ALA/WO Presents: David Lankes in Second Life

The Crowd looks on as David Lankes Presents in Second Life

Last night, David Lankes from Syracuse University delivered the ALA’s Washington Office’s first interactive presentation in Second Life entitled “Participatory Networks: Libraries as Conversation”. Since the presentation was based upon a technology brief, written for the Office for Information Technology Policy on ho social networking software, Second Life proved to be a fantastic venue to engage librarians in a conversation about the paper. Over 60 people (a large crowd on the Information Island Second Life) attended his lecture. A copy of the brief can be found here:

The ALA/Washington Office would like to extend a thank you to Loreli Junot (AKA Lori Bell) of Alliance Library System and Abbey Zenith (Rhonda Trueman) for helping us to arrange this and to Loreli for sharing her pictures.

Special thanks to VirtualDave Legend (AKA David Lankes) of Syracuse University for presenting and for recording a video of the presentation, which has been posted at Note: Communication in Second Life is done via chat, so there is no audio

Second Life is an experiment to the Washington Office and with all new things, there is a certain learning curve involved, both for us (figuring out how to host virtual presentations) and our members (figuring out how to use Second Life). We hope to reach out to more people via this new medium as time goes on.

In order to reach as wide of an audience as possible for this presentation, we are pleased to share David’s video, pictures on Flickr, and a transcript of the meeting below.

A brief guide on how to read the transcript. A typical line looks like this: “[18:17] VirtualDave Legend: Yes.”, which follows this template [time] avatar’s name: message. Therefore this line can be interpreted as “At 18:17, VirtualDave Legend said ‘Yes.'”.

Cast of Avatars
Virtual Dave is David Lankes of Syracuse
Galen Notenius is Mark Bard of ALA/OITP
Everyone else are participants in the meetings.


[18:07] Galen Noltenius: hello and welcome to the first of what we hope will be many presentations brought to you by the American Library Association’s Washington Office

[18:07] Galen Noltenius: many of you are new to second life, so welcome to info island
[18:08] Galen Noltenius: the ALA/WO is made up of 2 units
[18:08] Galen Noltenius: the office of gov’t relations works with gov’t officials to ensure librarians’ voices are heard in Washington, DC
[18:09] Galen Noltenius: the Office for Information Technology Policy examines how technology and technology policy is affecting libraries
[18:09] Galen Noltenius: we asked the Information Insitute at Syracuse to examine how libraries are affected by social networking sites
[18:10] Galen Noltenius: here to present the paper that resulted from theat research is David Lankes from Syracuse Unversity
[18:10] Galen Noltenius: AKA Virtual Dave
[18:10] Galen Noltenius: so thank u all for coming and i’ll let dave get started
[18:11] Galen Noltenius: Dave?

[18:11] VirtualDave Legend: Hi all and thanks for coming.
[18:11] VirtualDave Legend: I apologize if the glare off of my glasses blinds you, but that’s what I COULD AFFORD.
[18:11] VirtualDave Legend: I’m hoping this will be a pretty interactive session.
[18:12] VirtualDave Legend: Feel free to ask questions or add comments throughout.
[18:12] VirtualDave Legend: My slides are arranged behind me here.
[18:12] VirtualDave Legend: I’ll refer to them as I go, but really, I’m just hoping for a conversation.
[18:12] VirtualDave Legend: And that was were are paper ended up going.
[18:13] VirtualDave Legend: I invite you to take a look and comment on the paper. It will take these ideas in a lot more depth.
[18:13] VirtualDave Legend: We’ve also set up an interactive site for you to comment.

