May 2, 2007
Reflections on Second Life Library Being Named Library of the Future
The 2007 Library of the Future Award has been given to a virtual library, the Alliance Second Life Library. If you haven't visited Second Life yet, it's a virtual universe (or metaverse) where people interact through the use of avatars and can even buy virtual real estate.
The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce that ... the international collaborative group of librarians working on [the] Alliance Second Life Library, are the 2007 recipients of the ALA/Information Today Library of the Future Award ... Since opening its virtual doors in April 2006, the Alliance Second Life Library ... has expanded its presence to include locations on Info Islands I&II, HealthInfo Island, The Caledon (19th century) Branch Library, Cybrary City Islands, and the Teen Second Life “Eye4YouAlliance,” where engaging activities and interactions occur in a collaborative, social/learning space. |ALA|
If you don't have a Second Life account, you can watch this tour of Information Island on YouTube to get a sense of a Second Life library. You can also watch this video of the dancing librarians of Second Life.
The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is offering a class on Second Life librarianship starting this May and the School of Library & Information Science at San José State University had developed a product called Sloodle which combines the open-source virtual learning system Moodle with Second Life, opening up new possibilities for distance education.
Law students are also exploring the legal implications of virtual worlds. Law Professor Elizabeth Townsend Gard and law student Rachel Goda asked students in a first year property class at Seattle University to examine property concepts within Second Life. You can visit the class' video blog or read a description of the class at Terra Nova.
Previously we blogged about the book,The State of Play: Law, Games, and Virtual Worlds, which examines the legal implications of virtual worlds. There is now a State of Play Academy, "the first law and technology academy built in a virtual world."
While educators and librarians have been quick to seize upon the educational opportunities of Second Life, businesses are just beginning to develop Second Life business models. "IBM believes the virtual realm has potential for training, conferences and commerce" according to IBM's vice president of technical strategy and innovation, Irving Wladawsky-Berger. Coldwell Banker is even dabbling in virtual real estate now.
Second Life is generating many legal questions in the real world (or First Life) as well as creating opportunities for librarians to truly establish libraries without walls.
Neal R. Axton,, Reference Librarian, William Mitchell College of Law
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If you visit Second Life, be sure to visit the Nova Southeastern University Law Library on Cybrary City II and Cat Galileo's Law Spot on Info Island! There is also a Second Life group for law librarians.
--Meg (SL: Anne Idler)
Posted by: Meg Kribble | May 2, 2007 8:12:00 AM