What in the world are libraries doing in virtual worlds?


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What in the world are libraries doing in virtual worlds?

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