By BOOKIE BALOGH
Photo by Verde Otaared
Last month’s Volunteer of the Month, HollyJean Allen, brings a wide range of perspectives and experiences to Second Life. A resident for less than two years, she has made herself known and loved throughout the Second Life community.
Although a reader rather than a librarian, she has been involved with libraries and their outreach activities. She has been a reference desk volunteer for more than a year, and she created the den (the social area attached to the reference desk). As she says, it’s a “great place to meet good folks.” With the establishment of the Infogroupies, a group with nearly 200 members designed to focus on reading, information and intelligent conversation, her influence on the library and cultural life with Second Life is undeniable and impressive.
HollyJean is also a Second Life mentor, and has been in this role for about a year. Having had a wonderful mentor herself, she wanted to ‘pay it forward’ by helping others new to the world. According to her, she kept trying new things, asking questions, and making herself as familiar as she could, until she was able to assist ‘newbies’ as they came to the world and had similar queries and problems.
She worked with the Infogroupies last year to submit a proposal to honor Second Life senior citizens at the week-long Burning Life Festival. With this project, she and her colleagues built sixteen trailers focusing on various topics. She would like to engage in a Burning Life effort this year as well.
As a volunteer and Team Captain for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Second Life, she is able to focus on a subject very important to her. With an extremely impressive effort, last year the Infomaniac Racers were able to raise over $215,000 – and that is US dollars, not Lindens!
In real life, Hollyjean is retired and married for 27 years to the same person who is her Second Life partner, Haldin Koba. A former marketing consultant, she worked for McDonald’s, in a position that she says was extremely interesting and fulfilling.
HollyJean is very grateful to have been so warmly welcomed into the Second Life library family. She says they are ‘some of the best people she’s ever met’ – and it is clear that the library community of Second Life has taken her to its heart!
2/13/09 Note: The staff of RezLibris sends our condolences and prayers to Hollyjean and her family on the loss of Haldin (Dave) who was also a special part of the Info Island community.