[18:13] VirtualDave Legend: Let me start with a little background.
[18:13] VirtualDave Legend: The folks at ALA OITP have been keeping an eye on teh social networking stuff, particularly as it relates to policy.
[18:14] VirtualDave Legend: Last year there was some legislation introduced in the US Congress called DOPA.
[18:14] VirtualDave Legend: This would have added what types of sites schools and libraries (e-rate folks) would have to filter.
[18:14] VirtualDave Legend: Which is, well, scary.
[18:15] buridan Simon: Please! explain the importance of dopa
[18:15] VirtualDave Legend: However, it pretty much sums up the uncertainty and fear associated with Web 2.0
[18:15] VirtualDave Legend: DOPA….
[18:15] VirtualDave Legend: Defense against[Deleting] Online Predators Act…

[18:15] VirtualDave Legend: It would have created a commission to specify sites that schools and libraries must filter.
[18:16] VirtualDave Legend: They couldn’t just say MySpace in legisilation, so they started talking about “interactive websites.”
[18:16] VirtualDave Legend: The reach was VERY broad.
[18:16] Marji Beresford: I work in a school library where EVERYTHING is filtered.
[18:16] VirtualDave Legend: Yes, but as of now your school has nominal control over what is filtered.
[18:16] Galen Noltenius: one additional note, it would be required in schools and libraries receiving E-Rate funindg
[18:16] VirtualDave Legend: This would ahve removed that control.
[18:17] Troy McLuhan: So it’s a classic case of shoot the messenger?
[18:17] VirtualDave Legend: Yes.

[18:17] VirtualDave Legend: Worse still…
[18:17] buridan Simon: /didn’t dopa and its precursors exist before myspace?
[18:17] Zorn Cheetah: fear-based, knee-jerk reaction.
[18:17] Sharkie Carmona: Dave. could you tell us which congressmen sponsored this legislation?
[18:17] VirtualDave Legend: it would have kids encountering these sites out of a controled environment, thus defeating the whole purpose.
[18:17] Hemmingway Deschanel is Offline
[18:17] buridan Simon: /sponsors are available on the web
[18:17] VirtualDave Legend: There is a lot of confusion in the whole Web 2.0 world. That was our starting point.
[18:18] VirtualDave Legend: Where we eneded up however, was some place much more interesting.

[18:18] VirtualDave Legend: At least in our minds.
[18:18] VirtualDave Legend: If you think about libraries and their physical spaces, one could say in many cases they are social places.
[18:18] VirtualDave Legend: In fact recent trends are to make them more social.
[18:19] Marji Beresford: School libraries are very social places.
[18:19] VirtualDave Legend: From coffee bars to better seating, to lecture series, the trend is to have people see the library as a gathering place.
[18:19] VirtualDave Legend: Indeed, schol libraries have long understood they are not just book places, but exploratory classes.
[18:19] buridan Simon: /how is that different form what libraries have been>
[18:19] VirtualDave Legend: However…
[18:19] VirtualDave Legend: Look online.

[18:19] James Bringholf: What’s happening is that social technologies are becoming a standard feature of Internet spaces.
[18:20] VirtualDave Legend: Catalogs, hours information, in many cases libraries online are very antisocial.
[18:20] VirtualDave Legend: Our catalogs are at best a one way conversation.
[18:20] VirtualDave Legend: Reference is better, but still limited to one on one interactions.
[18:20] Marji Beresford: Do you mean websites?
[18:20] buridan Simon: /true dewy and vigotskii
[18:20] VirtualDave Legend: Yes.
[18:21] VirtualDave Legend: The web has a great potential to continue the conversations we have promoted in physical spaces, but many libraries are not doing so.
[18:21] VirtualDave Legend: The idea behind this paper was to demonstrate those who are…

[18:21] buridan Simon: /As do dewey and bruner librarylady leshelle
[18:21] VirtualDave Legend: familiarize folks with the terminology…
[18:21] Marji Beresford: reading
[18:21] VirtualDave Legend: and give a broader context to why this isn’t simply a jump on a technology bandwagon thing.
[18:21] buridan Simon: /you should be thinking
[18:22] Sadaparibhuta Talaj: now if I can remember how to sit down
[18:22] VirtualDave Legend: So, looking at the slide “Conceptual Framework” we’ll start there.
[18:22] VirtualDave Legend: Someone mentioned learning as social…exactly.
[18:22] VirtualDave Legend: We started with a learning theory…conversation theory first proposed by Gorden Pask.

