|SL Librarians at ALA|
by ABBEY ZENITHALA Chicago, a fantastic city, beautiful weather, great conference sessions and speakers, good times and good friends - what an experience!
Photo by girlonaglide via flickr.com
The ALA Virtual Communities and Libraries Member Initiative Group (ALA VCL MIG) met in the Atrium of the National-Louis University campus on Michigan Avenue in Chicago on Saturday, July 11th, with about 18 people present. Approximately a dozen other librarian-avatars had gathered on ALA Island in Second Life to participate in the meeting, but, unfortunately, the in-person group was not able to get into Second Life.
The group discussed ways to reach out to more members of ALA to inform them about the realities and possibilities of librarianship and library services in virtual worlds. An interactive session (such as a create-your-avatar session) during the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in DC was discussed. A second SLymposium also was discussed. The group also had a lengthy discussion about how to sustain and advance the work of this MIG beyond summer 2010, when its initial 3-year existence will end.
On Saturday evening the group reconvened at Santorini's restaurant in Greek Town to eat, drink, and share experiences in virtual worlds and the real world.
At ALA the ACRL Board of Directors met on July 11th and approved the establishment of the ACRL Virtual Worlds Interest Group with the following statement of purpose:
To provide support and oversight for a designated volunteer to manage the Second Life presence of ACRL; to facilitate communication and collaboration for ACRL members and potential members involved in or interested in virtual worlds for professional activities; to participate in and support the activities of ACRL in virtual worlds on an ongoing basis; to advocate for ACRL and to recruit new members to ACRL in virtual worlds.
The ACRL Virtual Worlds Interest Group also has a pre-populated ALA Connect community. The ACRL Board strongly encourages all members to explore ALA Connect as a resource for virtual collaboration and welcomes feedback and suggestions for improvements that would further support member collaboration and meet technological needs.
ACRL Staff are working with ALA staff to ensure that this interest group is available as an option for ACRL members on the membership form.
Both the VCL MIG meeting and the ACRL board decision are positive indications that librarians and libraries in virtual worlds have the continuing support of ALA and ACRL, that interest in what we are doing in virtual worlds continues to grow.
The absolute best part of the conference for me and many others was the chance to meet so many Second Life librarians and volunteers in person. As Hypatia Dejavu, Alliance Virtual Library's Head of Reference stated, "So many of them were readily identifiable with their distinctive manners and personalities. While other events about SL were very positive nothing quite compared to meeting these good people for the first time, again."
AL Focus is the video home of American Libraries (AL) magazine -- the monthly magazine for ALA members. AL Focus Video Village is where you can watch AL Focus videos on ALA Island in the Second Life virtual world.
Click the screen and select *Favorites* to get the list of AL Focus videos. From the choices that appear, click the corresponding number to see the video!
Newest videos available:
Sylvia Ivie at the Coretta Scott King Book Awards
Carl Kasell Backstage at Wait, Wait… Don't Tell Me!