Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Second Life

Has any one else checked out Second Life? I tried it while I was home at Christmas. (Since I don't have internet at home, and Second Life is blocked here, it was my one chance!) It was fun. It is definitely a social type of site. There are various things to do there, but it's most interesting if you meet and chat with other people.

It looks like librarians have a pretty big role there. There is an island called "Information Island" which is set up and regularly staffed by librarians. You need an MLS to be a reference librarian there, but other people volunteer to be guides, which don't require an MLS. I was amazed at how helpful they were. And I'm afraid I discovered I myself have a mental stereotype of the role of librarians! At first I didn't think I had anything to ask the librarian, since I wasn't doing any research (except about libraries in Second Life). But she kept pressing me about any questions I might have, until finally I asked her about problems I'd had changing my shape in Second Life. She contacted an expert in Second Life, who came right away and fixed me up. I was impressed! So Information Island isn't just for research but to find help with Second Life. I started referring other new people there who had questions. I think it's great that librarians are playing a role there. It shows how we can have relevance in an online age!

There were also a few islands for churches and Christian groups, which I found interesting. There were churches which have live feeds of their services in Second Life. I asked someone and they said 20-30 people usually show up. I also met a woman who was leading a woman's Bible study in Second Life, which also has good attendance.

I wish I'd had more time to explore Second Life! Although it's probably just as well, because it was kind of addictive...


  • At 4:01 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I have not been in Second Life, but I think it is worth exploring further as a task force especially since their has been discussion of metaverses like Second Life being used for the next generation of online classes.

    Too bad it is blocked at TIU.

  • At 7:26 AM, Blogger arcee said…

    I have read a few articles on second life and requested a book for our library on it. I haven't been a part of it, but I am somewhat intrigued by it. I would like to know whether the people who 'attend' church and/or bible study in Second Life also participate in face-2-face corporate worship and study, or if their online presence replaces the face-2-face interaction.

  • At 5:19 PM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    We might be able to get them to unblock it for us for a certain amount of time. I got a Blackboard site unblocked for a few months last summer for the conference I was attending. As long as we could convince them it was something useful and not just for fun! :)

    About the church question - the people I talked to attended church in real life too. But there might be other people for whom it completely replaces it! That would be interesting to find out. We could attend one of the services and do a survey... It sounds like a possible research article!


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