[18:23] VirtualDave Legend: At it’s heart is the concept that we create knowledge through converstion.
[18:23] VirtualDave Legend: We talk to arrive at common menaings.
[18:23] VirtualDave Legend: We then “scaffold” these commonalities to new ideas and new knwoeldge.
[18:23] buridan Simon: /is that the limit of the modes of knowledge production?
[18:23] VirtualDave Legend: We may talk to one person, to many people…
[18:23] VirtualDave Legend: or even ourselves…
[18:24] VirtualDave Legend: so called “metacognition.”
[18:24] VirtualDave Legend: The point is, that to learn is to converse, to interact, to particiapte.
[18:24] buridan Simon: /distributed cognition?

[18:24] VirtualDave Legend: Yes, self-reflection, an important part of critical thinking skills.
[18:24] VirtualDave Legend: The process is distributed, the thinking is in the individual.
[18:25] VirtualDave Legend: So, if we see libraries as in the knowledge business…
[18:25] VirtualDave Legend: and knowledge is created through conversation…
[18:25] buridan Simon: /hmm, that is not what research indicates in distributed cognition…
[18:25] VirtualDave Legend: then libraries are in teh conversation business.
[18:25] VirtualDave Legend: So we started looking at web 2.0 and library 2.0 from this frame of reference.
[18:26] VirtualDave Legend: It makes the desire for interactiona nd conversation…the social in social networking…make a lot of sense.
[18:26] VirtualDave Legend: When we are ont he web to learn, we need to be part of the system we are learning from, and we need to particiapte.

[18:27] VirtualDave Legend: We see this in physical libraries…we need more of it, but we see it.
[18:27] VirtualDave Legend: Now think about libraries on the web.
[18:27] VirtualDave Legend: We see much less.
[18:27] VirtualDave Legend: The focus of the online environment (indeed much of our library practices in general) is not on conversations….
[18:27] VirtualDave Legend: instead the focus is on the artifacts of converation…things.
[18:27] James Bringholf: /wave
[18:28] VirtualDave Legend: Books, videos, web pages,…all are artifacts.
[18:28] VirtualDave Legend: question?
[18:28] VirtualDave Legend: Slide three up there :Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 talk about some of the components of these two ideas.

[18:28] ectogammot Starbrook shouts: where is the amphitheater?
[18:29] VirtualDave Legend: While I think they may be a bit fleeting (what will Web 5.0 look like), they are a good…
[18:29] VirtualDave Legend: indicator of the kinds of conversations that are shaping up.
[18:29] VirtualDave Legend: Could they be better? sure, but they are a start.
[18:29] VirtualDave Legend: My point is…
[18:29] Abaris Brautigan: title blue Nomad Scholar
[18:30] VirtualDave Legend: libraries need to understand and engage in conversations, not collect and arrange things.
[18:30] VirtualDave Legend: Things facilitate conversastions.
[18:30] Coffee Mug whispers: Ahh! Fresh Hot Coffee

[18:30] VirtualDave Legend: We need them, but they are not ends in and of themselves.
[18:31] VirtualDave Legend: Once again, look at how we organize our collections.
[18:31] VirtualDave Legend: Yes.
[18:31] VirtualDave Legend: We choose a scheme of how the world is organizaed (a one person conversation) and ask people to adjust to it.
[18:31] VirtualDave Legend: We can add facets and multi-type metadata, but we are still elaborating one conversation.
[18:32] VirtualDave Legend: Now imagine, if we could capture all the conversations.
[18:32] VirtualDave Legend: Take a simple example.
[18:32] VirtualDave Legend: That is an issue.
[18:32] VirtualDave Legend: However, if instead of seeing our expertise as sorting and shelving we saw it as facilitating and synthesizing?!

[18:33] VirtualDave Legend: Which is ultimately a more powerful profession?
[18:33] VirtualDave Legend: A mash-up example.
[18:33] VirtualDave Legend: Imagine taking a section of 18th century authors…their books and papers…
[18:34] VirtualDave Legend: and plotting each location that author was in when he/she was writing on a Google Map.
[18:34] VirtualDave Legend: Imagine now looking for the overlaps…
[18:34] VirtualDave Legend: who was in the same city at the same time…
[18:34] VirtualDave Legend: do their writings reflect this?
[18:34] VirtualDave Legend: We take Google Maps, our collections, someone’s conversation and put them together.
[18:34] Marji Beresford: All writing exists in space and time.

