Libraries and Librarians in “Second Life” Virtual World today and the Future…08.19.08

19 08 2008

Although I have yet to venture into the virtual world of Second Life, I know I must eventually do so.  I have read much about it and can see many opportunities for such a tool/environment.  Learning new things is great but the time and energy to jump into Second Life has escaped me thus far.  Anyway, I’ll take the plunge soon–another aspect of “professional development” I’m sure.

There is an update about Second Life reaching its second anniversary at LibGig today [http://www.libgig.com/2dlife] which is worth checking out.  Here is an excerpt from Rhonda Truman from Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte, NC:

“…Where do we go from here? The rising cost of travel and awareness of ecological concerns makes virtual environments an attractive choice for meetings, presentations, seminars, and conferences. It can also be used as a place to find and hire employees. Manpower is just one of several employment agencies that use SL to recruit. Other uses will depend on the future of virtual worlds. If, as some predict, virtual worlds become future of the Internet perhaps instead of flat or even 2.0 web sites representing our libraries, we will have virtual places where our patrons can visit us online and where we can provide access to a wide range of services. Virtual won’t replace real life libraries, no one thinks that they will, but they can be a new way to interact with our users and reach beyond our walls to others.”

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2 responses

19 08 2008
P.C. Sweeney

Please, Please, don’t fall for this. SL just has the best PR group in the world, especially amongst librarians. It’s bulky, slow, contains an enormous number of unfamiliar social & environmental rules, is more difficult to navigate than the real web (to find the same material) and really adds nothing new or of value except a cool “avatar” to your online presence.

3 03 2009
Carol Perryman

PC, you certainly have a right to have your own opinion. But for nearly 2,000 librarians engaged in interaction and exploration in Second Life, there’s no question that (even aside from questions about its utility as a site for patron interaction) it’s a valuable networking opportunity.

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