Anyway, the first floor was awesome -- newspapers and several reference books were out for easy access so it was easy to grab the latest copy of the Metaverse Messanger and find out what's going on. On the 2nd floor, we checked out the Internet terminals (just touch the screen with your mouse and you're able to access the site) and then chatted awhile with Rain and the crew we found working here. I wish I grabbed my camera (aka hit the print screen button) and snapped a few pictures to show off the place. But I decided to do something better -- teleport back to SL and shoot a little
As you can see the screencast is choppy (that's the software effects, not how SL is in real life) and I haven't figured out how to walk a straight line yet or open a door with ease - but for those of you who haven't experienced it yourself, you at least get an idea of what's it like. :)
On a another note, here was my hubby's first comment about 2nd Life and the Library -- "Good move for the Library! Cause THIS (2nd Life) isn't going away, It's only gonna get BIGGER!" And I have a sneaking suspicion he's right. After all, I just read that Amazon is exploring building APIs for SL to sell real goods in this virtual space. And if Amazon's exploring SL an option, you know ...
PS: Video captured with CamStudio freeware.
What is fascinating about the whole Second Life project to me is actually how it is being put together administratively. It is no easy task to assemble volunteers in this manner to offer a service that is unlike a typical library structure. Most of our institutions are ultimately funded and coordinated in a localized manner with various forms of accountability to be maintained. The whole Second Life Library initiative is assembled in a way that won't necessarily work at least ultimately for a localized audience with its various accountabilities, etc. Why should one library, library system or state library fund a service, collection and/or the labor to serve people outside of the municipality, region, state or university? Yet, why would one want to build a service, collection, etc. that could be used by the world, but only limit it to a city, region or state within SL? Unlike, Amazon, Microsoft, Harvard or other corporate and/or institutional perspectives it presents an interesting dilemma that I sense is a bit of foretelling about convergence for libraries, library services and missions. Second Life is such a provocative place and idea with many applications to RL, but wrestling with the thought that guides it underneath is also an exciting trip.
I still can't get over how much Second Life reminds me of The Street in Neal Stevenson's syberpunk novel Snow Crash. They have the same concept of IP real estate, the same identification between avatar and user, and a lot of the same features and functions.
Of course, The Street was based in part on the old Comodore 64 "Habitat" environment, a fascinating community in its own right.
There's more on Habitat (in fact, an essay on cyberspace from 1990 - practically prehistory in terms of the Internet) here:
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