[18:34] VirtualDave Legend: Exactly…all writing is a conversation.
[18:35] Sharkie Carmona: or what was in their libraries…what they were reading
[18:35] VirtualDave Legend: And we should work to capture that context, not bury it in a MARC record.
[18:35] VirtualDave Legend: Yes, but that’s a great challenge for a library to take on.
[18:35] VirtualDave Legend: Take this presentation…
[18:35] Marji Beresford: All knowledge is interconnected. But how do I show that to teenagers?
[18:35] VirtualDave Legend: It is a conversation…
[18:35] VirtualDave Legend: some might find it useful…
[18:36] VirtualDave Legend: how are you going to make it available to your patrons?

[18:36] VirtualDave Legend: Instead of putting it in the “Z’s”
[18:36] VirtualDave Legend: How about linking a video of it to the paper.
[18:36] VirtualDave Legend: The paper itself links to other web sites and resources…
[18:36] VirtualDave Legend: they in urn link to articles and books…
[18:36] Marji Beresford: We can’t link much because of the freaking filers.
[18:37] VirtualDave Legend: now someone accessing this lecture has a guided path to terabytes of information…
[18:37] VirtualDave Legend: in context…
[18:37] VirtualDave Legend: not a simple transcript and good luck.
[18:37] VirtualDave Legend: Make sense?

[18:37] VirtualDave Legend: OK, so where is this headed?
[18:38] Sadaparibhuta Talaj is Offline
[18:38] ectogammot Starbrook: what’s up
[18:38] VirtualDave Legend: Well, this was a technology brief, so we took that focus.
[18:38] VirtualDave Legend: There could be, and will be other treatments, but for now let’s stick with tech.
[18:38] VirtualDave Legend: (not every path has to go to every sector.
[18:38] VirtualDave Legend: All contexts will have boundaries that aare placed upon them.
[18:39] VirtualDave Legend: Let’s look at library systems with this participatory/conversational lens.
[18:39] VirtualDave Legend: That’s the arrow slide behind me.

[18:39] VirtualDave Legend: The left most column is the current array of systems we use.
[18:39] VirtualDave Legend: They are silos.
[18:40] VirtualDave Legend: “Click here for our catalog”…
[18:40] VirtualDave Legend: In fact they look an aweful lot like web menus I’ve seen on a library or two.
[18:40] VirtualDave Legend: “”Click here to ask a question”…
[18:40] Dinnie Devonshire: Ha!
[18:40] VirtualDave Legend: “Click here for our institutational repositories”…
[18:40] VirtualDave Legend: The point is, we have added these systems one next to each other over time to respond to the needs of our custormers.
[18:41] VirtualDave Legend: We were doing a good thing.

[18:41] VirtualDave Legend: We all already see the need for better integration…
[18:41] VirtualDave Legend: that’s the next column.
[18:41] VirtualDave Legend: Federated searching, digital repositories, etc.
[18:41] VirtualDave Legend: This work forms a sort of trajectory, that we wanted to play out into a road map.
[18:42] VirtualDave Legend: How these systems can begin to be integrated and collapse together.
[18:42] VirtualDave Legend: The ultimate end point being a “particiaptory library” system.
[18:42] VirtualDave Legend: The main thing about this system is that it makes no distiction between data and metadata.
[18:42] VirtualDave Legend: The catalog and the digital repository are the same thing.
[18:43] VirtualDave Legend: In fact…the catalog is misnamed as it is currently constituted.

[18:43] VirtualDave Legend: It is in fact an inventory system…
[18:43] VirtualDave Legend: that was Dewey’s great advance…an elaborate inventory system.
[18:44] VirtualDave Legend: That is what in retail stores they never let the customer see because it is too arcane.
[18:44] VirtualDave Legend: Yes, Mel.
[18:44] VirtualDave Legend: Take a look at an amazon page.
[18:44] VirtualDave Legend: It is very long if you look at the whole thing.
[18:44] VirtualDave Legend: The majority of it is conversations and comments.
[18:44] VirtualDave Legend: It is a finding aid and directional.
[18:44] VirtualDave Legend: Yes, it is meant for commerce….

