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Global Librarianship in Second Life Using virtual environments Presentation for the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Sacramento, CA 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Global Librarianship in Second Life Using virtual environments Presentation for the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Sacramento, CA 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Global Librarianship in Second Life Using virtual environments Presentation for the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Sacramento, CA 2008

2 What Is Second Life? A social networking tool that is multi-user, online, and an interactive 3D environment created by Linden Labs (www.secondlife.com) A social networking tool that is multi-user, online, and an interactive 3D environment created by Linden Labs (www.secondlife.com) A virtual community with content created by its users for building, events, to take classes A virtual community with content created by its users for building, events, to take classes Used for education, professional development, and recreation with its own economy (Lindens) Used for education, professional development, and recreation with its own economy (Lindens) A meeting place to plan, chat in text or voice, network, share information A meeting place to plan, chat in text or voice, network, share information

3 International Virtual Reference Reference Interviews Reference Interviews Job Shadowing Job Shadowing Internships Internships Students complete assignments Students complete assignments Tours Tours Give and receive information Give and receive information Share library methods Share library methods Provide support for each other and patrons Provide support for each other and patrons Meet people Meet people

4 Second Life is not… perceived as a game for residents (there are no winners). perceived as a game for residents (there are no winners). replacing a real life or traditional library. replacing a real life or traditional library. necessarily expensive – free office space, for instance is available for a trial. necessarily expensive – free office space, for instance is available for a trial. without software issues, problems, and glitches. without software issues, problems, and glitches. as easy to use as other social networking tools. as easy to use as other social networking tools. liked by everyone; there is hesitation or a failure to see the value in virtual environments. liked by everyone; there is hesitation or a failure to see the value in virtual environments. fully understood as a networking or collaboration tool. fully understood as a networking or collaboration tool.

5 Why Use Second Life? The interactive nature of SL and the ability to speak with and meet other people throughout the entire world helps mitigate the isolation often felt by rural librarians. The interactive nature of SL and the ability to speak with and meet other people throughout the entire world helps mitigate the isolation often felt by rural librarians. Second Life is an opportunity to gain volunteer experience in a virtual environment and learn library methodology. Second Life is an opportunity to gain volunteer experience in a virtual environment and learn library methodology. The culmination of librarian collections, creativity, experiences, knowledge & skills are all combined for the benefit of the patrons we serve and one another. The culmination of librarian collections, creativity, experiences, knowledge & skills are all combined for the benefit of the patrons we serve and one another. Stay ahead of the learning curve and demonstrate library leadership Stay ahead of the learning curve and demonstrate library leadership

6 How are Librarians Using SL? Hold Book discussions Hold Book discussions Conduct Virtual Reference Conduct Virtual Reference Create virtual branches Create virtual branches Hold Conferences Hold Conferences Team Teach Team Teach Train New librarians Train New librarians Meet other professionals Meet other professionals Create Poster sessions Create Poster sessions Write letters of recommendation Write letters of recommendation Create video (machinima) Create video (machinima) To educate users about historical events To educate users about historical events Make friends, colleagues Make friends, colleagues Listen to music Listen to music Build homes/Entertain Build homes/Entertain Build classrooms Build classrooms Share and create professional best practices with one another Share and create professional best practices with one another Earn money by building, scripting, consulting, teaching Earn money by building, scripting, consulting, teaching Write grants together Write grants together Fundraise Fundraise Create prototypes Create prototypes

7 Global Librarianship Librarians and other professionals meet from all over the world and work together to create a community that meets user needs. Often our missions and goals intersect. Librarians and other professionals meet from all over the world and work together to create a community that meets user needs. Often our missions and goals intersect.

8 Readers, Associations, & Schools

9 Examples of Virtual Collaboration for Real Life Benefit Homeless shelter staff and librarians working together to develop resources to deal with real life patrons – the homeless. Homeless shelter staff and librarians working together to develop resources to deal with real life patrons – the homeless. Poets & other writers develop programs, readings, discussions, and make their content available Poets & other writers develop programs, readings, discussions, and make their content available Grant writing & Fundraising Grant writing & Fundraising Virtual Conferences, panelist discussions, professional development Virtual Conferences, panelist discussions, professional development Volunteer environmental attorney offering a resource center and programs for how to create a green library building. Volunteer environmental attorney offering a resource center and programs for how to create a green library building.

10 Cybrary City 1 – One of 40 Islands Owned and Managed by Alliance Library Systems Coming soon, Cybrary Square for rural libraries new to Second Life

11 The ARSL Building RSS Feed RSS Feed Photo Slider Encouraging visitors to sign up for Facebook page Photo Slider Encouraging visitors to sign up for Facebook page Meeting space Meeting space Bulletin Board to leave messages Bulletin Board to leave messages Visitor Counter Visitor Counter In world Rural Librarians Group In world Rural Librarians Group

12 Islands In Second Life (sims) Some Islands are themed, like Land of Lincoln, Imagination Island, (childrens lit) or Renaissance Island, Virtual Ability, Smart Investing, or Health Info Island Some Islands are themed, like Land of Lincoln, Imagination Island, (childrens lit) or Renaissance Island, Virtual Ability, Smart Investing, or Health Info Island Others are designed for beginning libraries, like Cybrary City 1 Others are designed for beginning libraries, like Cybrary City 1 Themed sims allow users to be immersed in time in history or topic Themed sims allow users to be immersed in time in history or topic

13 Who is in Second Life? Universities Universities Around 900 self- professed librarians work or are in SL Around 900 self- professed librarians work or are in SL Non-profits Non-profits Businesses Businesses Musicians Musicians Artists Artists Every type of librarian one can imagine including Department of Transportation Librarians Every type of librarian one can imagine including Department of Transportation Librarians UMaine Resource Center on Black Bear Island MaintainIT

14 Librarians in Virtual Worlds The Gartner Group predicts that by 2011, 80% of Internet users will be in a virtual world. ~Trends Report 2008, Alliance Library System, p. 13 The Gartner Group predicts that by 2011, 80% of Internet users will be in a virtual world. ~Trends Report 2008, Alliance Library System, p. 13 Opportunity to help sustain our profession with a new way to communicate with each other and our patrons. Opportunity to help sustain our profession with a new way to communicate with each other and our patrons.

