Friday, May 1, 2009

SPL in Second Life

As if having only one life to live isn't enough, I've been playing around in Second Life recently. I answered a request from a UCLA faculty member seeking someone from a public library to complete a panel addressing her library school class. The topic: information literacy instruction.

Information literacy instruction, or ILI, is a fancy way of saying "teaching people to find information and know whether it is appropriate or correct for their purposes." The instructor wanted a variety of viewpoints, so there were representatives from college and community college libraries, private and public schools, an art institute and a hospital library. And a public library - Sacramento Public Library! That's me in the picture, in my Second Life persona, Annot8 Greatrex. (Los Angeles Public Library was represented by a poster in the display area.)

I talked to the 21 students about our diverse users (compared to the relatively homogeneous users at schools and colleges), our web site, research guides, computer classes and other programs, and one-on-one instruction. I also mentioned that we host class visits and talk to community groups, and that the Wonder Wagon bookmobile visits community events like the recent Pacific Rim Festival. Afterwards, we gathered on the lawn next to the "open air auditorium" for the poster session.

The other seven presenters were from Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, Alaska, Minnesota, and California. There was a poster from a library in Chile. We all were able to talk to each other in real time in Second Life. Hmmm ... think of the possibilities ...

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