During the past several months I’ve been peripherally involved with the (Illinois) Alliance Library System’s project in Second Life, which has led to the creation of the Info Island archipelago. Some of us have formed an informal group of arts/media librarians in SL. We have about 30 members now, from the US, Canada, UK, and Germany. The group is called “artslib” and is open to all avatars. It’s free to join — no Linden dollars required.
If any ArLiSNAP readers/bloggers are interested, NOW is a great time to get involved — and master the SL learning curve during the remainder of the summer. The artslib group has been asked to manage the Library Gallery on Info Island — we’ll be moving into curating exhibitions and events toward the end of the summer or early fall.
The SL Info Island project is a grand experiment with, imho, very little direct relationship to the kind of library service that art libraries are providing day-to-day. I confess that i don’t really understand why people want to build/use virtual libraries with virtual books or to put in hours at a virtual reference desk… except to see where it goes and what it evolves into. My friends at Alliance argue otherwise (see their article “Who’s on Third in Second Life” in the Jul/Aug issue of Online) — so much for my opinion!
On the other hand, some artists are finding ways to employ Second Life as an artistic medium and are creating art in-world that’s worth experiencing right now. That’s what excites me, and that’s what I hope the artslib group will have the chance to present at the Library Gallery.
We’ll schedule a July meeting of artslib in Second Life very soon to discuss the Library Gallery, and we would love to have any ArLiSNAP readers/bloggers join us! I can be reached within Second Life by IM to Rookie Voyager, and outside of Second Life by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Claire Eike, Library Director, School of the Art Institute of Chicago