Second Life and Twitter for Librarians: Virtual Tools for Building Global and Local Networks

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Libraries and universities are discovering ways that social networking and virtual environments can extend the reach of librarianship. Second Life and Twitter are two virtual tools that can help libraries build global and local networks. They enable information seekers to discover, disseminate, and contribute information in interesting and novel ways. Second Life is a virtual world in which librarians can interact with a global audience while transcending physical boundaries. Several institutions have established virtual libraries in Second Life; for example, we worked with the University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science to build a virtual Second Life library where writers from our International Writing Program could share their work via live virtual readings. Twitter is a microblogging tool that librarians can use to strengthen their professional networks and discover valuable local information in real-time. We recently implemented Twitter in the classroom to demonstrate how a group of people can use Twitter to share and discuss information about an event as it is unfolding. Our presentation addresses the main features and concepts of both Second Life and Twitter. For Second Life, participants will learn how to create an avatar and learn about the virtual library community within Second Life. For Twitter, participants will learn how to make professional contacts, tweet effectively, and use specific search strategies to find relevant local information. Whether your library is trying to reach a global or a local audience, Second Life and Twitter offer innovative possibilities for reaching your patrons and marketing your library.


<ul><li> 1. Rachel Hall University of Iowa SLIS Graduate Assistant Second Life and Twitter for Librarians Virtual Tools for Building Local and Global Networks Angela Murillo University of Iowa IMLS Digital Library Fellow </li> <li> 2. <ul><li><ul><li>A 3-D virtual world </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Users use avatars to interact with each other </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Free, only need to download software </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Used by educators, universities, libraries, artists, musiciansto have a virtual presence for their work </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Over 16 million accounts registered from all over the world </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Provides a place for innovative collaboration </li></ul></li></ul></li> <li> 3. <ul><li><ul><li>International Writing Program writers read from their work and had Q&amp;A with the audience </li></ul></li></ul></li> <li> 4. <ul><li><ul><li>Go to </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Create an avatar </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Download the free Second Life software </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Start talking to people </li></ul></li></ul></li> <li> 5. <ul><li><ul><li>Alliance Virtual Island </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>Virtual Reference </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>Events </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>ALA Island </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Information Literacy Week in SL </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Banned Books Week in SL </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>San Jose University SLIS </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Libraries in SL </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>Kansas Library, Michigan Library, Monroe County Lib, Olathe Library, SLA, Topeka Library, just to name a few </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul></li> <li> 6. <ul><li><ul><li>All major universities have regions or islands in Second Life, librarians could collaborate with their universities to get involved with projects. </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Bridges a gap for our patrons (academic, public, special, any other), by giving them the opportunity to collaborate in virtual environments where space and distance no longer matter. </li></ul></li></ul></li> <li> 7. <ul><li><ul><li>Professional Networking </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Helps Us Help Patrons </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Educational Resource </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Professional Development Courses </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Global Reach </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Collaborative and Innovative Tool </li></ul></li></ul></li> <li> 8. What is Twitter? <ul><li><ul><li>A "microblogging" tool that allows you to send 140-character messages to those in your network </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Anyone can register for a free account to send "tweets" and follow tweets from other users </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>1 in 5 Internet users say they now use Twitter or a service like it, according to a recent Pew study </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li> Used by journalists, news agencies, educators and libraries </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>The utility of Twitter depends on building a strong network </li></ul></li></ul></li> <li> 9. Follow: Start building your network <ul><li><ul><li>Colleagues </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Friends &amp; Family </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>News Agencies </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Bloggers </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Politicians </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Twitter becomes instantly more interesting when you follow interesting people! </li></ul></li></ul></li> <li> 10. Tweet: Add value to the network w/ 140 characters <ul><li><ul><li>Share links ( link shortener) </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Publicize events </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Ask questions </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Tell jokes </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Rescue your tweets from "the void": @, d, RT </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Be efficient, economical, haiku-like. It's OK, this takes practice! </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>You become more valuable to the network when you produce interesting tweets. </li></ul></li></ul></li> <li> 11. Search: It's the heart of Twitter <ul><li><ul><li>Twitter is made up of vast streams of data and noise. As a Librarian, you have special skills to massage useful information out of these streams. </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>"Boolean" searches </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Saved searches </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Trending topics </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Hashtags &amp; the "backchannel" </li></ul></li></ul></li> <li> 12. Add-Ons: Tools to make Twitter even more useful -TweetDeck -FriendOrFollow -TweetStats -Twanslate </li> <li> 13. What does Twitter provide for Librarians? <ul><li><ul><li>Professional networking </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Querying your network </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Local reference </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Real-time, local information </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Outreach to patrons </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li> Virtual presence &amp; publicity </li></ul></li></ul></li> <li> 14. Thanks! </li> </ul>