A Discussion of Libraries, Second Life and Education with Joe Sanchez

Contact: Daniel Freeman

Editor, Online Resources




For Immediate Release

April 14, 2009

CHICAGO - ALA TechSource is presenting its first virtual world event—a discussion of virtual worlds, libraries and education with Second Life expert Joe Sanchez. Sanchez, a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas, is the author of February’s issue of
Library Technology Reports, “Implementing Second Life: Ideas, Challenges and Innovations” (

An exclusive interactive discussion and presentation of his work will be held on the ALA Island at 9 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 15. The discussion will focus on virtual worlds and their potential to impact library service and freedom of information, as well as Sanchez’s work with LIS students using Second Life. One of the topics discussed will be role-playing in virtual worlds, so participants have been asked to come dressed as their favorite historical figure.

About Joe Sanchez

Joe Sanchez is a doctoral candidate in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on collaboration in virtual worlds and the convergence of digital media, play, and learning. He has designed and taught two information studies courses, both of which have been covered in national media outlets such as the Chronicle of Higher Education, USA Today, and ABC News. He has been teaching in Second Life since the fall of 2006 and was recently awarded the first Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur grant for service learning in a virtual world. His homepage is at

Second Life is a virtual world owned by Linden Lab with more than 15 million users. It is currently one of the most popular 3-D social virtual worlds. The use of Second Life by libraries and universities has become a hotly debated topic in Library and Information Science circles. Early adopters of Second Life have been called evangelists, while nonusers of Second Life have been called Luddites who “don’t get it.” The goal of this report isn’t to feed the fire on either side of the debate, but rather to inform readers about the historical foundations of virtual worlds and to provide concrete examples of how virtual worlds have been used in the teaching and learning process from K–12 through higher education. This report examines the origins and evolution of virtual spaces, and explores several different instances of their practical application in an educational setting.