|Seanchai Library in Second Life at the Community Virtual Library - Imagination Island|
Island – Seven years ago this
month, on the former West of Ireland
Charity Estate in Second Life, a story was presented by Shandon Loring, and the Seanchai Library was born. Sunday, March 22nd at Noon SLT, staff and guests will celebrate with 90 minutes of
stories, live in voice, followed by dancing to Celtic music with DJ Aoife
Lorefield. The event is free to all SL
In 2008 no one imagined that something more enduring was being created than simply another interesting feature to a popular estate. “I am thrilled that Seanchai Library has been in continuous operation for seven years. Together we have proven that educational, entertaining, enlightening, social, friendly and fun stories bring people from all over the world together,” Founder and Librarian Emeritus Derry McMahon shared.
|The Popular "Tea Time at Baker Street" in the Seanchai Fireside Room|
Seanchai Library brings stories to life through live voice presentations of literature, traditionally told stories, original works, and poetry. Authors and genres are only limited by region rating restrictions. Every effort is made to connect guests to the author and titles the read. Seanchai presents everything from Science Fiction, to Young Adult Fiction; Essays and Non-Fiction Commentaries, to culturally reflective works of fiction, and non-fiction myths and legends from a wide variety of traditions. The Library’s staff is completely volunteer.
“We are all committed to the power of stories presented compellingly in live voice – the intimacy of a story that is shared communally at the same time. It is a tradition going back to ancient times and gatherings around a fire,” said Caledonia Skytower, long-time Seanchai staffer. Fellow storyteller Aoife Lorefield has been involved frequently since the very beginning, and when asked what seven years of Seanchai Library brought to her mind she said without hesitation,” Seven years of friendship, joy and creativity!"
|Seanchai ibrary Estate on Kitely|
Seanchai Library has been invited in the last year to the OpenSim Community Conference last fall, this week’s VWBPE Conference 2015 to share what is incredible in virtual worlds – seven years of success in language arts programming. In April, Library Lead Caledonia Skytower will be one of the keynote speakers at the SJSU VCARA Conference in SL. She will be speaking on her experiences with Seanchai Libraries: “If You Build It . . . It is Still Just Stuff: How active engagement is key to building dynamic programming”
This winter Seanchai piloted a full immersive project with a real world partner as a model for future such partnerships EXPLORE: The Great Gatsby. The pilot was successful, reaching to over 1500 patrons and guests through those attending the partner’s real world performances of Simon Levy’s stage adaptation of “The Great Gatsby”; and over 100 Hypergrid visitors nationally and internationally, including visitors from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Seanchai is working to develop several new projects with other potential partners.
|Story Setting can become quite elaborate - "Shark Tales" July 2014|
Seanchai Library has presented over 2000 individual story sessions in Second Life alone, and donated thousands of dollars to a several dozen charities doing good works in the world: Heifer International, Reading is Fundamental, Water for People, Habitat for Humanity among others. “We aren’t a big splash, philanthropically, but we get great satisfaction by helping here and there with small contributions to a variety of charities. We tell stories and buy a flock of geese for someone in rural Latin America here, promote tolerance and peace in
Northern Ireland there, and buy a
toilet or a kitchen sink for Habitat somewhere else,” Skytower said. “We do
this, by sharing great literature and stories, with people freely contributing
4 cents at a time. There is never any obligation to tip. Every time I stop to
think about it, it seems overwhelming and simple, like the coming of spring.” Information on these accomplishments is
available at the Seanchai’s website: bit.ly/seanchai
The current roster of library staff and guest presenters supports six to eight hours of live programming weekly in Second Life and maintains a six year old outreach partnership with
Park, a Disneyland
tribute park in Second Life. In May of
2014, Seanchai expanded operations to Open Sim on the hypergrid with a large
estate on the Kitely Grid. On the 28th
of this month, a branch of Seanchai will open as guests of the Community
Library on Sendalonde in InWorldz. Seanchai
is administrated by a core staff:
Caledonia Skytower, Library Lead; and Shandon Loring, Chief Storyteller.
Sunday’s celebration will feature Skytower and Loring, as well as other staff and friends of the Library Corwyn Allen, Aoife Lorefield, Derry MacMahon, Crap Mariner, Kayden Oconnell, Dubhna Rhiadra, and Bear Silvershade. All stories at Seanchai Libraries are presented live in voice. All time are Pacific.
Seanchai Libraries Main Site – http://bi.ly/seanchai
EXPLORE the Stories Behind the Art - http://exploreseanchai.blogspot.com