 4 14 10
“ Second Life ” & Academic Libraries?!! YES!! Esther Grassian (aka Alexandria Knight ) UCLA College Library Rev. 30 March 2010
Academic Libraries in SL <ul><li>Current Usage </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Potential </li></ul>
Higher Ed <ul><li>UC Irvine Library </li></ul><ul><li>Texas Women’s University </li></ul><ul><li>Stanford University Library </li></ul><ul><li>Austin Community College </li></ul><ul><li>UCLA Library </li></ul><ul><li>Many more… </li></ul>
UCLA Library in SL Service Plan <ul><li>Building & enhancing… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>library/faculty partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>research collections </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enhancing services & focusing on information literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting our role as a vibrant enterprise </li></ul>
up pops a notecard with links to UCLA library web pages…
Critical Thinking: Research Studies & Sims <ul><li>Are they real? </li></ul><ul><li>Are they authoritative? </li></ul>
Fictional! <ul><li>“ This exhibit is for your entertainment only. None of the medical information presented here should be taken as true.” </li></ul><ul><li>Kemp, Jeremy. “Notices and Disclaimers—SimTeach” </li></ul>
Realistic attempt to replicate… <ul><li>“… the building contains a closely researched recreation of visual and aural hallucinations, based on interviews of real schizophrenics.” </li></ul><ul><li>Peter Yellowlees, MD & programmer, UC Davis, “A Lever to Move the Mind” </li></ul>