Sunday, January 21, 2007

Topeka Shawnee County Library Opens a Branch in Second Life

Library embraces online virtual community as tool for reaching local teens

By Taylor Atkins

Published Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library no longer has just one branch.
The organization has opened up a new location at the coordinates 24, 157, 24 in Cybrary City, a growing community for libraries in Second Life, an online virtual world. (the rest)

This library is not just sticking a toe in to test the water; they have opened a virtual branch, a building in Cybrary City and they have purchased an island on the teen grid. Why do both? The main Second Life grid, where the Cybrary City and the InfoIslands are hosted are rated "Mature". Their teen patrons cannot (truthfully) have accounts there. So Second Life has a separate teen grid rated PG. Nudity, for instance, is not allowed there, and adults over 18 cannot (truthfully) have an account or access the grid without a background check (so educators and librarians can be there to provide programs and services).
The island, named Oz, is almost ready to open. The library has prepared two very interesting pilot projects, described in a post at The first will teach a group of upperclassmen from Hope Academy to use SL, and then set them loose to create a world on the island. The second project will open the island to local teens to create content based on their favorite books.

No comments: