Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Second Life - and professional opportunities

My, Second Life certainly is in the spotlight! Drew and I have been invited to give a presentation at the Florida Library Association meeting in April - and maybe Joe can come along too... - and I'm going to "show up" for a few minutes at a workshop that two of our faculty are doing at the Sarasota campus - and there's the four of us along with a few other librarians are going to do a presentation at our technology symposium at the end of February - And some of us are trying to organize a pre-conference event for the TCC Online Conference which will be at the beginning of April.. I'm concerned about having some canned presentation material just in case SL is down during any of these presentations. Should we have some backup PowerPoints? Some backup .mov files? I wish the librarians had a commercial for their Second Life activities that was as snazzy as the commericials posted on the SL website. (When I get stressed out, am I stressed on in Second Life as well as Real Life?) Well, I'm going to go take some more snapshots of libraries and put them on my Flickr site.

On a related note: Drew rearranged some furniture in the USF Building and we bought a "circle up table and chairs" that starts out with one chair and as avatars sit down, another chair launches itself - to seat up to 20 avatars. It's magic! (The State Library of Kansas people recommended this set up along with a "magic table" that they have in their State Library building.) We've put that table and chairs on the first floor of the USF Building. We were able to drag that out of my inventory - no problem! I always bought a set "in a box" - and I still haven't figured out how to open it! When I click "open", all I get is a notecard. So far Drew and I took turns sitting on the box. I'll have to contact the creator and ask what I'm doing wrong.

Another idea: One of our library science faculty is into the blues. We'd like to invite him to do a performance in Second Life. That'll take us rustling up some help with audio and getting Scott a guitar. I hope he'll say yes and we can get this together.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I'm posting snapshots from Second Life at
We took these so the editor of "Florida Libraries" could select an image or two to use with the article about Second Life that four of us submitted for possible publication.

Getting your avatar together

Some of the Second Life librarians have been discussing getting their avatar together. They have been touring places together to get free clothing, etc. including Free Dove, NCI, Yadni's Junkyard, Stillman, Dumpster, etc. I have to say that when I first logged on to Second Life in last June, I was put off by the need to decide how my avatar should look and dress. I don't fuss with myself in Real Life. Why would I fuss with myself in Second Life?? I didn't have anyone in particular to talk to and wandering around looking at things just wasn't very interesting. It was only after reading Lori's posts about library-related activities that I decided to get back on. There were other librarians and educators to talk to -and events to attend - and... errrrr...a desire to have something other to wear in Second Life than that first pair of jeans and the t-shirt from Bradley University that I got from a robot in the Second Life Library. So... I've been shopping some... and fussing with my avatar some though she's still not the way I'd like. Maybe it's some latent "playing with dolls" thing that I never finished with as a kid! I've played with my office a bit too - and that feels like a "playing with doll houses" thing that I never finished with either! Well, there's free stuff to play with. I do have some Linden dollars and did invest in a "conservative outfit" since many of the free clothing items tend toward to be either sluty or fantastical - and I'm not ready for either. Dewey took me out shopping and got me to get a dress. I don't own any dresses or skirts in Real Life. When I went to the piano concert the other evening, I was glad that I had a dress to wear since most of the others had on ball gowns. (I don't own a ball gown yet!) I'm worrying more about "presentation of self in Second Life" than "presentation of self in every day life"!

Fleet's transcript

Help for newbies! This is a presentation that Fleet Goldenburg posted on the Second Life Library Google Groups list: It's part of "Establishing an Educational Presence in Second Life and Teen Second Life" that Fleet's doing.

Voice in Second Life

Alan Levine posted something about voice in Second Life:
It uses Skype... and I'm intrigued! Yes, you wear a headset in Real Life as well as in Second Life - and the program finds other Second Talk users in your vicinity. (Someone else pointed out that Skype will only handle 5 users at a time on a conference call - no... someone else says Skype3 will handle 10 users.)

Monday, January 8, 2007

Alliance Libraries PowerPoint on Second Life

Lori Bell, Michael Sauers, and Tom Peters' PowerPoint presentation on Second Life and librarians from October 2006 "Going where the users are"

Second Life is going open source!

Second Life is going open source. Since some of the educators on SL have been crying out for this, I expect there will be some excited talk about this on the SLED (Second Life Educators discussion list)

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Second Life in the NY Times

"The Ultimate Distance Learning." The New York Times for January 07, 2007's Education section has an article on Second Life. The reporter mentions that the Second Life experience helps classes bond - and that it is not conducive to a straight lecture presentation - and that the platform encourages class discussion.
That discussion about what can best be accomplished on Second Life keeps coming up on the SLED discussion list. Is SL a place to gather an audience and lecture? Or is that sort of content better delivered beforehand through readings, podcasts, etc. with other kinds of activities taking place in Second Life? It's the same question I have about real life face-to-face classes. What's the best way to use that synchronous time? I want to keep thinking about that.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Second Life news

New items about Second Life:

Kelly Czarnecki and Matt Gullett called
"Meet the New You." published in
School Library Journal (January 2007). See
One more recent story that might give an idea of the current popularity of Second Life... see this Second Life Reuters news story noting that Reuters has a reporter who's beat is Second Life:

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Starting a new fresh blog

It's 2007 and time to start a new blog. There's new incentive to find a place to stash things of interest, etc. There's some confusion at our library about how difficult or easy for library faculty to use web space at will. Might as well try out some environments outside of the university and see how it goes. The first thing to save is Pamela Slim's 12 ways to feel free more free in 2007blog entry pointed out by Stephen Downes. Perfect ideas to help start out a new year!

Along with this new blog, I set up a Flickr account to post some snapshots of some of us USF librarians and library science faculty on Second Life. See
ilenefrnk's photos. (That's already too many variations on my name for me to remember. I hope I don't lose this piece of paper where I wrote down the latest accounts.)

Second Life... A couple of us at USF are engaged in exploring Second Life and participating in the librarian activities there. Though I originally logged on in June, I was not initially captivated. I didn't have anyone to talk to and felt that I was just wandering around and expected to fuss more over my appearance than I ever have in Real Life. However, after reading postings by Lori Bell about the work being done by the Alliance County Libraries on Second Life, I had to go give it another try - and this time I'm having fun. Even though I'm still stumbling around and flying into trees and wearing the wrong clothes - or sometimes no clothes (!), I'm exicted about the creative, pioneering spirit of librarians who are setting up library spaces, figuring out how to give reference service to avatars, developing continuing education for librarians, organizing book talks, musical performances, and art openings. I have been attending staff meetings and going to events - and hope to find a way to make some contributions in that environment.