Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Friends & Lonely Spaces: HUFS Cafe & Library

Road warriors, Zoe & Lilly
 I think it was Walt Whitman who once said, "Strong and content, I travel the open road"
Most of the time, for me, this is true.  I stride purposefully across the grid, poke my nose into libraries, collect handfuls of notecards, snap dozens of photos...and enjoy the journey.   More often than not, however, I'm  the only avatar for meta-miles around and, occasionally, I do get a bit lonely.

Then, last week, I met Lilly.  Lilly is a tiny Siamese kitten I bumped into while I was shopping in the marketplace.  She fluttered her wide blue eyes, mewed,  then settled onto my shoulder and that was that - I had a new travel buddy.
Signage in both Korean & English - very important!
When I showed her my bucket list of libraries to visit, she scrunched up her little eyes, twirled her paw, randomly set it down on the list and *poof* we were off to the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) Cafe & Library.

According to the HUFS website, the RL university library "provides and maintains computing, networking and audio-visual facilities  that take into account the special needs of the faculty and students.....and maintains Web-based gateways  to a full range of electronic resources
"Where are you from?" inquires the HUFS greeter.
available at home or abroad..."  Based on this
description, I assume that their SL counterpart was originally meant to help accommodate the research needs of their remote faculty and distance learners.  Unfortunately, apart from the signage (which dispensed a HUD for teleporting around the sim), there are no resources to speak of.  The walls are lined with bookshelves that are purely decorative and the freestanding bookshelves in the middle of the room offer only a handful of dead links.

Feeling the Zen....
A quick peek upstairs revealed much of the same.  Next to a sign announcing the International Lounge, I was warmly greeted by a bot who asked me where I was from.  I replied but, sadly, the conversation ended there; she was not programmed to pass along any more information.  On a table inside the lounge, I came upon a stack of clickable books.  Instead of providing information, the stack o'books invited me to sit on them in a meditative position.

Despite the lack of resources, the HUFS library did seem like a comfy & cozy place for online students to meet and collaborate on projects or to just relax after a long school day.  With my new friend Lilly, I decided to do just that....relax....while we murmured and meowed about our next library adventure....

~ 'Til then,


Relaxing with Lilly after our first trip together...

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