One of the big projects I have been working on is to create a presence for Bradley University and especially the library on Second Life. For the uninitiated, Second Life, or SL as it is known to the residents, is a MUVE (multi user virtual environment) where all the objects, buildings, clothes, land–everything that exists in SL are created by the residents. First, let me provide a little background on the library and SL. I began hearing about SL in April 2005 when I would ride to meetings of the Alliance Library System (ALS) Board of Directors with the staff. The Director of Innovation was very excited about this new virtual world and, I must admit, I could not wrap my mind around it. I kept listening, though, as she talked about the possibilities for education and for libraries in this virtual world, I became fascinated with the possibilities. On 10 August 2005, I chose my avatar and was “born” in SL as Puglet Dancer. It took me quite a while to get up the courage to get off Help Island where the noobs (new residents of SL) learn how to move around, change appearance, create and move objects, and other useful skills. I was teleported off Help Island to Info Island in late August and have been learning about SL ever since.
What is Info Island, you may wonder. Info Island was created by ALS under the guidance of Lorelei Junot, aka Lori Bell, Director of Innovation at ALS, and is a place to find information. We began in April creating Info Island and as of 12 February, we now have 14 islands or sims dedicated to libraries, museums and education.
In September I formed a Second Life Task Force, comprised of Denise Johnson (Takver Twin), Skip Burhans (Polaris Lyon), Al Quiros (Watsnu Pussycat) and Chuck Frey to build a presence for Bradley in SL. We were very lucky that Al has been in SL for over and year and is an experienced builder. He built the Cullom-Davis Library in SL and is our primary architect. Chuck is our ideas and digitizing man while the rest of us roam SL, answering questions and helping noobs find their way.
We are planning a grand opening of the what we call the Bradley campus on Info Island II on 28 February. If you are a resident of SL, please contact one of us so we can add you to the Bradley University group. I am planning it give you more information about SL in future posts. I hope to talk a little about every aspect of it and would like to focus my direction on your interests. Let me know what you’d like to know about and I will add that to the list. If you have comments, questions or concerns, please let me know that as well.