Sunday, July 02, 2006

Second Life Library

One of the side routes that I've filed under "explore when you have more time, maybe in your next life" is the Second Life Library. This is a library service set up in the multi-multi-user virtual world of Second Life, accessible free online.

Enjoying Your First Life? Why Not Add a Second? Developing Library Services in Second Life at Serious Games Source some members of the Alliance Library System outline who they are:

Alliance Library System started the Second Life Library project in April 2006 in response to a shift in people of all ages from media consumers to media creators. They are all spending more time on the Internet and they want to create and contribute, not just consume. Alliance Library System (ALS), located in East Peoria, Illinois, is one of nine regional library systems in Illinois. ALS has 259 member libraries of all types (academic, special, school and public). We provide a variety of services for our members including continuing education, consulting, grant writing, and new technology initiatives.

Within the Second Life Library they have a library building, conduct online seminars, staff the library 2 hours per day, set up vendor database trials (real ones, like EBSCO) and have email reference. To me, a couple of benefits are - it's meeting the users where they hang out and providing services there ; and it's a place where vendors can show their wares to an interested world wide audience of librarians.

Alliance also run the OPAL (Online Programming for All Librarians) site, "an international collaborative effort by libraries of all types to provide web-based programs and training for library users and library staff members".

Second Life library has it's own blog (Second Life Library 2.0), and it's well worth dipping into this or the actual site every so often when you need a fun break from work, that you can still call work.


CW said...

I've been pondering whether or not I want to take another look at Second Life now that there are librarians running around in there ;) It's not the fact that there are librarians running around in there that's making me pause, but the fact that I never know what to do in SL. I guess I'm too used to MMORPGs where there are very obvious goals (destroy monsters, obtain loot, gain levels). The other issue is the time differences. Most of the librarians in SL are in the US, so won't be on during our 'play' times...

Kathryn Greenhill said...

Yes. I wonder whether they cyber lock the building when it's not staffed? And if they don't what happens when you go there. I imagine it to be like the Sims, with the fun of making the buildings, but without the "gotta eat", "gotta sleep", "gotta phone a friend" busy-ness.