Yesterday I outlined Ten very good reasons why your librarians should be in Second Life.
I think it is a fantastic idea for many Real Life libraries to have a library within Second Life, but I don’t think a Second Life branch is useful for all libraries and get a bit worried when I hear people using the reasons below to justify it.
1. It’s where the users are.
Uh-uh. No way. Not yet.
2. Dell. Adidas, Disney, Toyota, (insert company name) are there.
3. It’s so Library2.0
The whole point of Library2.0 is to take new web tools and tailor them to your clients’ specific needs. Would a Second Life branch do this?
4. It provides access for more people
Yes it does. If they have the high end video card and broadband required by Second Life.
No service that aims to be equitable, should be offered in Second Life unless there is access also via another medium. Sometimes the interface and environment of Second Life do have great advantages over tradtional interfaces.
5. It doesn’t take much time or skill to run a branch in Second Life, so it would be easy to set up and run.
6. We need a separate service in Second Life just for our users.
Are you sure? Maybe Second Life libraries would offer your users a better service if you put your energies into an existing Second Life library services like the genealogy library, or the children’s literature island, or the gothic manor, or the science ficiton portal, or a writer talk, or a book display, or the replica of the Globe Theatre, or staffing the reference desk.
AND ONE VERY GOOD REASON TO HAVE A LIBRARY BRANCH IN SECOND LIFE
We have the resources and time to establish and maintain a project in Second Life, we will provide workstations and training for clients wanting to experiment with Second Life, we are willing to see this as both an experimental and a production environment, and a branch in Second Life will meet our users’ needs and matches the strategic goals of our organization.
Is that right? Then go for it!