15 Examples of Content & Interactivity RSS Feed to Library of Congress RSS Feed to Library of Congress Photos that are clickable whereby an option is given to open a browser and be directed to that Website. Photos that are clickable whereby an option is given to open a browser and be directed to that Website. Live help Live help Photos of real life events Photos of real life events Notecards from in world with any information you desire (cut and pasted from Word, for instance) Notecards from in world with any information you desire (cut and pasted from Word, for instance) E-content (books) E-content (books) Media streams Media streams Radio stations Radio stations Stations to pay real life fines in Linden dollars Stations to pay real life fines in Linden dollars

16 Initial Purpose for our library The purpose of our virtual library in Second Life is to provide meaningful content, services, and collaborative activity for the benefit of the library profession and current or future users.

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18 Real Life Impact Some patrons use Second Life as a means to socialize or learn Some patrons use Second Life as a means to socialize or learn Library staff in SL may attend more conferences, workshops, and informative meetings Library staff in SL may attend more conferences, workshops, and informative meetings Skill of staff is increased, thereby improving service Skill of staff is increased, thereby improving service Raise awareness of and for our individual community strengths Raise awareness of and for our individual community strengths Economic and community development best practices are shared Economic and community development best practices are shared Global networking for local action Global networking for local action People with disabilities have a greater support network People with disabilities have a greater support network Sense of community Sense of community The return of myth to our culture The return of myth to our culture

19 Mistakes Made by Residents Form inaccurate conclusions about the positive or negative aspects of virtual environments based on limited experiences, the media or too few interactions with experienced residents. Form inaccurate conclusions about the positive or negative aspects of virtual environments based on limited experiences, the media or too few interactions with experienced residents.

20 The Readers Garden, Info Island Bi-monthly virtual book discussions and talks Bi-monthly virtual book discussions and talks Bring readers from all over the globe together Bring readers from all over the globe together

21 Alliance Virtual Library From 1/28/07 to 7/18/08, the AVL Reference Desk counted 13,658 visitors From 1/28/07 to 7/18/08, the AVL Reference Desk counted 13,658 visitors Statistics are tracked such as SL & real life directional or reference questions Statistics are tracked such as SL & real life directional or reference questions

22 Virtual Reference Statistics 9,691 reference questions were asked at the Alliance Virtual Library 9,691 reference questions were asked at the Alliance Virtual Library Second Life directional questions are the most frequently asked (3,720), followed by SL reference questions (3,669) Second Life directional questions are the most frequently asked (3,720), followed by SL reference questions (3,669)

23 Critical Failure Factors The learning curve is steep many discourage new librarians from participating. The learning curve is steep many discourage new librarians from participating. The computer spec requirements exceed patron computers The computer spec requirements exceed patron computers Firewalls and filters block Second Life Firewalls and filters block Second Life Griefers (avatars that purposely harass, damage, or disrupt) Griefers (avatars that purposely harass, damage, or disrupt) Too few volunteers doing too much of the work Too few volunteers doing too much of the work More qualitative and quantitative Research is needed More qualitative and quantitative Research is needed

24 Ways to Help Ensure Success Contact established mentors & librarians in world at the beginning Contact established mentors & librarians in world at the beginning Continuously assess real life impact or benefits Continuously assess real life impact or benefits Attend classes on and in Second Life Attend classes on and in Second Life Use trial and error Use trial and error Create a team of friends, skilled SL users, and professionals Create a team of friends, skilled SL users, and professionals Be patient with yourself, it takes time to learn and remember that benefits outweigh the angst of the learning Be patient with yourself, it takes time to learn and remember that benefits outweigh the angst of the learning Volunteer Volunteer Understand that there is a time commitment for your library to be successful Understand that there is a time commitment for your library to be successful

25 Sources Pope, K. Trends Report Alliance Library Systems. Pope, K. Trends Report Alliance Library Systems. Robbins, S. & Bell, M. (2007). Second Life for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc. Robbins, S. & Bell, M. (2007). Second Life for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc. Bettger, S. (2008). Non Profits and Second Life: Promoting Causes Inside Second Life For Real World Impact. Giving Circles Network. (Not yet released) Bettger, S. (2008). Non Profits and Second Life: Promoting Causes Inside Second Life For Real World Impact. Giving Circles Network. (Not yet released) Thanks is owed to Karl Robbins (Karl Nostram) for the photos used in this presentation. Thanks is owed to Karl Robbins (Karl Nostram) for the photos used in this presentation.

26 For the curious… See the Alliance Library System Website, See the Alliance Library System Website, See the Second Life website, See the Second Life website, Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library Second Life Section, Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library Second Life Section, Presentation is available by ing Presentation is available by ing

27 Contact Information In World Sonja Morgwain (Sonja Plummer- Morgan) Sonja Morgwain (Sonja Plummer- Morgan) Karl Nostram (Second Life Mentor) Karl Nostram (Second Life Mentor) Lorelei Junot (Lori Bell in real life and Director of Alliance Library Systems) Lorelei Junot (Lori Bell in real life and Director of Alliance Library Systems) Any of the librarians, staff, volunteers at the Alliance Virtual Library Reference Desk Any of the librarians, staff, volunteers at the Alliance Virtual Library Reference Desk


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