Libraries on the muve in second life
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Libraries on the MUVE in Second Life. Internet Librarian Preconference Workshop Saturday, October 27, 2007 in Monterey, California Conducted by: Barbara Galick (Puglet Dancer in SL), Bradley University Jill Hurst-Wahl (Jillianna Suisei in SL), Hurst Associates, Ltd.

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Libraries on the MUVE in Second Life

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Libraries on the MUVE in Second Life

Internet Librarian Preconference Workshop Saturday, October 27, 2007 in Monterey, California

Conducted by:

Barbara Galick (Puglet Dancer in SL), Bradley University

Jill Hurst-Wahl (Jillianna Suisei in SL), Hurst Associates, Ltd.

Tom Peters (Maxito Ricardo in SL), TAP Information Services

Kitty Pope (Kitty Phillip in SL), Alliance Library System


  • Barbara Galik

    • Executive Director, Cullom-Davis Library, Bradley University

    • Puglet Dancer in Second Life

  • Jill Hurst-Wahl

    • CEO, Hurst Associates

    • Jillianna Suisei in Second Life

  • Tom Peters

    • CEO, TAP Information Services

    • Maxito Ricardo in Second Life

  • Kitty Pope

    • Executive Director, Alliance Library System

    • Kitty Phillip in Second Life

Map of the Alliance Information Archipelago

What is a MUVE?

  • Multi user virtual environment (MUVE)

  • Virtual world (simulation) with avatars

  • Real  Virtual


  • Text-based  graphical

  • MMORPG – Massive multiplayer online role playing game (e.g., World of Warcraft)

  • 2003 Second Life open to the public

  • Oct. 2007  10+ million registered avatars

    • 30K-40K online at any time

Comparison Charts

  • TechCrunch

    • 18 virtual worlds

      • e.g., Webkinz, Neopets

    • For children to mature adults

  • Virtual Worlds Review (outdated)

    • 28 virtual worlds

      • e.g., The Sims Online, Virtual Magic Kingdom

What are Libraries Doing in MUVEs?

  • Learning about this “new” interface

  • Experimenting / prototyping

  • Supporting other MUVE-related efforts

  • Supporting MUVE communities

  • Providing a “common” space for residents

  • Rethinking space & services

What is the Role of Librarians?

  • Info mediators & guides

  • Teachers of information literacy

  • Trusted advisors

  • Potential partners / collaborators

    • We know how to “build bridges”


  • Perceived as:

    • Investing in a fad

    • Servicing people who are not your users

    • Wasting money & time

    • Just a game

Risks ⇨ Reality

  • Universities & businesses are MUVEing

  • A MUVE as our next Internet browser?

  • Need to build an informed opinion

  • Need to understand what services can be like in a MUVE

  • Need to be ready to serve our users where they want to be served

  • Better to learn now, than play catch-up

Critical Skills & Qualities

  • Basic technology skills for the MUVE

    • Communication, navigation, building, etc.

  • Learn & teach simultaneously

  • Respect, forgiveness, patience

  • Creative thinking

Virtual librarianship in MUVEs requires:

  • Organizational and professional commitment

  • Funding

  • A specific set of skills

History: Phase ISummer 2006

  • Volunteerism booms

  • Librarians from all over the world

  • Most donate their time and participate independently of their institution

History: Phase IIFall 2006

  • Talis donates an island for libraries  Cybrary City

  • Libraries begin to develop their own presences and donate 2 hours per week in return for space

History: Phase IIIWinter 2006

  • Libraries want bigger spaces in Cybrary City and are willing to pay

  • Development of global collaboration at an institutional level

History: Phase IIIWinter 2006

  • InfoIsland archipelago becomes truly international

    • Multi-lingual reference services

    • Interactive programs

History: Phase IIISummer 2007

  • Libraries purchase their own islands

    • Bradley University

    • Cleveland Public Library

    • Stanford University libraries

    • Approximate cost: $2,000 per year

Institutional Commitment

  • Administrative buy-in is #1

    • Be prepared to defend your presence in virtual worlds

  • Build a project team

    • Integrate the team into the whole organization

  • Funds to support a pilot program

Funds needed for…

  • Hardware

    • A high-end computer with advanced graphics, memory, and bandwidth

  • Island purchase and setup

    • Approx. $900 setup and $150/month thereafter

  • Building construction

    • Anywhere from $50-$500

Funds needed for…

  • Staffing

  • Public relations

    • In Second Life and in the real world/”first life”

  • Content development

    • Displays – i.e. WWII posters

    • Exhibits – i.e. Marie Antoinette

    • Events – i.e. author readings and book discussions

Funds needed for…

  • Training

    • Second Life presents a steep learning curve that takes time and patience to conquer


  • Multi-tasker

  • Strategic communicator

  • Comfortable with constant change

  • Inquisitive

  • Excellent teaching skills

Necessary Skills

  • Comfortable working from home and/or in a non-traditional setting within a flexible schedule

  • Ability to work independently and on a team

  • Sense of humor


Organizational and professional commitment


A specific set of skills

People are the content of websites.To survive, libraries must share in this adventure.

