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What in the world are libraries doing in virtual worlds?
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What in the world are libraries doing in virtual worlds?


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  • 1. The 3 rd Web
  • 2. Examples of virtual worlds
    • Second Life
    • Teen Second Life
    • Whyville
    • QWAQ
    • Club Penguin
    • Forterra
    • Many more
  • 3. What is Second Life?
    • A 3-d virtual world
    • Populated by over 14 million avatars
    • Complete community with society, culture/programs, economy, buildings, services, shops
    • Seen as the next distance learning platform
    • Over 250 higher education groups
  • 4. Overview of Alliance Virtual Library project
    • Started in April 2006 to see if Second Life residents wanted library service
    • 180,000 accounts at that time – now over 14 million
    • Started in a small rental plot
    • Now almost 50 library and partner islands
    • Over 1000 self-identified librarians in SL
    • Over 6000 reference questions per year
    • Almost 2000 “Friends of the Library” in world
  • 5. Abbey Zenith/Rhonda Trueman and Lorelei Junot/Lori Bell
    • Partners in crime on Info Island
  • 6. Puglet Dancer/Barbara Galik
    • First academic library in sl, president of ALS board, director of Bradley library
  • 7. Meet Maxito Ricardo
    • Tom Peters in real life. Evaluates and coordinates grant projects in Second Life. Hosts book discussions
  • 8. One of first libraries on Info Island
  • 9. Now, no walls, ceilings, fly in!
  • 10. Why are librarians in Second Life?
    • Virtual worlds are the new 3d web
    • Gartner group predicts by 2011, 80 percent of Internet users will be in virtual worlds
    • To investigate library services in virtual worlds
    • To meet some of our public who may or may not use the traditional library
    • To shape the future of library services
  • 11. How it all started
    • April 2006 – rental of first plot of land and building
    • May 2006 – first island donated – Info Island
    • August 2006 – second island donated – Info Island II
    • October 2006 – grand opening of Info Island I
    • October 2006 – Eye4You Alliance opens in Teen Second Life
    • December 2006 – Eduisland built for educators who want to rent land and be near educators
  • 12. More on how it started
    • December 2006 - Cybrary City provided by Talis for libraries to get a start
    • December 2006 – HealthInfo Island started with a grant from NLM/GMR
    • February 2007 – Imagination Island with Rachelville
    • 200 8 – almost 50 library and partner islands; 1000 librarians in world; almost 200 friends of the library ; 5-8 events per week
  • 13. Services offered:
    • Reference – 80 hours of in-avatar service per week
    • Programs and events – book discussions, genealogy programs, continuing education, speakers
    • Exhibits
    • Collections grouped by topic
    • Training – for librarians and Second Life residents
  • 14. Challenges to virtual world libraries
    • Staffed by volunteers on their own time – burnout
    • Funding and sustainability
    • What types of library services do virtual world users want?
    • Digital divide – hardware, software and bandwidth needed
    • Highly addictive
    • Not everyone understands virtual worlds
  • 15. What we have learned
    • Virtual world residents do use the library
    • Collaboration is key
    • Events and exhibits draw people
    • SL is fun – the fun factor is important
    • Networking is awesome! You meet people from all over the world you would not otherwise meet
    • People still want books – many of our programs promote reading
  • 16. ALA Island – pirate party, Banned Books Week 2007
  • 17. Open air auditorium on Cybrary City, Info Island
    • For continuing education events and programs
  • 18. HealthInfo Island Medical Library
    • ALS has received 4 grants from the National Library of Medicine – 1) to build a consumer health library; 2) to create an accessibility center; 3) to create an orientation center for people with disabilities and chronic health; 4) to create an AIDS community resource center
  • 19. Immersive education and history
    • ALS built Renaissance Island in February 2007 – a Globe Theater, Elizabethan era housing and shops – second life residents can role play, participate or attend events like Renaissance fairs, jousting, and talks by Henry VIII
  • 20. Land of Lincoln
    • To celebrate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, ALS built a Land of Lincoln in Second Life and in Teen Second Life. The Second Life place includes a Lincoln-era White House, a typical plantation, a Lincoln Memorial, a 19 th century village, and various displays.