WASHINGTON - The American Library Association (ALA) is proud to announce that it now has a space in Second Life, the online community of more than one million users and home to a growing number of library organizations.
According to Jenny Levine, ALA Internet Development Specialist and Strategy Guide, ALA will have one half of ALA/Arts Island, which will be utilized as a new method for disseminating ALA news and information. It will also be used for reaching out to new audiences, holding events, interacting with members and the public, and exploring the future of library services. The half-island was given to ALA by an anonymous donor.
"Virtually anything is possible in this online world, so we look forward to investigating how we can support our members and our profession as a whole in this unique online setting," Levine said. "We are seeking input from ALA members on how they would like to interact with us in Second Life."
"Needless to say, we are very excited to join the library community on Second Life, and we hope we as an association can utilize this technology to work with other library and education professionals who are pioneering efforts in immersive environments such as this one. We also hope to use these opportunities to further advance solutions to the digital divide and participation gap issues that surround Second Life and other virtual worlds."
Currently, Second Life is home to many online library operations, including those on Info Island and Cybrary City, just two of the islands in Alliance Library System's "Info Archipelago." Lori Bell, Director of Innovation for Alliance Library System, says these islands are places where many different types of libraries both assist with collaboration and have a local library for their own community.
"There are more than 400 librarians in Second Life," Bell said. "There are monthly book discussions, numerous tours, and many exhibits to visit that go beyond the traditional library exhibit…Come and visit!"
For those familiar with the terrain, ALA/Arts Island will be located directly next to Cybrary City I. If you have ideas on what you'd like to see there, please send them to Jenny Levine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Second Life, please visit www.secondlife.com.