Web 2.0 Influences in Library 2.0A look at Second LifePresentation for CE Course4/13/2009
Catherine Marlow, MLS
What is it? Where is it? What does it do?Second Life or SL is a 3D virtual world built entirely by its residents.
Developed by Linden Labs, this 3D world allows users to create avatars (virtual representations) to do everything from flying around various islands (places) to creating various objects (clothes, castles, spaceships, etc) to even earning a profit through business adventures.
Below are a few pictures of me and my pet raven Nevermore.
Yes! I wear the same dress. I volunteered in a 19th century library. I needed to be in costume.
Sometimes I like being a raven!
You can change your avatar to practically anything! There are many shops you can purchase new avatar looks and clothes.
Why was it created? Philip Rosedale, CEO and Founder of Linden Labs, always wanted to be able to manipulate the world around him since there was always something I wanted to change, something I wanted to add, something I wanted to build out of the things I saw around me (Rymaszewski, Au, Wallace, Winters, Ondrejka, & Batstone-Cunningham, 2007, p. iv).
SL launched in 2003 with these ideas in mind.
How is it being used in libraries, healthcare, or other settings?In 2006, the Alliance Library System and OPAL began working with librarians from all over the country to create a library in the virtual worlds to offer SL users library services through a place in SL called InfoIsland.
As found in most libraries, the SL Library contains books, magazines, terminals for research, information monitors with database access, events/displays, and other similar tools available in real-life libraries.
Consumer Health InformationThrough an NLM funded project, Carol Perryman serves as a consumer and medical librarian on HealthInfo Island.
She performs outreach, conducts classes and workshops on health literacy, performs reference requests, and many other tasks a librarian in a real-life consumer health or medical library would perform.
For more info on the grants related to consumer health click here.
Projects Ive worked on in SLFor about 9 months, I volunteered in a 19th century library called Caledon Library.
With the help (and patience) of another volunteer, I assisted in creating a novels collection. It was challenging at first, since I had to learn how to manipulate codes and move an object on a 3D grid.
However, it was a great learning experience and Id love to start working in SL again, if the right project came along.
How difficult is it to learn?Before using SL, a person should look at the system requirements page.
As with any new technology there is always challenges. Thankfully, the Alliance Virtual Library is available to librarians and educators.
If youd like to learn how to become more involved or take a tour, take a look at the InfoIsland Web site (www.infoisland.org).
Below is a screenshot of an interactive display
Here my avatar is interacting with a displayNotice my hand is reaching for the target and there are options available.
Touch means use or interact. I could also Take a copy if the display allows.
Most objects in SL can be touched or examined.
Flying, teleporting, and building objects were a little hard for me at first. I had an awesome and very patient librarian training me on collection development/construction in SL Libraries.
Also, it was helpful having librarians on the reference desk with group titles (librarian, educator, etc) above their heads and notecards available through interactive displays.How difficult was it for me to learn?
Classes and online tutorials are offered throughout the SL world. Id suggest looking at the SL Wiki, SL Knowledge Base, and SL Blog for more information.
Also, InfoIsland offers classes for educators and librarians to get the most out of instructional tools in SL.How difficult was it for me to learn?
Is it worth further exploration?If youre involved in education or youre looking for additional tools and resources, then Id say YES!
Its a lot of fun and like many shiny toys can be time consuming. I would set limits on how often you want to use SL and limit projects.
For health sciences librarians, you could learn how to design virtual health-related displays or volunteer on the reference desk on HealthInfo Island
Suggested ResourcesGrassian, E. & Trueman, R.B. (2007). Stumbling, bumbling, teleporting and flyinglibrarian avatars in Second Life. Reference Services Review, 35, 84-9.
Grassian, E., Trueman, R.B., & Clemson, P. (2007). Stumbling, bumbling, teleporting and flyinglibrarian avatars in Second Life: Selected bibliography. Reference Services Review, 35, 90-7.
Rymaszewski, M., Au, W.J., Wallace, M., Winters, C., Ondrejka, C., & Batstone-Cunningham, B. (2007). Second Life: The official guide. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Maybe well see you online!