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Nebraska Library Commission has clear purpose in Second Life

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Here is my long-delayed field report on the Second Life Branch of the Nebraska Library Commission.

In short, I’m impressed. The thing I’m most impressed by is that the Nebraska Library Commission offers clear reasons about why they are in Second Life and what they hope to accomplish. They state this on a notecard available in the lobby:

Why we are in Second Life:

1. To network and develop professional relationships with other librarians from around the country and around the world.

2. To explore whether and how libraries might use 3-D virtual worlds to reach out to new users.

3. To gain first-hand knowledge of library activities in Second Life that we can bring back and share with interested Nebraska librarians.

Might not be compelling reasons to all, but I’m glad to see that they can explain why they’re devoting resources to this in a nice soundbite.

All areas of the library appear to be represented, including Government Documents. While there is no formal display of documents that I could find, there was a notecard about Nebraska related questions that included a link to the Nebraska Documents Depository program. In addition there there several Nebraska related maps around the first floor.

The second floor is devoted to a display of photos from the Nebraska Memories database developed by multiple institutions in Nebraska. Here is a picture I took of part of the display:

Notecards describing the photos are available, as is a link directly to the photo’s Nebraska Memories page where people can see more details and search for related items. It has a nice museum feel to it and as I’ve mentioned in previous posting on Second Life, I think musueum type displays are going to be natural for virtual worlds like Second Life.

One last nice touch by the NLC staff is a card in the lobby titled “What to do in Second Life” which features staff picks about places to go and things to do in the virtual environment. It has a mix of education and entertainment. I plan to visit several of the places listed on the card, including returning to Washtown, a Firefly inspired enviornment complete with a replica of Serenity. I went there today, but Second Life crashed on me before I could look around much. More proof that the 3D world is coming, but isn’t quite here yet in the sense that the web is.

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