Sunday, July 16, 2017

2017 LIBR: EDU: PEOPLE: Metaverse Libraries: Communities as Resources Part 2

Metaverse Libraries: Communities as Resources  Part 2 
Part 2 of a talk given by Dr. Valerie Hill, Dr. Marie Vans, Alyse Dunavant-Jones to the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life.  Part  2 presents the concept of digital citizenship as participation in virtual worlds.

By

  • Dr Valerie Hill--Valibrarian Gregg
  • Dr. Marie Vans--amvansLapis
  • Alyse Dunavant-Jones--Antemeridiem DiskJocky
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  • (More after the break, scroll down!)
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Metaverse events, current and upcoming


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Digital Citizenship

One of the biggest challenges for librarians and educators in today’s digital culture is teaching young people about digital citizenship. A current project in Second Life at the Community Virtual Library (on display through August 2017) is a Digital Citizenship Exhibit.  Presentations included various perspectives about the personal responsibility we now have in digital culture to evaluate information and share information ethically. From ages 5 – 95, we all have access to information like we never had before! We are responsible for the information we intake daily on our mobile devices and for what we upload online.
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After August 31, a permanent Digital Citizenship Museum will be built in the virtual world of Kitely. Providing resources to advocate and teach information literacy (metaliteracy) is a top priority in education and a virtual world is a great setting to do so.  Alongside the digital citizenship activities, virtual world librarians are also exploring other worlds with the goal of connecting learning communities.
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Click image to enlarge
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Learning to navigate to other virtual worlds is not always easy!  There are various viewers, user interfaces, and accounts to juggle. To help people find information in virtual worlds beyond SL, the Community Virtual Library built a spaceship to “blast off to other worlds”.
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Our idea was to put information on HOW to get to different worlds up in the spaceship as a Hypergrid Resource Center.  The spaceship is a good metaphor, but not the only one. Pointing the way to information --- that is what librarians do!  The Community Virtual Library in Kitely has a lighthouse which may be placed in several virtual worlds in the near future, pointing toward information about connecting virtual worlds for learning.
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The Community Virtual Library is a real library in a virtual world which plans to expand out into the metaverse with new branches. Because CVL is not tied to a specific institution or physical space, volunteers from around the globe are welcomed. Sharing the great work of others is a way to curate and build a virtual world library. Connecting people with information (including virtual world communities and immersive learning spaces) is essential to utilizing virtual worlds for learning. Those connections can be made through many people collaborating on a global scale.
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In 2016, Metaverse Libraries Tours began taking educators, librarians and learners (anyone interested) into Kitely, Inworldz, Avacon and a web-based world called Cybalounge. Through exploring other worlds, it became apparent that each virtual world library is unique.  Finding a specific niche is essential.  There is no need to create a virtual world space that simply links the user to content on the web.Instead, virtual world libraries need to present content that cannot be found elsewhere- either on a webpage or in a physical library.
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Virtual worlds are full of user-generated content both creative and realistic. Great big conference areas can be found in virtual worlds.For example, CVL in Kitely has a space where many people can meet and interact.  But coming into a world that is empty provides little satisfaction.It is PEOPLE in virtual worlds that make immersive learning possible. Having a clear purpose, target audience, or niche gives a foundation for a virtual world space.
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An example of a specific “niche” for a virtual world library is Sendalonde Library in Inworldz. Sendalonde is a gorgeous fantasy library that allows the user to enter and feel transported to interact with fantasy and sci-fi literature. The “sense of presence” in a virtual world can be seen and felt in Sendalonde.
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Any who has been active in virtual worlds for very long  has heard people talk about the “steep learning curve”.  This has been an obstacle, especially for educators.
CVL shared a tour of Cybalounge- a web-based virtual world that requires no download and is simple to enter. We will be touring Cybalounge again later this summer.
If you are not in the Second Life Library 2.0 group, please join to get information about upcoming tours.
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Librarian Mel Krupinski took us to an amazing space when we visited the Rockcliffe Library in Avacon. A virtual world train station!  The Hypergrid Train Station is a space that shows the incredible number of virtual worlds available. One encounters a huge sign showing numerous trains with destinations to  various worlds. To find one’s destination, an avatar walks through the station to board the hypergrid “train”. The train station metaphor emphasizes that we cannot learn best practices in virtual worlds without connecting with others!
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The need to help users locate both landmarks and communities in virtual worlds has become evident. Up until now, we've focused mostly on what CVL and Metaverse Libraries are doing in-world to connect education-oriented communities (including nonprofits) throughout the metaverse. Now, it is time to show what we are doing to connect virtual world communities outside of virtual worlds and how we hope to connect non-virtual world users to our resources!
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Educational communities and non-profits like CVL provide spaces and resources within virtual worlds like Second Life for those interested in learning, educating, and assisting with different causes. This database is essentially the online version of Metaverse Libraries. It categorizes, describes, preserves, and makes virtual world communities (including non-profits) more publicly accessible.
- The image on this slide is a snapshot of the database, which is live at
http://tinyurl.com/virtualworldsdatabase
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Click image to enlarge
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And the Virtual World Communities collection is currently accepting entries at
http://tinyurl.com/virtualworldsdatabaseform

