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Monday, October 25, 2010

SL ARTS AND LITERATURE: Libraries Can be a Scream!

Who says Librarians are boring? Even virtual Librarians hold the stigma of the little ladies, their hair worn unfashionably tight, with the remarkable ability to humble a grown person with an icy glare over the top of their glasses and a pointed “Shhhh!” No such thing! The Librarians on Info Island have created hauntingly fun “Halloween Scream” on Info Island and will be celebrating this most “spookable” time of year on Friday, October 29th at 6pm SLT with the TX950 - Halloween Scream Costume Party.

The library sciences community in Second Life has embraced the virtual world as a tool to expand resources, and invigorate the library experience. Yes, you can find virtual card catalogues, which are about as imposing at the real kind. You can also find creative environments that enliven a particular subject matter or idea by making in immersive and interactive – encouraging you to explore.




Imagine visiting a virtual recreation of Sherlock Holmes’ Baker Street digs, and be able to click on objects that provide links or information to aspects of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary detective canon. Imagine sounds, music, voices, all augmenting the experience. I don’t actually think such a thing exists at the moment on the grid, but it could! If you can imagine that, you can see the potential that librarians see in the virtual world as a resource and learning tool.

The grid is dotted with libraries created for various reasons, but one of the most successful conglomerations of library resources can be found in the Info Island archipelago, owned by the Community Virtual Library (CVL). The Community Virtual Library is made up of Info Island, Info Island International, Imagination Island and Cybrary City II and provides free library resources and services to the residents of Second Life. The Community Virtual Library Foundation, is a registered non-profit.

These islands in the archipelago contain a vast quantity of visual resources to link, inform, and inspire information seekers. Dynamic exhibits, interactive resources, conferences and events are among the ways that the CVL engages its guests. The CVL features everything from a resource and information desk, book discussions, The Henry James House, the Japanese Language House, Mystery Manor, and Sci-Fi Science Center to name a few. It is an adventure of discovery and clicking for the inquisitive. I myself was entranced by a visit to Rachelville on Imagination Island.

Tucked into the hills and valleys of Imagination Island, Rachelville is a setting developed by librarians and library friends to promote and provide information on children's literature for adults (i.e. librarians, educators, parents, care-givers or just the child in each of us). Enter the Castle and click on one of the hundreds of virtual books that are visual reminders of the amazing breadth and scope of children’s literature that is available. Could I have found this online at a website? Most likely. But by wandering amongst the engaging images, the Castle, the Secret Garden, the Listening Center, and the undersea Ocean’s Roar, I was immersed and enchanted by a realm of possibilities. As someone who presents children’s and young reader’s literature, I found it the perfect place to gain inspiration.

Like all other non-profits in Second Life, the CVL is evaluating the impact of the Linden Labs most recent announcement of changes to tier rates for education and non-profit institutions, set to take affect January 1, 2011. No doubt adjustments are being considered to keep the CVL’s presence in Second Life vibrant and dynamic. Take a moment to learn more about the Community Virtual Library at http://infoisland.org/about/, or go visit (slurls available on the website).

Better yet, join the TX950 - Halloween Scream! Costume Party on Info Island October 29th at 6 PM SLT. Come early and have a look around. Wear a costume! There will be a contest for best male and best female. Take a moment to drop a little “Linden Love” into one of the red donation boxes through out the CVL and support this amazing use of the virtual resource.

Halloween Scream! http://slurl.com/secondlife/Info%20Island/43/177/33

To get involved with the Community Virtual Library, contact CVL Foundation Officers Hypatia Dejavu, President; Abbey Zenith, Vice President; Rocky Vallejo, Secretary.


~ Caledonia Skytower, Reporting
"Any ink is good ink, even if it is virtual."

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