Alliance Second Life Library Program receives 2007 Library of the Future Award

Contact: Cheryl Malden
Program Officer, Governance
For Immediate Release
April 17, 2007

Alliance Second Life Library Program receives 2007 Library of the Future Award

CHICAGO—The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce that Kitty Pope, executive director of the Alliance Library System, and the international collaborative group of librarians working on Alliance Second Life Library, are the 2007 recipients of the ALA/Information Today Library of the Future Award.

This annual award consists of $1,500 and a 24k gold-framed citation of achievement to honor an individual library, library consortium, group of librarians, or support organization for innovative planning for, application of, or development of patron training programs about information technology in a library setting.

Pope and the Alliance Second Life Library librarians are recognized for their ground breaking work in the development of a 3D virtual world library, for forging new partnerships within the virtual world, and for providing programs, services, and materials to the more than 1.3 million residents who inhabit Second Life.

Lori Bell, director of Innovation at Alliance, shared background on this virtual reality that consists of a vast digital continent and hundreds of islands and archipelagos, teeming with people, entertainment, and opportunities. Bell noted that Second Life is built, owned, and managed by its virtual residents, who have their own currency, can buy and develop property, start businesses, and immerse themselves in educational and thought provoking environments such as museums, an Egyptian tomb, and Star Trek futuristic realms, among many others.

Since opening its virtual doors in April 2006, the Alliance Second Life Library has expanded its presence to include locations on Info Islands I&II, HealthInfo Island, The Caledon (19th century) Branch Library, Cybrary City Islands, and the Teen Second Life “Eye4YouAlliance,” where engaging activities and interactions occur in a collaborative, social/learning space.

“The librarians, volunteers, and partners of Alliance Second Life Library understand the importance of being ‘there’ and providing library services in a virtual world. Similarly, they "remain dedicated to promoting the value and use of real world libraries for real people. Through their innovative efforts, Kitty Pope and the Alliance Second Life Library project have created a phenomenal Library of the Future for which they are more than deserving of the award that bears the same name,” said jury chair Norice Lee.

The deadline for submissions of applications for the 2008 ALA/Information Today Library of the Future Award is December 1, 2007. Guidelines and application forms are available on the ALA Web site:

Members of the 2007 ALA/Information Today Library of the Future Award Jury are: Norice Lee (chair), El Paso Public Library; Steven M. Adams, Princeton University; Barbara J. Bailey, Welles–Turner Library; Jane E. Conway, Highland Park Public Library; Mitch M. Stepanovich, University of Texas-Arlington.

The ALA/Information Today Library of the Future Award will be presented on Tuesday, June 26, 2007, during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.