A couple of weeks ago I attended a very interesting talk given by Kim Holmberg, a PhD student from Finland who is supervised by one of our lecturers at Wolverhampton. The talk was part of a series by the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group.

Kim’s background is in information science and webometrics but he also has an interest in Library 2.0 and what he calls Library 3D (libraries in Second Life and similar).

The talk introduced the concept of Library 2.0 which was great to see as I’m sure some of the people present had probably never heard of it. Kim tended to focus on public libraries but it was great that someone not from a typical library background was so enthusiastic about the participatory potential of Library 2.0. ๐Ÿ™‚

He then went on to talk about Second Life and how libraries could use Second Life. I’ve embedded a copy of his slideshow for anyone interested:

Coincidentally, earlier that day I had been involved in a discussion about Second Life and thought it might be time to at least join up and see it for myself. So many talks I’ve attended recently have mentioned or demonstrated Second Life and up until very recently, I still hadn’t had a go myself. I’m off work this week so decided to take the plunge and have a look around.

It took me a shocking amount of time to decide upon a surname but in the end I settled for Joeyanne Quandry. If anyone is in Second Life please feel free to add me, I’m not sure if and how I will use Second Life yet but I’ll certainly be giving it a try so please add me so I have a friend to talk to!

I had a look at Talis Cybrary place and searched for the CILIP area but couldn’t find it. I did visit Sheila Webber’s (Sheila Yoshikawa in Second Life) InfoLit iSchool space and added her as a friend but unfortunately there was no one there when I visited. I’ll have to try to go along to the next Information Literacy event they have.

My feelings so far are that it could be a different way to do things and make them a bit more fun, but until we get the majority of people using Second Life and feeling comfortable with it I think it’s difficult to achieve things. Potentially a different avenue to explore though, I know there are quite a few academics who are really enthusiastic and I can definitely see the benefit for distance learners like myself (I wonder if Aberystwyth will set up an area for it’s Information Studies distance learners in the future?).

Is anyone aware of academic libraries in the UK currently using Second Life? I know John Kirriemuir has researched academic use of Second Life in the UK on behalf of Eduserv, his final report is on my “to read” list. His Ariadne article is interesting, I’ll have to check out some of the places mentioned in the article next time I explore Second Life. Any other places I should visit?

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  • John

    Wish I had gone to the presentation now Jo.
    Have you seen Coventry Univ’s prescence in SL?
    http://www.coventry.ac.uk/researchnet/d/619/a/3638

  • I haven’t yet John but it’s high on my list of places to “visit” next time I’m in Second Life, it’s mentioned in the Ariadne article and the screenshot looks very impressive. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Welcome to the cutting edge of technology, and the leading edge of library outreach. Will contact you inworld Joey ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hope to meet up with you sometime ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Lyndsey

    Anglia Ruskin University have bought an island in Second Life in which to build a virtual campus. Not sure if it’s ready yet.

    I found Second Life extremely slow and haen’t been back because of the problems this caused, but maybe I’ll give it another go.

  • I’ve had some technical difficulties too Lyndsey, it runs OK on my laptop but warns me that I don’t meet the requirements and I can’t even download it to our main PC for some reason, it keeps failing when I try. I also can’t access it at work as we have locked desktops. ๐Ÿ™

    Thanks Gareth and Sheila, I’ll hopefully be able to catch up with you in my second life soon! ๐Ÿ˜€

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