Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rockcliffe, Part Deux

                                                     Graciously greeted by Amy, Rockcliffe's Virtual Library Assistant

Founded in 2006, the Rockcliffe University Consortium (RUC) is described on their website as an online non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of education and science in 3D environments.  RUC's main campus is in Second Life but they also have satellite campuses in SPOTON3D, Reaction Grid, and World of Warcraft.   They've hosted the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference for the past 4 years, providing an opportunity for participants to share teaching, learning, and research practices in 3D virtual environments.  Along with free workshops, entertainment events, seminars such as World of Teachcraft, and forums such as Inside the Avatar's Studio, RUC also offers an impressive academic research library.  Over the course of two weeks, I visited their SL library multiple times and yet I feel like I still haven't seen all there is to see.  

                               The machinima wall alone could captivate visitors for hours...

During my first visit, I spent a couple of hours wandering around a sprawling 2-story, 12-room building that houses an overwhelming collection of both SL and RL resources.  Among my favorite resources was a wall dedicated to Machinima where I could review a slideshow of basic machinima definitions and flip through a couple of intellibooks featuring substantive articles on  Machinima, a relevant bibliography, and a slurl to a sim with film sets.  

                                         Whimisical touches everywhere....

An open source and open access enthusiast, Head Librarian Mel Krupinski is equally dedicated to interactivity and whimsy in her displays.  One example is the laptop (seen in the photo above) which, when touched, renders the user weightless.  Another example is SearchBert (seen in the right edge of the photo) which collects one-word inquiries from users and swiftly searches the entire building for relevant resources. 

                                         Walls and walls of textures....

Strewn about the grounds outside is a wealth of useful SL resources including entire walls of textures and a garden of freebies where I could help myself to everything from clothing to presentation tools to gestures & scripts. 

                                  Books are still my favorite resource in any library!

I wrapped-up my self-guided tour at their Deep Research Lab which provides access to thousands of peer-reviewed and open source journals.  Pooped, I then headed outside to flop onto the grass and relax with one of the library's many books.  

The Rockcliffe University Library and Resource Center is truly a wonder to behold. 
Visit: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rockcliffe%20Library/85/129/23

~ til our next adventure,

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