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  1. 1. Library Services in a Virtual World April 19, 2007 Kitty Pope, Executive Director Alliance Library System 600 High Point Lane East Peoria, Illinois 61611
  2. 2. The Launch Graphic in SL
  3. 3. What is Second Life? <ul><li>A 3-D, interactive virtual world </li></ul><ul><li>SL is a complete community with culture/programs, businesses, recreation, buildings, and services </li></ul><ul><li>Not a game; no score, no conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>SL is being used to facilitate meetings, dialogue and distance education, i.e. ALA Washington office, Alzheimer’s Association… </li></ul><ul><li>SL is populated by over 5.5 million avatars </li></ul><ul><li>ALS has 2 virtual projects: adult Second Life and Teen Second Life (for ages 13-17) which provide a full array of services </li></ul><ul><li>Over 5,000 avatars visit Info-island per day </li></ul><ul><li>Over 50 libraries in the ALS Info-island Archipelago </li></ul>
  4. 4. Avatars <ul><li>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>
  5. 5. An avatar can be an elf, look like a movie star, or be a nerd!
  6. 6. The Birth of an Avatar
  7. 7. The Transformation of Puglet Dancer basic “skin” all “blinged” out
  8. 8. Commerce in Second Life <ul><li>Second Life has its own currency – “lindens” </li></ul><ul><li>$1 USD = 350 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>
  9. 9. Let’s take a tour! Alliance World Headquarters
  10. 10. The Main Library on Info Island I
  11. 11. Science Fiction and Fantasy Portal
  12. 12. The Pantheon Performance Center
  13. 13. Open Air Auditorium in Cybrary City
  14. 14. Medical Library on HealthInfo Island
  15. 15. Rachelville
  16. 16. Vendorville
  17. 17. Renaissance Island
  18. 18. Teaching & Learning Space Teen Island Teaching and Learning Space
  19. 19. Buildings are not always necessary; the weather is always nice in SL
  20. 20. What types of services are we providing? <ul><li>Reference – in avatar, virtual, and by email </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><ul><li>Training – how to use library resources and how to do things in Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>Programs – weekly programs on an array of topics; i.e. meeting author Vachel Lindsay </li></ul><ul><li>Exhibits – where the library and museum intersect; i.e. Marie Antoinette, Alzheimer’s Disease, </li></ul>
  21. 21. 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 partner </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>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 grant </li></ul><ul><li>December 2006 – Cybrary City built for participating librarians donated by Talis </li></ul><ul><li>January 2007 – Sirsi/Dynix sponsors Info Island I and Eye4YouAlliance Island February 2007 - Built Rachelville and Vendorville </li></ul><ul><li>February 2007 – Commissioned ALS World Headquarters </li></ul><ul><li>February 2007 – Put up new opera building, ALA building, and machinima school </li></ul><ul><li>March 2007 – Built Renaissance Island </li></ul><ul><li>April 2007 – Received ALA/Info Today, Inc. 2007 Library of the Future Award </li></ul>
  22. 22. Why are Librarians in Second Life? <ul><li>This is the new frontier! </li></ul><ul><li>It’s where many of our users and non-users are! </li></ul><ul><li>To attract new users and investigate library services in virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>To provide library services 24/7 </li></ul><ul><li>To meet librarians from around the world </li></ul>
  23. 23. What Have We Learned <ul><li>The speed with which this is unfolding is unbelievable! </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual world residents do want a library – we built it and they are coming in droves! </li></ul><ul><li>People still ask for books in a virtual world </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration is the key and partnerships are essential </li></ul><ul><li>Exhibits and author readings are very popular </li></ul><ul><li>SL is fun – it’s this fun factor that is encouraging such amazing growth. </li></ul><ul><li>To work in the virtual world requires a whole new set of learning skills </li></ul>
  24. 24. Challenges <ul><li>Funding and Sustainability are key issues </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting a large project using volunteer staffing is always challenging </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a steep learning curve unless you’re 9 years old! </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>Requires a high-end computer with broadband connection </li></ul><ul><li>No integrated audio or internet in SL – yet! </li></ul><ul><li>It is highly addictive and takes a lot of time </li></ul>
  25. 25. What’s next? <ul><li>Secure funding to hire virtual staff working out of the ALS World Headquarters! </li></ul><ul><li>Make more “traditional” info resources available ie audiobooks </li></ul><ul><li>Pioneer “meeting technologies” to facilitate virtual meetings i.e. adding audio to meeting protocols </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate Info Island into ALS daily operations so all staff are SL functional </li></ul><ul><li>Explore the skills necessary to work in the virtual world </li></ul><ul><li>Improve transportation/search functions around the islands re: people mover, better teleporting and finding locations </li></ul><ul><li>Create an Info Island for kids </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Kitty Pope, Kitty Phillip at ALS- [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Barbara Galik, Puglet Dancer, Bradley University – [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Lori Bell, Lorelei Junot at ALS – [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>“ Abbey Zenith,” Director of Island I at – [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Tom Peters, Maxito Ricardo at [email_address] </li></ul>How can you get involved ?
  27. 27. Second Life/Info Island blogs <ul><li>Info Island – </li></ul><ul><li>YouthTech Eye4YouAlliance blog – </li></ul>