[18:45] VirtualDave Legend: but the point is, that it is intended to meet the users need to find something, not an institutions need to locate and control the item.
[18:45] Troy McLuhan: Uh oh
[18:46] Maxito Ricardo: Not only find, but evaluate and make sense of something…place it in some context
[18:46] VirtualDave Legend: sorry.
[18:46] VirtualDave Legend: Anyway.
[18:46] VirtualDave Legend: That never happend in a presentation of mine before 🙂
[18:46] VirtualDave Legend: Here’s the real 900 pound gorilla in the room.
[18:47] VirtualDave Legend: Everyday our catalogs become less useful.
[18:47] VirtualDave Legend: Not because they are doing a worse job, but because people are looking to full-text and instant resources.

[18:47] VirtualDave Legend: Exactly…have a conversation on an item…
[18:47] VirtualDave Legend: and, here we go…add items as well.
[18:47] VirtualDave Legend: Comments, article, full text, what have you.
[18:48] Marji Beresford: book reviews?
[18:48] VirtualDave Legend: And, here is where folks put up the shields…we let them into the systems themselves.
[18:48] VirtualDave Legend: To do this we need to get much more sophisticated about identity managment.
[18:48] VirtualDave Legend: Yes, but Google doesn’t allow people to add.
[18:48] Aisling Howard: Well isn’t Penntags doing a tiny bit of that?
[18:48] VirtualDave Legend: We could beat them to the punch!

[18:49] VirtualDave Legend: Yes. there are folks doing some of this already.
[18:49] VirtualDave Legend: We tried to put examples in the paper.
[18:49] VirtualDave Legend: However, most folks are adding this to the edges, we need to add it righ t to the heart of the library.
[18:49] Aisling Howard: And wouldn’t we ideally want sort of like a digital repository, more like OCLC Web 4.0 w/ comments, and all, since seperated systems seem to be on the way out
[18:49] VirtualDave Legend: Yes!
[18:50] VirtualDave Legend: YES!!!!
[18:50] Maxito Ricardo: resource allocation, reallocation, and deployment
[18:50] VirtualDave Legend: Which ones are worht keeping?
[18:50] VirtualDave Legend: Great question.

[18:50] VirtualDave Legend: YES!
[18:50] VirtualDave Legend: That’s the answer.
[18:51] VirtualDave Legend: That’s why we have to make the library and community one.
[18:51] Sharkie Carmona: Excuse me, but isn’t this what Ann Arbor Public Library is doing with their catalog..conversations in their catalog
[18:51] VirtualDave Legend: Right now libraries have a very simple notion of identity…librarians, and not librarians.
[18:51] VirtualDave Legend: We need to understand that there are degrees of inclusion in the system.
[18:52] VirtualDave Legend: YOu earn more ability to add and modify as you show your knowledge with the community,
[18:52] VirtualDave Legend: Controubtions based on merit, not job title.
[18:52] Patrice Primeau: trust the public? What does flickr, blogger, etc do?

[18:52] Sharkie Carmona: There are other information providers in the hydrants…thats GIS and in the planning dept.
[18:52] VirtualDave Legend: They trust, but verify…
[18:52] Aisling Howard: It’s sort of how trusted user systems work at various big blog sites, like Dkos
[18:53] VirtualDave Legend: They develop community enforcement and polcy mechanisms.
[18:53] VirtualDave Legend: Yes.
[18:53] Patrice Primeau: no, but flickr and blogger have ways of dealing with things others find offensive
[18:53] VirtualDave Legend: THis is different than an artifact approach.
[18:53] Patrice Primeau: who decides?
[18:53] VirtualDave Legend: Wait for the data to be created, vet it, tag it, shelve it.

