My Second Life research project concluded with an end-of-term presentation within Second Life. My advisor, Michael Stephens, and two other avatars showed up to hear my research results and participate in discussion.

You can see my final presentation slides here.

This blog will continue to exist as a record of this project but I’ll no longer be actively posting to it. So, signing off, thanks much to those of you who have followed this project. I appreciate your kind comments and words of encouragement along the way.

See the full transcript of the recent discussion at Infolit iSchool at http://sleeds.org/chatlog/?c=286


Originally uploaded by librariandreamer

ISB Presentation_001 Originally uploaded by librariandreamer

This past Monday, I presented the results of my research project to Michael Stephens, my faculty advisor, and three other guests who joined us in Second Life.

Stay tuned for a slideshare presentation to include the content of this presentation.

Pictured above is my avatar practicing for the presentation before any attendees had showed up.

Completing this presentation marked the end of my MLIS coursework. I now have 2 weeks of R&R before beginning my new job at Thomson Reuters. Horray!

ISB Presentation24Apr_002

Originally uploaded by librariandreamer

Sheila Yoshikawa (Sheila Webber in real life) hosted me at the InfoLit iSchool in Second Life for a rousing discussion around my research findings. Quite a crowd of avatars showed up, and the discussion was lively.

One strand of the discussion dealt with whether libraries and librarians in SL should extend services to ‘generic’ SL users or stay focused within targeted communities — often based on real life social groups like a student body at a university.

Here is some of the conversation. Stay tuned for a link to the full chat transcript.

[12:49] You: I’d like to return to the question of whether or not it’s worthwhile to even try to extend services to “all” SL users, or are libraries better served to set up shop with a defined RL group of users in mind (e.g. a student body)?
[12:50] Frances Obolensky: Why call it a library? Why not an infomration kiosk?
[12:50] Riven Homewood: Mine is set up with a defined group of sl users in mind – the residents of my town
[12:50] FORTUNATA Questi: I think in setting up ANY environment, you have to imagine a group of users with a group of needs.
[12:50] Holland Zerbino: I think its a questio of resources e could only support SL from our RL orgaization
[12:50] Robin Mochi: I’m actually thinking that roving reference in SL may make more sense in many ways.
[12:50] You: Riven, your RL town? Or a region of SL?
[12:50] FORTUNATA Questi: whether it is a library in RL or SL or a store/mall
[12:50] Sheila Yoshikawa: hmmm – think I’ve said before – I feel more focus on teh skilled librarian and less on what the “library” looks like
[12:50] Solobill Laville: I think that specificity is really key actually.
[12:50] Riven Homewood: sl town
[12:50] You: Robin, how so?
[12:50] Sheila Yoshikawa: so – different views!
[12:50] You: How could roving reference work in SL? Continue Reading »

Talking, looking, flying, searching:

A research report on information seeking behavior in Second Life

Does a 3D immersive environment suggest new models of information seeking behavior? Just how are people getting at information in virtual worlds? What does this mean for libraries and librarians?

At this event, I will share my research findings about at how people in Second Life seek information.

This presentation will use voice and will be recorded.

April 22, 2008
Presentation from 7:30 – 8:30 am Second Life Time (SLT)
In Second Life at Info Island International
@ Stage near China Cafe (76, 170, 32)

IM Testy Outlander in Second Life for a Notecard Invite with Landmark
The landmark will place you in a general welcome area. From there, take the short path of large grey stones to the wooden boardwalk. Follow the boardwalk, and you will arrive at the presentation area located next to the China Cafe.

A recording of this presentation will be archived on this blog.

The role of libraries in reaching everyday Second Life users

April 24, 2008 at 12:00 pm SLT @ CILR, Infolit School (101, 211, 22)

Margaret Ostrander (Testy Outlander) has spent the last two months conducting research about the information seeking habits of everyday Second Life (SL) users.

Research findings showed that none of the users interviewed had used SL libraries, and nearly all were unaware of their existence. What should the role of the SL library or librarian be beyond the borders of places like Info Island? Why are so many SL users unaware of SL libraries? What is your institution doing to provide outreach into the vast corners of this rich virtual universe? How can the everyday information seeking behaviors of SL residents inform library services?

Come join in this discussion! IM Testy Outlander for a landmark to this event.

I have a job!

While this is not related to this research project, I’d like to announce – on a more personal note – that I have accepted a position at Thomson Corporation (soon to be Thomson Reuters) as a Web Producer with the corporate portal / intranet team.  As I’m wrapping up my Master’s of Library and Information Science (MLIS) in just a few short weeks, this opportunity came at the perfect time.

I finally feel like a real, live librarian! Horray!

I will be presenting the results of this research project on Tuesday, April 22nd at 7:15 am Second Life Time (SLT).  Second Life time is the same as Eastern Standard Time. I’ll ask that all attendees convene at 7:15 am SLT, and the presentation will begin at 7:30 am SLT. I expect that it will last about an hour.

I hope that you will be able to attend! Once all the details are nailed down, I’ll do my best to promote the event within the SL library community, and I will also be inviting the people that I have interviewed or otherwise gotten to know through observations.

The place for my presentation is TBD. If you, dear reader, have any suggestions, please post them here.

I’m in the final stretch of data gathering, hoping to squeeze in a couple more interviews this weekend and perhaps one more observation.  This next Monday, April 7th is the day I’m cutting myself off. It’s time to stop the madness!! I’ve come to a conclusion that it’s not the amount of data that’s the most important…it’s the quality of the analysis.

The corpus of data assembled thus far is truly astounding. It’s so multi-faceted, with chat transcript or voice transcription, snapshots, video captures plus audio field notes indicating the on-screen action. There are so many factors to consider in even a short SL interaction.

As my analysis has progressed from inductive generation of categories through open coding, I’ve now moved on to coding only defined instances of information seeking behavior. This, in essence, is my unit of analysis. Observations include many, and the ‘critical incidence’ interview structure that has evolved yields at least one (usually more) stories of information seeking experiences.

I look forward to officially wrapping up my data gathering this weekend and moving on for the final stretch of analysis.