CSU Second life training session
I was recently able to take part in a Second Life (SL) training session facilitated by CSU, this method of instruction through immersion in the platform proved to be most helpful and an effective way to learn through the action of participation. Prior to the training session I had experienced a little difficulty with the movement function of my avatar and found myself underwater or stuck on a wall a number of times. However, after instruction and some practice I become increasingly comfortable with flying, teleporting, gesturing and chatting with people nearby.
There were some initial frustrations due to the operating system capabilities of my computer which resulted in freezes and crashes. However these were overcome once I moved to a more powerful computer. It would appear that successful engagement with second life requires a high bandwidth; this could prove to be a limitation as access to more powerful computer equipment may not be an option for everyone.
The idea of utilising SL to build a real- time online community with direct interaction with others is intriguing and one can imagine the potential for information organisations to engage with their users. Swanson (2008, p.29) describes librarian’s work in SL as an enhancement of their physical world professional work, something that transcends borders, time zones and allows for participation in the greater whole.
In the video below, Swanson takes a tour of virtual information agencies in SL, meeting with virtual librarians who explain that SL gives them a chance to network and communicate with an international community of librarians, something that might be impossible in the ‘real world.’
Swanson, B.D. (2008, October 19). I am library: Ode to self-discovery & collective creativity in Second Life. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM5ze9M3AJ4
Greenhill (2008, p.14), explains that the capabilities of the SL interface has offered the potential for libraries to create engaging immersive environments for the display of information. Further benefits for libraries may emerge through the connection of existing social networking services, where SL could possibly expedite the reference interview. Tang (2010, p.523) explains that a patrons’ profile on social networking technology such as Linkedin could be accessed during a virtual reference question in SL, allowing for additional background information about the individual’s research needs without them having to explain.
Tang, F. (2010). Reference tools in Second Life®: implications for real life libraries. New Library World, 111(11/12), 513-525. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03074801011094886
Greenhill, K. (2008) Do we remove all the walls? Second Life Librarianship. Australian Library Journal ,57(4), pp. 1-16
Swanson, B.D. (2008, June 17). I am Librarian. I am Avatar: Second Life and Libraries. [Slideshare]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/hvxsilverstar/i-am-librarian-i-am-avatar