Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Second Life

I've decided to participate in editing a library for Cybrary City. I'm waiting to see if I get the go ahead to include the Stanford name on the project. If not, I'll probably create an Engineering Library Consoritum or perhaps we should create a digital scrapple library.... :)

Anyway, here is my avatar looking at a poster from an education poster session. Some other groupst that have buildings: OCLC, UNC Chapel Hill, Michigan Libraries Consoritum, IBM. Many more to come. It will be interesting to see what applications are developed.

Last night, I visited OCLC's interactive search engine. You talk to it on a special channel and you can pull up search results in another Internet window. There is also a central reference desk and various exhibits being developed by librarians. I looked at one about cats in mysteries. There is also a big medical library where you can search PubMed and do a lot of other things. I didn't stay there too long since I was a little overwhelmed by it.

One idea I had was to have virtual office hours in SL. It's almost impossible to get offices in departments. You can also include links on web pages to teleport users to your location. The hurdle would be assuming that a user had a computer adequate enough to run Second Life. I had to upgrade my home computer clunker to be able to run it...although I was able to get a really good deal on an HP 1610, which is very quick and can run SL.

Anybody want to meet me there sometime? Let me know. My building currently only has a glass table and perhaps a renegade planet. I managed to recapture most of a solar system script I ran, but couldn't catch Mercury (to darn quick).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Educators look at Second Life

For those of you following the development of 'Second Life' (an online community where people are represented with cartoon-like avatars) there is an interesting article in the Technology section of CNN. Some educators are starting to use it help create a sense of community for distance learners.

From a Stanford colleague who attended Internet Librarian:

According to those who attended Internet Librarian one of the vendors that sells services to libraries has paid for an "island" for such purposes for a year. There is a reference desk and others are building "libraries" there. From the snapshots I've seen they're pretty specialized (like speculative fiction). OCLC has also given some limited access of some kind as well...

...there's also a blog about this at http://infoisland.org... from The San Jose State Spartan Daily, Nov 6, 2006, article by Ryan Berg: “Ken Haycock, director of the San Jose State University school of library and information sciences, said the school has just recently purchased its own island on Second Life, which the school will use to build learning resources that people can access in the virtual world.”