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SGS Feature: 'Developing Library Services in Second Life'

Today's main feature written for Gamasutra sister site Serious Games Source, which deals with games created for training, hea...
Today's main feature written for Gamasutra sister site Serious Games Source, which deals with games created for training, health, government, military, educational and other uses, takes a look at efforts of individuals from the Alliance Library System to create a virtual library community within the online world of Second Life. In this excerpt, Alliance Library System Director of Innovation Lori Bell, along with Kitty Pope, Executive Director of the Alliance Library System, and Tom Peters, Founder and CEO, TAP Information Services discuss how the creation of a virtual library is a task with little precedent, and as such has resulted in more questions than answers: ”We entered the Second Life environment with more questions than answers, and three months later we have even more questions. We have found that Second Life residents are interested in libraries – materials, services, and community. Through this year-long project we are building library services and finding out what virtual world residents want in a twenty-first century library. Since we put out a call for participation, over 150 librarians from all over the world have joined our Google group, which is used for project communication and discussion. Approximately three dozen volunteers are actively involved in developing library services and programs. Our need for virtual space has blossomed. We have gone from a rental space to a small plot of land to an island from an anonymous donor. A builder is working on our main library building, which should be ready in July. Second Life Library is now part of Info Island, which includes partners such as TechSoup.org, World Bridges, and the ICT (Information Communications and Technology) Library, which provides information on education tools in Second Life for educators.” You can now read the full Serious Games Source feature on the subject, including more insight into the continuing work that is going into this virtual library (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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