Friday, July 29, 2011

Four Libraries in Four Paragraphs!

There are so many libraries in Second Life that I am not going to be able to blog about each one individually. In order to maximize the number of libraries that get featured, today I am going to give a rundown of some smaller/lesser-known ones. In doing so I will include a picture, the location, the goals of the library, and what services they are offering to acheive them.

The first one on my list is Pleasantville Community Library.

This library is located in Pleasantville, a family-oriented SIM, and thus aims to act as resource for families in SL. From what I can gather, their primary focus is on children's fiction. They have a few SL books, such as Peter Pan and Little Women. Though there are many bookshelves inside the library, none of them are actually touchable.

The library prominently displays a board of landmarks around Pleasantville, and this gives me the sense that this space acts as more of an information center than a functional library, reference or otherwise.

Next up: the library at PAVK, the Wastelands.

One of the smaller libraries I've seen in SL (or anywhere, really), this library contains exactly three SL books. The rest of the wall is taken up by t-shirts available for purchase, and posters encouraging visitors to donate . I understand that SL books are hard to make, but this is more like someone's bookshelf than an actual library. This is especially true considering the books are not even publically available--one must buy them for L$25! Because of this, I wasn't even able to find out what a PAVK was without buying a book. A most unhelpful resource, indeed.

Breakers Library was the third library I visited.

Located in the Breakers New England Community, this exclusively fiction library features primarily New England authors and/or stories taking place in New England (as well as, inexplicably, Shakespeare and Jane Austen). Like Pleasantville, this library also contains an impressive amount of bookshelves. The difference? These ones are clickable!

Each bookcase you touch gives you a notecard, each with a list of authors and works. When one clicks on a title, one is offered another notecard, which links to even more notecards, each containing an exerpt from th e book. While not offering complete works, this is an easy way to sample books before reading them. If one touches an image of an individual book, one is lead to a Google books page. There are no SL books in this library (which I have to say I don't mind).

My final visit was to the American Hellenic University SL Library, located on the American Hellenic University SIM.

Containing no books, this library seems to act as both a resource for AHU students using SLl, presumably for some academic purpose (ex: Tutoring Through Second Life), and an advertisement for the school itself (several large posters link back to AHU's online collections homepage). It also offers a good meeting space for students.

More of these reviews to come!


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