Monday, February 24, 2014

Case Study No. 1259: "Librarians of Second Life"

Archival Footage: Librarians of Second Life March 17, 2007 (HD 720p)
This video/machinima, filmed on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2007, was created for aposter session at the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) 2007Conference in Baltimore, March 29-April 1, 2007.

Abbey Zenith, Puglet Dancer and HVX Silverstar collaborated on the 3 posters and accompanying two-part machinima. The original postings of the two-part machinima onto YouTube have received a combined 6,754 hits. This HD 720p version combines the two original machinima that were originally captured at 1280x720 and the introductory clip with me logging into SL was recorded as DVCPRO50 720p. The assorted clips were meant to spark conversation or catch people's attention as they walked through the ACRL poster session. Abbey and Puglet had a couple of hundred people stop to chat.

Clips include: gathering of librarians, some SL tricks, flips, animations, morphs & dance moves, the reference patio, tour of the second generation library on Info Island and a look at some of the ThinCbooks on displaly, and then moving onto a Friday night party at Abbey's original TX950 Club on Cybrary City... Pirates, Priests, Nuns, Cowboys, Aliens & Librarians dancing up a storm.

Filmed on location in the very beautiful Second Life®. Visit us at the Alliance Virtual Library blog for more information:

Drop by the Machinima Institute 218, 114 to pick up 'do-it-yourself' instructional materials at Machinima Institute Island.

Contact HVX Silverstar / Bernadette Daly Swanson if you have machinima related questions.

Note about the Second Life viewer user interface: the number of residents are shown on the login screen: 4,765,391
logged in in last 60 days: 1,570,532
Online at the time: a whopping 34,911 on St. Patrick's Day no less!
That's half of what we're seeing now.. but oh, how we've grown!
Tags: alliance library system alliance virtual library virtual worlds virtual libraries library librarians ACRL posters machinima Second Life Machinima Institute infoisland info island tour
Added: 5 years ago
From: HVXSilverstar
Views: 943

The Librarians of Second Life

["Once upon a Saturday, not so long ago ... " appears on screen, as the scene opens with a female librarian flying her avatar through Info Island]
["Collaborating on the ACRL Poster Session" appears on screen, as "Puglet Dancer" interacts with other avatars]
["Taking a Snapshot Using the SL Browser ... Smile Avatars!" appears on screen]
["Saturday Afternoon Gathering" appears on screen, as several avatars are lounging around]
["Just what you were expecting ... " appears on screen, then cut to the avatar of a female librarian standing on Info Island]
["Just what you were expecting ... or not" appears on screen, as the librarian does a backflip]
["Waiting for the library tour ... " appears on screen, as several avatars have gathered around the area]
["Smile" appears on screen, as the librarian avatar smiles]
["Are you watching?" appears on screen, as one of the male avatars transforms into a koala bear]
[cut to the female librarian standing next to the koala bear, as she transforms into a cat-woman hybrid wearing a green t-shirt that reads "Lushwood Creatures"]
LIBRARIAN: What do you think, Troy?
KOALA: I'm impressed! Any more?
["Oh, yes ... I have a collection of them" appears on screen]
KOALA: Catalogued?
LIBRARIAN: Oh, I wish!
[the librarian undergoes a second transformation, becoming a very tall women with long blue hair]
["Gathering at TX950 Club on Cybrary City" appears on screen, then cut to several avatars dancing under a virtual night sky]
["Yes, I'll be in the movie ... " appears on screen, then cut to several avatars gathered around the "Alliance Library System Second Life Library 2.0 Main Library"]
[cut to several shots inside the virtual library (including a "virtual Yoda" sitting behind the reference desk)]

Filmed on location in Second Life
with Abbey, Puglet, Cindy, Ilene, Maxito,
Troy, Lance, Desamuss, Beatlebug, Fabio,
all of the dancing librarians & friends

Music from Revostock dot com
by Spencerdare
"Ibiza Latest King"

HVX Silverstar
Machinima Institute (c) 2007



Second Life (SL) is an immersive 3D environment that can be used for entertainment and educational purposes. Due to increasing interest in digital services, some libraries have established virtual services on Second Life.

By 2007, there were more than 40 libraries in Second Life and the number is increasing. Many of those libraries can be found in Cybrary City, part of the information archipelago on Second Life. This place was built for libraries to set up their virtual services and for displaying their resources. Libraries can provide their services while also learning new skills for 21st-century librarianship.

About Second Life
Second Life is a virtual world provided by Linden Lab. The creation of the service was announced on 30 October 2002 in San Francisco.

Users of Second Life are known as Residents. Users can register and begin their new life with the beta program at Second Life. Their Second Life is started by designing their avatar. They can buy land, purchase properties, start businesses and take part in elaborate role playing activities.

Web 2.0 and Library 2.0
Web 2.0 is centred on web applications that allow user interactivity and the creation and uploading of user-generated content. It emphasises communication and connectivity through the web. It can also be used as a new electronic platform for the e-business industry, using online rules to do business successfully. These rules are mainly about harnessing network effects for getting more users.

Library 2.0 is the concept of how to use the web 2.0 opportunities in a library environment. It helps to build up a dialogue that creates a new generation of library websites, databases and OPACs. Technologies listed in web 2.0 above, such as RSS, wikis, blogging, tagging and social networking software could be used for building up an active, institutional environment driven by libraries.

Second Life Libraries
Library services in Second Life can be found at the following SL locations:

* Info Island 1
* Info Island 2
* Edu Island
* Caledon Library
* Healthinfo Island
* Imagination Island - Rachelville
* ALA Arts Island
* Cybrary City 1
* Cybrary City 2

Second Life libraries are examples of immersive learning environments. Users can interact with the services in practical ways, such as walking around a virtual space. Libraries in Second Life often put on digital exhibitions as part of their services, for example an exhibit displaying virtual represenations of Van Gogh paintings, including Starry Night. The aim of virtual library services is to attract new users to traditional libraries as well as establishing links with librarians from all over the world. Most of these services are run by volunteers.

