Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Conclusion

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Conclusion

Article excerpt

The goal of this report was to show that social virtual worlds like Second Life are not a fad. They have a long history of use and are supported by a rich field of research that has been conducted in several disciplines. There are many social as well as technical challenges that must be overcome in order to successfully adopt a virtual world into a library. The technical challenges include high-speed Internet connections, high-end graphics cards, and learning how to use a poorly designed interface. The social challenges include managing communities, plugging into social networks, and becoming accustomed to the cultures within a virtual world.

If I were in a position to decide whether or not a library should create a presence in Second Life at this point I would be cautious. Based on my years of teaching with Second Life and as a user, it seems like many libraries have struggled to engage patrons with a Second Life presence. I would, however, encourage the use of Second Life amongst library staff as an avenue for professional development and networking. Both ALA and the Alliance Library System have offered free seminars, discussions groups, and other professional development services via Second Life. I have also found Second Life to be a great place for professional networking and collaboration. …

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