Alliance Second Life Library 2.0:
Going where the users are.
Lori Bell, Michael Sauers, and Tom Peters.
Decided to attend this one to see what all the hubbub is about with regard to Second Life. I have to admit I haven’t tried the site, but may jump in there after this conference.
[sidenote: Michael Sauers has the most delightful laugh…]
Lori Bell – director of automation services at the library system in East Peoria, Ill.
Michael Sauers – travelinglibrarian.info. Aurora, Colorado.
Tom Peters – founder and CEO of TAP Information Services
Video tour of Info Island.
Info Island library is a collaborative effort of folks from all over the world.
Create an avatar. Look and be whoever you want. Virtual world. Over a million residents. Growing. Reuters and IBM are there. Important for libraries to be there. You do what you want to. If you want to gamble, you gamble; if you want to have sex, you have sex. [that has Sauers laughing, head on the table] Invites everyone to join up. Something for everyone. Meet people from all over the world. Amazon and Wired Magazine are there; more and more businesses are there.
Many avatars are pursuing info-related activities. Increasingly used by higher ed for more interactive distance learning. It’s a creative and artistic outlet. Satisfies the desire to build and design a library from scratch.
Two traditional libraries linked up to web resources. People can wander around or ask a reference librarian. OCLC gave trial of Question Point, so people can email or ask a librarian. Way to promote digital collections. Tours every couple of weeks. Every tour has librarians and people just interested in libraries. Speakers and programming; Jeff Bazos from Amazon talked. Authors have spoken, and are publishing both in and outside of Second Life.
Determining what collections work best, and what patrons want. People are using Second Life to add to their written works.
When people teleport in, they land at the reference desk.
Started in April 2006. May 2006 – Info Island donated. August 2006 – 2nd island donated, for museums and exhibits. Sept 06 – QuestionPoint trial and overall SLL reference October 206 – Grant opening HealthInfo Island, Cybrary City.
Have 19th Century library in Caledon.
It’s all about partnerships: TechSoup, ICT Library, World Bridges, New Media Consortium, Institutions of Higher Education, Museums. Want to create a global collaborative library.
I want to be the reality check. Minimal requirements vs. recommended requirements. Cartoon: “So I went and joined a virtual community. They laughed at me there, too.”
– If you don’t have the “recommended” hardware it’s going to be a frustrating experience.
– If you can’t follow conversation and are easily annoyed by typos…
– You don’t have to spend real money, but it helps. You can get a stipend even with a free account, but it’s not much. Textures uploaded for L$10 each (linden dollars)
– The more people at an event/in a location, the more lag there will be
– Your boss and co-workers will probably not view this as “work” so you’ll be contributing personal time
– The more fun you’re having, the more time you’ll want to spend on the grid.
– People are generally polite, but they still fall on your head.
– Don’t plan on keeping track of acquaintances based on their appearance as many change their avatars frequently
– Updates, updates, updates. You can’t log in until you download the new update.
– System problems: grey goo, purchased items disappearing
– Sometimes it just doesn’t work.
As cool as it is, it doesn’t always work very well.
There are different zones, rated G or Mature. People have come up and said “we’re so glad you don’t have sex and gambling on Info Island.”
What we are learning:
– islands, buildings, and grounds
– governance and management
– reference services
– privacy, safety, security
– professional development
Had interesting discussions about whether they needed to have a collection, what should they collect. Should they serve as archivist? What would reference service mean? Live events big. Dark side: privacy concerns, safety and security. At one point all the buildings and terraforming on the island had been removed. Gangs have come in and started shooting.
Two things you don’t have to worry about: vermin and restrooms.
– what types of library services do SL avatars want, need, and expect?
– What types of library buildings and locations are needed?
– Are collections needed?
– volunteer labor (self-inflicted burnout)
– external funding
– expertise mining
– disaster preparedness
– implementing library 2.0 concepts
– rapidly evolving environment and human understanding of that environment
Predictions, Bloody Predictions:
– library services to avatars will thrive
– architecture will evolve away from real-world architecture
– libraries will include elements from museums, theme parks, etc.
– exhibits and events will be more useful than traditional collections
– immersive, experiential learning experiences, like walk-in books and 3D interactive mashups with historical figures
Librarians have fun!