So, why are we trying to catalog virtual worlds?

Documenting virtual worlds is important so that future generations know what information professionals and educators have accomplished with virtual worlds.
This is especially important because virtual worlds are ever-changing, and once a simulation disappears, it is difficult if not impossible to find traces of it.
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Additionally, organizing virtual worlds is important because there is a lack of in-world tools for searching simulations and communities that currently exist. Users often must already know the exact name of the community in order to find it, and searching based on a single term doesn’t guarantee the user will find a relevant, safe community.
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Something else to note is that this isn’t the first time individuals and communities have tried to preserve and document virtual worlds. So, we have to ask ourselves: how is this time different? There have been other attempts—some more and some less successful than others. But, to our knowledge, no other searchable database has been published to date—especially with the intent of connecting and documenting educational communities as resources--as is the case with our Virtual World Communities collection. So in that sense, our goal is unique.
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Additionally, most other attempts are in the form of lists and spreadsheets created by individuals or individual communities with the entries not shared or collaborated on publicly or with a long-term plan for curation. Most communities have in-world collections of landmarks as well, but these collections are browse-only. A user cannot search a wall of images, for example. They can only browse. And there are many commercial and individual blogs, wikis, and websites that host “best of” and spotlighted virtual communities and landmarks. But these are often geared toward a specific audience (such as businesses), a specific world (such as Second Life), and they do not attempt to document or preserve the information.
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The Virtual Worlds Database consists of two collections: Virtual World Communities and Virtual World Landmarks.The landmarks collection was informed by CVL's landmarks spreadsheet. We aren't currently adding to it, but we will continue to curate the collection and may build onto it in the future.The Virtual World Communities collection is our current focus and the inspiration for building the database.

But what's the difference between communities and landmarks anyway?!

