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Teen Second Life and Eye4You Alliance

You might have already listened to the SirsiDynix Institute presentation last month regarding: Teen Second Life: Library Services in a 3D World. If not, presentation slides and podcast are archived here for your convenience.
Kelly Czarnecki (BlueWings Hayek) from Eye4You Alliance sent me this note asking for more volunteers and libraries to participate with them.
“If you are a librarian or educator of teens, consider a space on Eye4You Alliance, the name of the Island in Teen Second Life working to connect with teens with library services. What are some of the things you might want to do in this space and why? Think of some of the activities you already do in your ‘real life’ library. Author visits, book discussions, game play, summer reading, writing groups, and more. By having a presence in Teen Second Life, not only can teens across the globe know about your library, but they might even start to think of library services in a different way. Invite an author to work with teens to create scenes from their book, roleplay scenes, explore identity formation through avatars, create games (actual game boards or DDR renditions) digitally. There is no charge to use the space on Eye4You or to set up an account. These are the minimum system requirements recommended by Linden Lab: http://secondlife.com/corporate/sysreqs.php
A lot of questions came up from listeners and the moderator divided these into two basic sets:
1) How do we know that teens are really teens and not adults, and
2) How do you feel you’re directing them back to the real space.
Virtual environments are all about forming communities. Liaisons from Linden Lab are available 24/7 for teens to access them if they need to. Meaning, if teens have a concern about an avatar, a question or a problem trying to figure out how to do something, Linden Lab is always there to help and ban someone from the world if need be. If adults do try to sign up on Teen Second Life and falsify their date of birth information, Linden Lab has a statement on their sign up page that their personal information might be provided to any law enforcement organization. The teen community will be able to identify an adult through how they interact with other teens, what they talk about and report them to Linden Lab to be investigated. Since virtual world communities aren’t going away anytime soon and will probably be more and more how business is conducted in the future, it’s another great opportunity to educate teens what to look out for and how to stay safe online.
A large part of library services is reaching our users virtually; whether it’s through IM services that extend beyond the users that might walk through the physical doors, podcasting on our web site so people can listen to a recording at their convenience, or streaming a video of a teen interviewing someone through YouTube and linking it to our library site. Maybe this will inspire the listener to go online to find out more about the topic on the video or maybe a successful IM reference session will inspire the user to point out the service to their friend. Perhaps listening to the podcast will encourage a teen to give a presentation in school about various places podcasts can be listened to and then demonstrate one they found on the library site. These are examples of what I would consider bringing an awareness about the ‘real space’ that libraries offer and what we’re doing in Teen Second Life by having audio books on the virtual shelf, linking videos taken on the virtual island to our library site, or having meetings in a virtual tree house. We’re expanding the virtual services libraries already offer and using Teen Second Life as a tool to build community. A global community.”
This is on of the coolest innovations I’ve seen in the young adult library services space. Anyone want to contact Kelly at Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenberg County? I know she’d be pleased to build a bigger and more global team.
Stephen

Posted on: June 9, 2007, 10:03 pm Category: Uncategorized