Second ALA Life

ALA continues to work with its members and the public to experiment in the virtual world Second Life. We held a party in-world for Banned Books Week last year, and this year some very knowledgeable students in San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science helped rebuild our island. We went from a fairly static, sectioned presence to a more interactive and visually interesting one. There’s a new events area, information about each of our divisions, general information about ALA, some games, and other things to explore.

By the memory game

Book Stage at Sunrise

Besides wanting to publicly thank Jeremy Kemp, Bernd Becker, Daniel Brunk, Susie Quinn, and Robin Williams for all of their great work and SJSU SLIS for giving their time to us, I also want to note that we’ll be advertising SL events soon for National Library Week. In the meantime, please be sure to stop by and play around with some of the more fun things on our island. More to come in the future.

ALALibraryVal Miles poses beside the 2008 National Library Week Kiosk, wearing the free t-shirt available.

ALALibraryVal Miles accesses and wears the free National Library Workers Day t-shirt from the 2008 National Library Week Kiosk

6 Responses to “Second ALA Life”

  1. Hamilton - Cleveland Public Library Says:

    Great! Looks very good… Outstanding! YCH


  2. Margaret Says:

    I hope people realize that not everyone has access to SecondLife. My computers at home and at work cannot run it because of the high-end video card that the software requires to run SecondLife. I cannot afford a new computer at home on my library salary and my library is also strapped for funding.

    Web 2.0 is creating Digital Divide 2.0.


  3. carter-Cleveland Public Library Says:

    It is outstanding, I love it


  4. Jenny Levine Says:

    Hi, Margaret – we very much do realize this, and it’s one reason our Washington Office works so hard on lobbying for appropriate bandwidth for libraries in this country. Second Life is just like our blogs, wikis, etc., where it’s one parallel channel for interacting with ALA. There is no exclusive content on ALA’s island in SL, so you can access that same information elsewhere on the open web.

    ALA is trying to give a voice to these kinds of issues around access (both to the content and the infrastructure to support access), but that doesn’t mean we won’t explore these new venues at the same time. We can do both to help illustrate and resolve the problem.

    Jenny Levine


  5. P. Librarian Says:

    I would appreciate it of the ALA would spend some time advocating for librarians rather than focusing entirely on libraries. Where was the ALA’s reaction to the firing of the Wisconsin librarians and rehiring for $10K less? The NEA would have had something to say if teachers were being treated that way. The ALA needs to stop talking about Banned Books Week and start talking about things that help librarians “put food on their families”.


  6. Mary W. Ghikas Says:

    We hear you. Several years ago, ALA established the ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) to do just that. The ALA-APA — through salary studies, Library Worklife, the National Library Workers Day, the CPLA certification, and other programs — focuses on the needs and interests of librarians and other library workers. The ALA-APA works with other organizations — both professional societies and unions — with similar focus. The ALA-APA works for all ALA members.

    At the same time, ALA’s mission remains “the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession for librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.”

    The U.S. tax laws, which significantly shape the way in which non-profit associations (like ALA and ALA-APA) may accomplish their missions, make it necessary to pursue these complementary missions through different legal organizations. We talk to each other, though.

    Through ALA, for instance, we have supported parents in Washington State who believe that their children’s and their community’s ability to compete in the global economy is compromised when their schools lack school library media centers directed by certified school librarians. ALA has supported them with data and other advocacy support. ALA-APA has focused on the individual professional needs of librarians and other library staff, and pushes for improved salaries, recognition, enhanced worklife and continued professional growth.

    I hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly — or through this blog.


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