NLW on ALA Island: “version 2” of Second Life campus launches

Contact: Donavan Vicha

For Immediate Release,
April 15, 2008

NLW on <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />ALA Island: “version 2” of Second Life campus launches

As part of National Library Week (NLW), the American Library Association (ALA) is launching “version 2” of its campus in Second Life. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

At 11 a.m. CST on Tuesday Oberon Octagon, better known as Donavan Vicha held court at Salon Huron to answer questions about ALA Island, its new design, focus and what virtual librarians and virtual members of ALA should know about Second Life. During the hour-long get-together, he presented those who designed and built the island with certificates of appreciation (virtual copies of actual certificates they received in January).

The team was comprised of graduate students from San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science, who were given carte blanche to create an open area where information can be readily obtained and where discussions, programs and events can be hosted in various areas of the campus. SJSU SLIS generously paid these students to do the work, investing in ALA, confident that the association would become a valuable member of the ever-expanding community serving virtual librarians in Second Life.

In his first life, Oberon Octagon is Donavan Vicha, web developer in the ITTS department of ALA and a staff member for the past 18 years.

Other Tuesday events on ALA Island included:

Tai Chi Training. In celebration of National Library Workers Day, Kay Tairov (aka Tina Coleman, ALA Member Specialist) provided participants an opportunity to stretch their avatar and experience the ancient benefits of Tai Chi.

Librarians of Second Life favorite, Hypatia Dejavu, putting on a pyrotechnical display above the ALA Island Lake.

StoryLine America, a production of the Public Programs Office. Participants went to the pond and listened to a broadcast of “Five Thousand Days Like This One: An American Family History,” Jane Brox’s classic of New England literature--a beautifully written book that tells an ages-old American immigrant story. After her father's death, Brox becomes caretaker of the family apple farm near the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border--on land once walked by Henry David Thoreau. She lyrically recounts a struggle that echoes across rural America--to keep the land alive and to honor her Lebanese/Italian ancestors' traditions and memory. Listeners recalled how their own family traditions have fared in a world that seems to spurn the past.