When I was logged into Second Life this afternoon, the statistics were something like 7 million subscribers, 1 million active and 40,000 currently logged in. As I was aimlessly teleporting around, I noticed that many of the others were speaking German (not sure where I was- one place was the Carribean Jazz Club or some such name, with an avatar wailing “How do I stop dancing?”) so maybe I just stumbled upon particularly Germanic haunts, but, back to my original point, I do wonder how large a library constituency is actually inhabiting SL on a regular basis. More to the point may be its potential as an interactive space, useful for instructional purposes, and informational exchange. I am trying to get to the SJSU SLIS site to see what they are doing. Will report back when I manage to figure out how to get there.
From the Talis blogCybrary City, an extension of library services in Second Life:
It is intended that Cybrary City will fulfil two main purposes, both somewhat different to the services already delivered by existing Second Life Library properties. Firstly, Cybrary City will offer services for librarians including a librarians' library and training facilities suitable for teaching the delivery of Second Life services and for offering physically distributed groups an opportunity to come together to share their ideas and experiences. With Second Life already reaching a demographic with which many real world libraries report difficulty in engaging, and with techniques and practices tested here in Second Life liable to prove highly aposite as we seek to virtually deliver services from libraries in a growing number of online environments, this is surely to be broadly welcomed.
Secondly, Cybrary City will offer individual real world libraries a space of their own in Second Life within which they can offer information about themselves and their services. They might also wish to staff those spaces in order to offer their patrons a different mode of engagement.