REAL PUBLIC LIBRARIAN

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bizarre beginning in Second Life

After reading the post in LINT about the Australian Library building in Second Life (for the uninitiated you might like to read wikipedia article about SL here), thought I'd better give it a go. Signed up (SL name "Joy Raymaker") and off I teleported to Cyrbrary Island without the benefit (?) of doing the orientation - no worries, my 10 year old knew what to do! Had me flying in no time! Trouble was, Cybrary Island was deserted at the time I was there. And getting around was a bit haphazard, with the jerky lag on my laptop not very conducive to smooth locomotion! Not to worry, I did a bit of dancing at the party spot on my own. Very groovy (not to mention incredibly athletic) moves. If I could reproduce those in real life I'd be pretty happy.

Then trouble. My 10 year old takes forcable control of the keyboard and takes off all my clothes! Appears it's such a commonly required feature in SL that it has its own drop down button! Thank God the place is deserted! What if my library colleagues were to see me dancing naked? Trouble is, there's no "undo" or even "put my clothes back on!" button; so I hurriedly logged off (before 10 year old demon could do any more harm), hoping that next time I logged back on my clothes would magically reappear.

No such luck. Still starkers. Laborious reading of the on -line help, while, thank God, I still haven't met anyone. Finally, after lots of experimentation and not really knowing what the hell I'm doing, I end up with some suitably modest attire, and have a look around the rest of the Island, including the Australian Libraries Building. Finally, I see a figure approaching in the distance, at first I think it's a woman in an elegant flowing dress, but as the figure approaches I see that it is in fact a rather hefty man with a beard - in an elegant flowing dress! And a most peculiar feeling of acute embarrassment comes over me - what should I do? I end up rudely following this dude around while I try to figure out what buttons to push etc, but he/she finally saves me by typing "Hello" - I type "hi" - and it seems this is the end of our exchange, as "Spenser" (I forget his surname) rapidly moves away from me. Oh well.

I will read VLINT (the Second Life offshoot of LINT) to try and glean some clues as to how to make SL a worthwhile professional development experience - must work out how to turn up to events (without 10 year old).

In the meantime, I'm thinking about whether/how I might introduce SL to my customers here in real public library land. It would be kinda fun to introduce the older generation to it - I've gobsmacked some of them with the world of blogs and podcasts during previous presentations and training - even if they never become "residents", it's nice for older folk to know what the hell people are talking about! But oh dear, nude dancing! (and worse) - and then there's the other end of the scale, what real applications might it have for our youth library verbYL?

The mind is boggling...

4 Comments:

  • Mind boggled is good, very good.

    Try keeping your clothes on and coming to one of the Friday night librarians' dance parties, a good way to meet library avs. (Details on VLINT).

    Glad you are exploriing. May I add your name to the VLINT list of library folk avatars - and join you to our Australian Librarians group within Second Life?

    Watch my blog (Librarians Matter)on Thursday for a link to slides from my talk about Second Life at the National Library on Wednesday. The last part is a list of quotes about professional advantages from other Second Life Librarians.

    Have fun, keep flying. Feel free to contact me if you'd like help.

    By Anonymous Kathryn Greenhill, at 8:03 AM  

  • Thanks Kathryn - I would reallylike to be part of the group, but I will be like that really embarrassing friend who acts really strange and steps on people's toes...

    By Blogger Deb, at 5:40 PM  

  • Oh yeah, Debbie. I've used the "My 10-year old child/ cousin/ friend made me nude" excuse before. LOL. Just kidding. There certainly are a few real possibilities for SL applications for youth libraries (e.g. 3D-chats; Homework help in 3D environments). But I think there are more obstacles that discourage SL exploration right now. Like the need for computers with higher technical specs, bandwidth, as well as learning how to properly manipulate SL (objects, movements, camera angles) to make the best use of the 3D environment. That being said, it's good for librarians to keep an eye on SL developments.

    By Blogger Ivan Chew, at 12:14 PM  

  • BTW, Debbie, I forgot to mention that my SL name is "IvanChew Link". I'll see you in SL sometime. Cheers.

    By Blogger Ivan Chew, at 12:55 AM  

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