Libraries must take an active role in developing the virtual world.

Assessment: Librar-Things in VW’s

  • Librarians (as free-lance and/or pro-bono individual professionals)

  • Libraries

  • Parent organizations of libraries

  • Library Consortia

  • Library-Related Organizations (e.g., associations, regional systems)

  • Library Schools

  • Library Vendors

Assessment: What to Evaluate?

  • A collection of information objects or experiences (e.g., a collection or exhibit)

  • The built environment (terraforming, landscaping, buildings, furniture)

  • Library services (reference, lectures)

  • A particular library service provider

  • A particular library service event

Assessment: What to Study?

  • Usage

  • Usability

  • Usefulness

  • Outputs

  • Outcomes

  • Avatar-patron attitudes

  • Growth and viability

Assessment: Data Sources

  • Session transcripts

  • Surveys and questionnaires

  • Counters on objects and land parcels

  • External surveys, such as a real-world campus survey or Survey Monkey

  • Proximity Sensors and other free/low-cost data collection devices

  • Full-blown in-world third-part assessment services

Assessment: Demographic Info

  • Librarians and non-librarians

  • Age, sex, national origin, ethnicity, educational level, etc.

  • Primary language

  • How long the person has been in SL

  • Other virtual worlds the person frequents

  • Where they usually hang out in VW’s

Assessment: Use of the Virtual Library in Context

  • How did the avatar-patron learn about the library?

  • Where the avatar-patron before s/he came to the library?

  • Where did s/he go after leaving the library?

  • What did they do with the info and info services they used in the library?

  • What sort of take-aways do they want/need?

Opportunities Moving Forward

  • Continued rapid growth & development

  • Relatively easy and inexpensive to develop and test prototype services

  • Diverse international community

  • Trust, Authority, Comradeship, etc.

  • What is the best way to create and organize information experiences in SL?

  • Events and exhibits morph into immersive information seeking/use environments

The Future

  • VW libraries for children: Whyville. Second Life?

  • Keeping a pulse on virtual world development.

    • Is there life after Second Life?

  • Google Earth

  • Integrating web resources into Second Life

  • Moving from world to world interchangeably

  • Moving created objects out of Second Life to web

  • Second Life + Google?

  • “Born virtual” library-related organizations

Future Directions: Holo Emitters

  • The “Museum” Problem: Major investment in exhibits, but exhibit space is limited, with little opportunity to time-shift

  • Create a scene in a virtual world on demand!

  • Exhibits, collections, immersive learning environments, meeting spaces

  • Free, open-source Second Life tool


Potential Long-Term Impact of Second Life and Virtual Worlds in General

  • On Information Literacy and the Use of Libraries

    • Immersive Information/Learning Experiences

  • On Literacy in general

    • Gaming and Literacy

  • On Online Communities

In most online and virtual communities of the future, the residents will add more value to their information system (library) than will the librarians.

A Prediction

A Lemma

  • In online and virtual information environments, the best way a library can serve a community is by helping the community to serve itself.

What Should Libraries Do?

  • Become involved in online and virtual communities now, during the formative stages.

  • Think about, discuss, explore, and test how libraries and librarians can help online and virtual communities to help themselves.

Contact Information

Barbara A. Galik

Executive Director

Cullom-Davis Library

Bradley University

1501 W. Bradley Ave.

Peoria, IL   61625

Phone: 309-677-2850

Fax: 309-677-2558

Email: [email protected]

Contact Information

  • Jill Hurst-WahlHurst Associates, Ltd., [email protected] 101blog: www.Digitization101.comTel: (315) 243-4403AOL IM: jillNYS Skype: jill.hurst.wahl

Contact Information

  • Tom PetersTAP Information Services1000 SW 23rd StreetBlue Springs, MO [email protected]ype: tapeters4466

Kitty PopeExecutive DirectorAlliance Library System(800) 700-4857 [email protected]

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