[18:53] VirtualDave Legend: It’s too late then. The conversation is either over aor well into the context making.
[18:53] VirtualDave Legend: That’s where insitutions repositories need to be.
[18:54] VirtualDave Legend: Don’t wait for the paper to be written, capture the drafts, and the data.
[18:54] Aisling Howard: While I am very much on board with this new approach, and I think I know an idea of the answer, but what would be the role of librarians in this world?
[18:54] VirtualDave Legend: Facilitation.
[18:54] Patrice Primeau: it is the public who pay for the librarians
[18:54] VirtualDave Legend: Buidling community and keeping conversations going…
[18:54] Maxito Ricardo: Sense making would be through use and thus “unconscious” When a group a people form a dirt path on a lawn, they don’t intend to do that.
[18:54] VirtualDave Legend: is hard and specialized work.

[18:54] Patrice Primeau: the public make their decisions
[18:55] VirtualDave Legend: We need to know how to intrude and hold back to keep it going.
[18:55] VirtualDave Legend: We need to understnad the mechanisms of how to organize data not just to one conversation (like DDC) but millions.
[18:55] VirtualDave Legend: We need to be an information prtner.
[18:55] VirtualDave Legend: Filters are an interesting term.
[18:56] VirtualDave Legend: I like filters…they keep toxins out of my water 🙂
[18:56] Sharkie Carmona: Amazon, you;re right I don’t participate
[18:56] VirtualDave Legend: When we encounter all of these conversations we will need systems/people to help make sense of them…
[18:56] VirtualDave Legend: prioritize them, and filter out the ones we don’t want.

[18:57] VirtualDave Legend: Academia is a very specialized and pure form of conversation.
[18:57] Maxito Ricardo: That’s the great thing about an information ecology: lots of people can “take” from it, even if only a few “contribute” to it, without diminishing the valule of that ecological environment
[18:57] VirtualDave Legend: That’s what Plato and Aristoltle were doing.
[18:57] VirtualDave Legend: If knwoledge is created through conversation…
[18:57] VirtualDave Legend: peer review…
[18:57] VirtualDave Legend: then acadmics are also in the conversation business.
[18:58] VirtualDave Legend: We have made an art out of a highly specialized form of converation.
[18:58] VirtualDave Legend: We put rules on it in terms of publications and types of evidence.
[18:58] Patrice Primeau: i like the idea of being peer reviewed in other ways than journal publication etc

[18:58] VirtualDave Legend: If libraries are also in teh knowledge business that is where they should be.
[18:58] VirtualDave Legend: Instead, many academic libraries are in the business of external information…
[18:58] VirtualDave Legend: Meaning, the conversation stops becuase some academic doesn’t ahve a piece of information…
[18:59] VirtualDave Legend: they expact the library to get it and house it…
[18:59] VirtualDave Legend: and then the real converation continues…
[18:59] VirtualDave Legend: that menas the library is a place not about conversations, but about stuff outside the domain of the real conversations..
[18:59] VirtualDave Legend: we’re and appendage that looses value as external infromation becomes easier to get.
[18:59] VirtualDave Legend: That might ahve been a bit harse.
[19:00] VirtualDave Legend: YES!

[19:00] VirtualDave Legend: I’m preaching to the converted here.
[19:00] VirtualDave Legend: Yes, but what are they marketing?
[19:01] Maxito Ricardo: The best way to assure one’s relevancy is to be relevant
[19:01] VirtualDave Legend: They need to market how they add value, not their great collection of stuff.
[19:01] Patrice Primeau: I don’t understand why we can’t keep a traditional catalog format and add value to that…it is not either/or
[19:01] Patrice Primeau: it can be both
[19:01] VirtualDave Legend: Let’s take the catalog for a minute.
[19:01] VirtualDave Legend: OK.
[19:01] VirtualDave Legend: Think about what it does…

[19:02] VirtualDave Legend: you ask it a question, and it dumps everything it knowls ont hat topic back…a lecture at best.
[19:02] VirtualDave Legend: Also, what assumptions does it make.
[19:02] VirtualDave Legend: Imagine you search for something and get no results…
[19:02] VirtualDave Legend: do you assume the user is stupid?
[19:02] VirtualDave Legend: “did you spell it right”
[19:02] VirtualDave Legend: “did you do this?
[19:02] VirtualDave Legend: Ask a librarin for help.”
[19:03] VirtualDave Legend: Or do we assume the library is stupid…
[19:03] VirtualDave Legend: Why not start a conversation.