There have been numerous initiatives to create educational spaces within Second Life. There are Victorian areas in which residents dress in period clothes, an Egyptian tomb and a Renaissance Island created by the Alliance Second Life Libraries. Central Missouri State University has also received funding to create a reproduction of 1920s Harlem.

Libraries can also put on virtual events such as conferences, seminars and lectures. In 2008 and 2009 Alliance Library System (ALS) organised a conference called Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education and Museums Conference. It took place in the New Media Consortium Conference Center in Second Life and was designed to "provide a gathering place for librarians, information professionals, educators, museologists, and others to learn about and discuss the educational, informational, and cultural opportunities of virtual worlds."

Virtual libraries which are independent, run by volunteers and not affiliated with a traditional library are often the most successful ones in Second Life. Second Life-only virtual libraries tend to be more successful than the Second Life branches of public libraries. Users suggest that the libraries in Second Life serve a niche population, which results in difficulties with marketing. Staff of public libraries have different perspectives on SL when they are experimenting with it, which results in general conflict.

In order to have a successful virtual library in Second Life there are six different elements that should be considered. These are:

* Location
* Timing
* Funding
* Techniques
* Organisational baggage
* Computing technology

Alliance Library System (ALS)
The Alliance Library System is an Illinois based local library co-operator, providing vital library services to citizens. It serves three sectors: libraries, legislators and communities. It is also one of the nine multitype library systems. Multitype library systems cooperate amongst different library sectors in a community, including academic, public, school, and special libraries.

In 2003, the Alliance Library System, the Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center, and the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service founded Online Programming for All Libraries (OPAL). OPAL is an international cooperative program supported by libraries and organisations that provide web-based service and courses/trainings for library customers and staff. The administrator of OPAL is TAP Information Services. Programs include library training, special events and virtual tours of digital library collections. OPAL events mainly happen online. Those online rooms can be accessed via various ways (e.g. voice-over-IP, text chatting and synchronised browsing) by participants. In 2006, Alliance Library System and OPAL Opened an Alliance of Libraries 2.0 on Second Life together.

In 2006 the Alliance Library System, along with other library organisations, began to investigate the possibility of establishing a library network on Second Life. By late 2006 they had purchased some land in Second Life and built a virtual library. They started holding discussion groups as well as classes for teens in the library, including courses on podcasting and film-making and an open-mic night.

In 2007 ALS created a virtual information archipelago called Info Island. The grand opening was on 12–14 October 2007. Info Island consists of numerous islands housing various libraries and institutions run by the volunteers of the Community Virtual Library as well as Academic libraries such as Stanford University Library and government organisations such as the Centres for Disease Control.

Due to changes in modern lifestyle and consumer behaviours, modern customers may not visit local library buildings. This has became a worry and reason for city councils to cut libraries' budgets. Some libraries, such as ALS decided to take the organisations to their customers, transferring from real life into a virtual world.

In recent years Second Life libraries have held discussion groups and planned events. Participant librarians say that responses have been much higher than they thought they could be. For example, in the early days of ALS establishing a virtual library in Second Life, a surprising number of Residents visited the building, with some even asking reference questions.

According to successful examples, more and more libraries have realised that Second Life is a new and good means to interact with their customers, helping traditional libraries to accommodate new demands and challenges.

Issues for Real Life Librarians
Some "real life" librarians may find it difficult to balance their duties in their online and offline capacities. Librarians are passionate about their commitments to virtual world libraries to the extent that most librarians completed virtual library work at home and are not compensated by their libraries for this work . This could potentially cause problems with stress and tiredness.

Librarians also indicated that adequate computing equipment and faster broadband access is important for increasing the productivity and performance of Second Life libraries, and these requirements limit the involvement of numerous librarians. Additional issues of computing supports include network security programs that help Second Life libraries to solve problems such as appropriate permissions, authentications, limitations of functionality based on security restrictions and service attacks.

Additionally, there are some technology challenges. For example, the use of Radio-frequency identification (RFID) - common in most libraries - has become one of the challenges for Second Life libraries. Second Life sometimes is not able to get all the information normally stored on RFID devices such as the means keeping track of library books, people or policies.

Some professionals have acknowledged that Second Life offers unique opportunities to expand the horizons of traditional library services. In addition, some University librarians believe that Second Life library can be a valuable part of University services, becoming involved in activities such as delivering a downloading service for lecture notes.

Some studies have found that some librarians did not pay enough attention to pre-planning their Second Life libraries, despite librarianship having a culture of planning and management. Most Second Life librarians have no time to manage Second Life Library during their working time because there is not any official timeline that designed by departments. As a result, Second Life libraries are misunderstood by many people who view Second Life libraries as just games without any educational value. Although the Second Life library is easier to navigate and provides many useful and good materials, it has a few users. The reason is that the Second Life branch has been well promoted in real life so library users do not know its existence.



Alliance Library System and OPAL are teaming up to extend the programs currently offered online to librarians and library users to the Second Life virtual environment. Many libraries of all kinds offer events, lectures, exhibit, collections and training in Second Life.

Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by millions of people from around the globe. There are shopping malls, events, homes, lands of different types, and best of all, participants can contribute content, buildings, and other digital creations.

* Genealogy Research Center
* Library Gallery
* Mystery Manor
* Performance Center
* Science Center
* SF/Fantasy Center

* Cybrary City provides a virtual home to many public and academic RL libraries

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