Landmarks represent a specific space or object. For example, CVL's main library building or its Hypergrid Resource Center.
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Communities are less tangible and can span many spaces and are more activity and citizen-focused. They might host discussion groups, conferences, classes, or parties.
And they often use landmarks as meeting spaces and for other uses, but they aren't necessarily tied to one spot.
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We anticipate the database will evolve over time and acquire more collections!
But right now, we're focused on building the Virtual World Communities collection and maintaining and improving the Virtual World Landmarks collection.
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In the future, we would like to interlink collections (for example, link CVL's Main Library landmark entry in the landmarks collection to the CVL community entry in the communities collection). Other collections we might consider for the database include:
an archives for retired communities, projects, and sims; biographies of important figures in virtual worlds; images and machinima; published virtual world research; and virtual world conferences
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As I've mentioned, the database is live and searchable! This slide demonstrates a few ways you can access the database.
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Our easy-to-remember URL is: http://tinyurl.com/virtualworldsdatabase
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You can also view the database on your mobile devices! The interface is designed to respond to your screen size. The second image is a snapshot of the Airtable iPhone app. Airtable is the free software we chose to host the database. The app is available on Mac and Windows desktops as well as iOS and Android.
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CVL would also like to embed the database into its website for easier access:  https://communityvirtuallibrary.wordpress.com
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Something cool about Airtable is that it offers two ways to view the database. The Main View looks similar to a spreadsheet you might create in Excel or Google Sheets.
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The Gallery View allows for easier browsing and is designed for quick peaks at important entry info. Clicking an entry shows you its full record.
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You can also find information in different ways. You can sort, filter, and group by different fields (categories).You can also use more advanced filters (both by categories as well specific keywords the entry should or should *not* contain). Or you can conduct a simple keyword search.
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If building and maintaining the Virtual Worlds Database sounds like a lot of work, you’re right! We need all the help we can get.This slide lists some of the volunteer positions and tasks we need help with. Fact checking might appeal to the investigators among us.
We need folks willing to visit communities and reach out to community leaders to make sure the information in the database is as accurate as possible.
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If you have cataloging/database entry experience, we are looking for a few people to help add entries to the database. We would also like to create or locate a virtual worlds glossary to advise the database and its users. This will require knowledge of controlled vocabularies and their applications. We also need someone to investigate integrating the database into CVL's website.
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Backups are important for migration (if we decide to stop using Airtable in the future). We currently have backup spreadsheets of the database.However, encoding the spreadsheet in XML may help us integrate the database into HTML in the future or into popular open source database platforms.
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There are a lot of database platforms out there! Unfortunately, many are either costly or require extensive coding or other backend experience.We would love to have a few long-term IT volunteers interested in providing IT support and implementations for CVL.
- If you are unable to commit as a more specialized volunteer, there are other ways you can help us out! Take a moment to enter your favorite community (or communities!) into our Google Form: http://tinyurl.com/virtualworldsdatabaseform
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You can also check out the database and let us know of any issues you find. Is something confusing? Is something missing or incorrect?
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You can share the database link with others and recommend the database to colleagues interested in learning more about virtual worlds.
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Use the database! Browse to see what's out there or look for specific types of communities. If you have a blog, for example, you might just find your next community or landmark to feature! Finally, if you have your own virtual worlds spreadsheet or database, we would love to collaborate!
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We are open to discussing integration as well as partnerships, especially with collections that highlight the educational aspects of virtual worlds.
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If you are interested in curating or helping with the database in any way, please contact 
CVL President Val (CVL President; valibrarian@gmail.com; Valibrarian Gregg in SL, InWorldz, Kitely, OpenSim) or 
Alyse (Virtual Worlds Database Coordinator; alyse.dunavant-jones@sjsu.edu; alysedunavantjones in SL; AnteMeridiem DiscJockey in InWorldz, Kitely)

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License

  • Original text in this blog is CC By: unless specified public domain
  • Use as you please with attribution: web link to the original.
  • All images without attribution in this blog are CC0: public domain.
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News and Notes

HG links-- depending on your interests 

Communities in the virtual worlds

Radio in the virtual worlds


Metaverse beginner help

The Hypergrid WIP Show

  • The Hypergrid WIP is a one hour "show & tell" of works in progress. 
  • Everyone is invited.  Building, scripting, entertainment-- whatever you are working on.
  • Selby may capture video of presentations in voice, for posting on YouTube.
  • The WIP show normally meets on 2 Sundays a month at 12 pm California time.
  • The show meets at the Pandora location on the second Sunday 
  • But will not meet in the summer.
  • And at Cookie II on the fourth Sunday.  
  • To keep up with the WIP meetings, join the Kitely group, Work in progress.

Next WIP meeting

    • Sunday July 23, noon SLT (California) time
    • Cookie II location (fourth Sunday of the month)
    • HG address below: paste into the World Map next to Find. Click Find, TP
    • grid.kitely.com:8002:Cookie II 
    • In Kitely, put Cookie II into the find bar of the world map. 
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    • Suspended for Summer: Pandora Location: (second Sunday of the month)
    • Pandora allows presenters to run high threat OSSL functions.
    • world.narasnook.com:8900
    • Put the line above in your World Map next to Find.  Click FindTP
    • At Narasnook, use World Map to search for Pandora

            Previous Articles from the WIP show 

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