[19:03] VirtualDave Legend: “Click here for interlibrary loan….”
[19:03] VirtualDave Legend: Let the user, at that point, start a reference interaction.
[19:03] VirtualDave Legend: The outcome of that transaction stays int eh catalog…for the next peron.
[19:03] VirtualDave Legend: Or the user, if they have enogh access, adds an article.
[19:03] Maxito Ricardo: Does the conversation model scale?
[19:04] VirtualDave Legend: Or the next user with the same query might leave a pointer ot a better query.
[19:04] VirtualDave Legend: Interaction…tru interaction.
[19:04] VirtualDave Legend: I think it is evolution, but it needs to be quick.
[19:04] Maxito Ricardo: Is it realistic to assume that umpteen teenagers will be able to converse with a Nobel scientist?

[19:04] VirtualDave Legend: It took us hundreds of years to get the book right, we’re just starting with library systems 🙂
[19:05] Patrice Primeau: it’s like those who say a well-designed website doesn’t need a search function
[19:05] VirtualDave Legend: Let the nobel folks filter out the undergraduates (at their peril).
[19:05] Patrice Primeau: dude
[19:05] VirtualDave Legend: No one forces them to talk. Lurking is always an acceptable behaviour 🙂
[19:05] VirtualDave Legend: Thanks all, we need to wrap up.
[19:05] Patrice Primeau: like wikipedia..could you keep track?
[19:06] Patrice Primeau: once I turned off the name tags and muted the benches, it was good
[19:06] Patrice Primeau: Hayduke, wikipedia lets you revert things back

[19:06] Galen Noltenius: thank you all for coming
[19:06] Abaris Brautigan is Offline
[19:06] Dewey Jung: everyone can hear
[19:06] Maxito Ricardo: In the best of all possible worlds, what is the best way to generate, capture, and transmit knowledge?
[19:07] Sam Kolache: /clap
[19:07] Galen Noltenius: a transcript of tonight’s presentation will be posted at
[19:07] Pappy Milo: /amen, no one hogging the mic with their “comment/question”
[19:07] Galen Noltenius: dave, thank you for being ALA’s first guest in sl
[19:07] Dinnie Devonshire: Thanks, Dave!

[19:07] Pappy Milo: dave
[19:07] VirtualDave Legend: thaks folks it was fun.
[19:07] Pappy Milo: thanks dave
[19:07] Galen Noltenius: and more importantly thank you all for coming
[19:08] Dewey Jung: thank you all for everyone’s comments
[19:08] Patrice Primeau: Thank you
[19:08] Galen Noltenius: i wish you all a good night!
[19:08] Sharkie Carmona: I am wondering if Dave has these ideas in a paper accessible to us?
[19:09] Patrice Primeau:

[19:09] VirtualDave Legend shouts:
[19:09] Sharkie Carmona: Thanks ..its on the screen
[19:09] Patrice Primeau: heh
[19:09] VirtualDave Legend shouts:

About Jacob Roberts

Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.


  1. Jeremy Frumkin [Visitor]

    Seriously, is this the best use of the Washington Office’s resources? I mean, why not hold a presentation in McDonald’s, since some library users may congregate there?

    Maybe if OITP’s resources were better applied to real-world library issues than trendy commercial virtual environments, and OITP actually paid attention to what people were actually *doing* with library technology, there would actually be some better understanding of how technology can support the role of libraries, instead of trying to make libraries change their role to support the latest technology trends.

    Anyways, I think there are major issues with spending the limited resources that are available to OITP on both this presentation and this report.

  2. Monika Antonelli [Visitor]

    Hmmm…. Maybe I am missing something but the transcript looks like something you would have gotten from an early MOO. Were people able to hear the presentation? Or are we still chatting online?

  3. Given Second Life’s association with virtual child porn (cf CNET article “Virtual child porn may be a crime in Netherlands”), I think it is an unfortunate choice as an ALA vehicle supporting social networking, another highly debatable public “good.”

