Thursday, February 08, 2007

Second Life, Joining

Librarians should think twice before joining Second Life in an attempt to connect with patrons. Your patrons don't want to be friends with you in real life, so it's not likely that they'll be interested in hanging out with your avatar.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

That sounds fair. Not to sound too jaded, but I am not interested in being friends with any of our more eccentric patrons that would probably use Second Life.

Jessica said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA!
Personally, I think SL is creepy....

Dances with Books said...

About time someone said what a good share of us are thinking. Just because it's the next L2 toy, does not mean we want to be there, let alone that our patrons want us there. As for me, more than happy to sound jaded. It's just another toy.

Woeful said...

Maybe not. However, the potential of Second Life has yet to be realized. There is something really amazing going on in this digital frontier. The question is, how do we leverage it to our advantage as librarians? I think Second Life is way cool! I'm just not sure where it, "fits" yet.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure my avatar would want to be friends with any Second Life librarians... ;)

Spoofy said...

Hehe. "Residents" should considering getting a first life before proceeding to the next.

duda said...

Okay, who wants to open/build the first library? I got dibs on Head Librarian Goddess/She Who Must Be Obeyed!

I'm now taking applications for Lowly Pages/Snot Goblins and Assistant Librarians/Whimperers. Send money with application. Make that Second Life money!

Yeah, and the thermostat control is in MY office. Deal with it.

Sarah Mae said...

So true. I don't even want to be friends with my avatar. All she does is get lost and sit down.

Anonymous said...

Can I get an avatar to work for me in my first life library?

But, seriously, are Second Life librarians doing virtual library stuff in the virtual world, or are they just trying to hang out there and show how cool they are more in order to try and get folks to come visit the bricks-and-mortar libraries? If the former: neat! If the latter: ho-hum.

Bookmonger said...

Libraries are in towns, villages, and major cities throughout the world. Why? Libraries are where people are, where our customer base is located, and where we can be of service to those in need. Librarians and Information Specialists know that we have to think outside the box and in this case outside of our office that is located within four walls of stacks and stacks of books, magazines, media and materials that we use every day.

The library can now be located in the most remote area of the world to the most populated and busy section of town. It's in the brewery, the taxi station, the park, it's wherever there's a client that logs onto a computer and decides they have to find specific information, a book to read, the latest review of technology. Being in Second Life is just one more place we may find library users. Excluding an online resource of such magnitude is against why libraries and librarians are still here doing their jobs.

Second Life isn't just a game, although many say it's just that. It's a program that allows people from around the world to meet, exchange ideas, create and stimulate minds. Sounds like the library that's just down the street from me. Why wouldn't we be there? It could lead all libraries in world to hold events for library users such as story hours, limerick writing contest, even poetry readings. Users of Second Life would be offered events to discuss the current state of affairs in any country, provide lists of what new books are out, reviews of the latest movies, recent developments within our own field of library science. Maybe information sciences is the correct term of this generation.

Librarians and libraries must be where there is a public if for no other reason than to develop "public relations" to the next generation where walls do not exist for them even now. Our users may never set foot in a Carnegie built library that we all grew up in. The library user of today may sit on the comfort of their beach towel on the banks of the Rhine or they may be sitting in their library office in Michigan needing to speak with a librarian in Korea in Second Life for a translation. It's fast, it's convenient, and when it works isn't that the reason for our existence?

Remember back when we first automated our libraries? How many of us kept a paper copy shelf list just in case it failed? How many of you tossed it out years ago and lived with the risk and relied on computer backups? Remember when microfiche replaced all those rolls and rolls of microfilm and now look. We have to turn on a computer, press a few buttons, and have full text at a moment's glance. We have Shakespeare available from a website. There's ebooks, and elibraries, and wikipedias. There's myspace with a library presence. We are where there are people, where there are library users that need us.

The cost of Second Life is free to every user in the world. No one is denied as long as they have a computer capable of running the program. Imagine the heights we can go..the needs we can meet..the libraries from around the world at our fingertips. Of course there's a place for us in Second Life. We have to make our presence known, to create a reason to use the librarians in world, and to provide a customer service that is unrivaled anywhere else. We are the information specialists and we are here! We need to be here!

Anonymous said...

Damn bookmonger, chillax.

Alissa said...

I just went to a seminar that said librarians should be using seceond life for things like librarian meetings, classes, etc. so that we can become familiar with the technology. Of course, this does mean that you will need to interact online with your collegues and patrons as well as in first life-perhaps a very tall order!

Anonymous said...

I think it is strange. Reminds me of Star Trek when everyone would go on the holodeck. I think I am going to make an avatar though. I wonder if you can do other more personal things in second life!

Library Betty said...

One Second Life Librarian I know isn't a librarian in her first life. People aren't always what they appear to be, especially when they are computer generated...

Anonymous said...

I've been experimenting with Second Life -- what a clunky platform! I have a fast computer and DSL connection, but the program constantly freezes and lags. My avatar spends most of the time stuck facing a wall, falling off of paths and struggling to crawl out of bushes. Like the majority of SL "users" (a suspiciously large and likely inflated number), I'm ready to give up in frustration. SL may be a great concept, but it's a crummy platform. And in a year or two it will be gone -- probably destroyed by its own discontented users.

Anonymous said...

The statement that SL is "free" to users is total bunk. SL is only available to users with the luxury of a fast computer, broadband connection, and above all, LOTS OF TIME TO KILL. If you can't afford a fast computer and fast internet connection, SL is closed to you. And if you have a busy "first life" (heaven forbid!), SL is also not convenient. SL users are in many ways a subculture with lots of money and time to spend. Should we spend significant library resources catering to small elites?

Katheryn said...

As a reference librarian, computer literacy instructor, and MMORPG player, I find the idea of performing reference transactions in something like Second Life to be rather attractive.

MichP said...

I'm in a class about SL and other virtual worlds at my Library School.... I agree that the platform sucks, but the potential is definitely there for it to do big things...

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