|AVL to Become CVL|
Text by BOOKIE BALOGHFor those of us used to the reassuring presence of the Alliance Virtual Library (AVL) in SL, it can come as a bit of a shock to learn that the scenery will be changing around us in just a few months. Or will it? After the announcement by Lorelei Junot, manager of the AVL, that the AVL will be relinquishing its role in much of the Information Archipelago to a new group to be known as the Community Virtual Library, or CVL, this reporter set out to learn exactly what will change, what will remain the same, and how these changes will affect the library, and indeed the SL community.
Partly a plan to move the Information Archipelago to another stage in its development and partly a result of economic stringencies, the Alliance Library System (parent of the AVL) had to make the difficult decision to cut back. It is retaining Investing and Innovation Island, but will no longer be the sponsor of the other major islands (Information, Information Island International, and Imagination).
As major managers and departments heads of the core sims, Hypatia Dejavu, Abbey Zenith and Rocky Vallejo will run the CVL as a nonprofit corporation to oversee the core Information Archipelago. Each of the three will retain a programmatic role within all the sims, and simultaneously will oversee one sim: Zenith will be head of public events and will oversee Information Island; Vallejo will be head of collections and will oversee Imagination Island; and Dejavu will be head of information services and will oversee Information Island International.
While the division of responsibility of the sims among the three is designed to identify a ‘go-to’ person for each sim, a new concept is the establishment of the Library Bluebird, an administrative avatar who will be the owner of record of the three sims. As Dejavu describes it, “he is essentially an alt of all three of the administrators. Any of the three of us can log in as the owner and handle [administrative issues].” Vallejo said, “The Bluebird is all of us.. and yet each of us.. at the same time. Bluebird will "own" the sims. That means if there is a property group name change Bluebird will do that task... but that task can be done by Samantha, Rhonda or Bill (RL names).”
For the ordinary SL avatar, whether librarian, educator or member of the general public, little will change. According to Zenith, “we want to keep things as they are; of course there are always changes...but there have always been changes as we have gone along.” Existing programs such as the sci-fi portal, the genealogy center and the mystery manor, as examples, will remain as they are. There will be new opportunities for SL residents, as the triumvirate wishes to step back and open up new roles for volunteers to take advantage of. Dejavu says “We just hope to provide a good environment for librarians and library lovers to learn and socially interact, just as any good community library does.”
From a governance perspective, there will continue to be an advisory board, although it will be expanded, initially by three people. A position of special advisor will be created for certain allied SL librarians who run major projects outside the core islands – initially Lorelei Junot and JJ Drinkwater.The major challenge of the CVL will be funding. Therefore, the owners will seek grants, and also will hold charity events and fundraisers. Information Island and Information Island International will require full support; Imagination Island will need to garner half of its support from this external funding.Zenith says: “We really want to become a community library for SL residents, too, and that means making connections, promoting, collaborating. We are proud to have been a part of this project that Lori started and want to see it continue - we want their support, their energies, and ideas. We want to reach out to the wide SL community and continue to offer services and programs that people can use.”
So, change is coming, but in this case, the big difference will be that the project will not be overseen by a RL library. Most residents of SL will not notice a difference unless there is need to communicate with the owners or administrators of the various islands. As Zenith says, “We hope for good things!”