  4. Monika,
    Excellent question about the use of audio. We considered using audio for our presentation. The technology to do so is available, but we ultimately decided to use text-based chat for several reasons, including:
    1. Audio is bandwidth intensive and we wanted to ensure that everyone who wanted to attend our presentation in Second Life would be able to receive what Dave was ‘saying’ and text was the best way to ensure this would happen.
    2. We wanted the presentation to be a conversation and the audio would have only been one way. As you can see from the transcript, attendees were able to ask questions and get responses in the same medium.
    3. It is a norm in Second Life for presentations to be chat based, so the user community there is accustomed to this method.

  5. As an attendee at this virtual lecture, I found the event and the use of the technology to be highly beneficial. I commend the ALA Washington Office for its leadership in being at the forefront of the use of technologies that will certainly grow in usage. The Chicago Public Schools Department of Libraries is one of a rapidly growing community of libraries and educational institutions that have now established virtual offices within Second Life to provide an additional platform for professional development and networking for our librarians and teachers.

  6. Just a quick note on the spending of limited resources of OITP. I did this presentation pro bono to support OITP and to try out a presentation in the new medium.

    That said, I do believe it is essential that we use limited resources of a professional association for experimentation and trials…even though this one didn’t cost anything.

    It also gave me and OITP a chance to work with some very motivated and innovative librarians using Second Life to envision librarianship in new modes. I don’t know of any library groups who have amassed a sizable group of folks and resources to explore library service in McDonald’s, though I’d love to see a library or two with a “50 Billion Served” sign outside their front door.

  7. While it seems the ideas David was trying to get across were very valid and interesting, it was nearly impossible to sit through the various interjections (sometime unrelated comments!) from the “participants.” I realize what you are trying to do in the form of conversation, but the delay time in chatting made the “conversation” nearly impossible to follow. I stopped reading before David got to the heart of the matter because I was annoyed by all of the interruptions. This medium could use some more work.

  8. Bernadette Daly Swanson [Visitor]

    I would like to commend both the ALA Washington Office and David Lankes for selecting Second Life as location for the first ALA event, Participatory Networks. Integrated audio would have enhanced David’s presentation but we’re not there yet in SL; other options would have proved difficult given the number of interjections and would have decreased access for many of the attendees. For me, the conversation followed David’s presentation both in SL and at work the next day. I applaud you both for opening the conversation and for the threads that still continue in our libraries. I believe that we need to be talking everywhere librarians and library users congregate and particularly in locations that support broad representation of libraries and research interests.

  9. D. Matthew [Visitor]

    A few comments:
    Audio presentations can be done but do take a lot of extra work and bandwidth–Philip Rosedale/Linden(and others) do them fairly regularly to large audiences.

    Usually helpers are IM’d questions to filter and relay so the speaker doesn’t need to monitor chat. Live transcribers help out too, typing out what the speaker says on a separate group IM to keep it distinct from the public chatter.

    For after the fact transcripts, color coding helps a lot for readability.

    RE: David Clapp’s comments–one could just as easily substitute “Internet” for “Second Life” no? SL is a medium, and people make of it what they will.

    I do think libraries and NPO’s should be conscious of potential backlashes as the “seedy” side of SL will continue to provide plenty of media fodder in the future which could cause all kinds of irrational reactions by lawmakers.

  10. David Clapp [Visitor]

    In answer to D. Matthew, we agree that libraries, which are highly dependent on government/public funding, should be as conscious of their associations as any politicians who expect to win support. We disagree, however, about everything on the Internet being equal for libraries who care about their public mission and public dollars.

    We receive public funding because we provide a useful service to our community that could not be obtained as cheaply through other means.

    Promoting commercial vendors building databases of private information from children in order to gain advertisers may someday be a public priority, but I doubt it.

    Web 2.0 is a great change with many opportunities for future communications, but the infrastructure for preserving privacy and basic safety is not there yet.

    The ALA code of ethics suggests our library users have a right to privacy and confidentiality (article III) and that we should not advance private interests at the expense of library users (article VII). Our federal government has agreed that grant dollars can be denied if we ignore safety issues for children. Nobody is ever going to thank or remember the public library as the one time source for Myspace away from parents

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