Oct. 29, 2006

Let's Keep Libraries and Research Simple

I’ve always been told, “Don’t knock it before you try it.” I don’t have the time right now to perform a thorough investigation of Second Life, but I can’t help but make one criticism regarding access to the libraries that are being established on Second Life.

Since I began taking the Digital History class in the fall, I have been learning on a weekly basis about how much I don’t know about the Internet. One thing that I have learned though is that it is important to me that information be shared on the Internet rather being locked away under a password.

Although anybody can create a character on Second Life, this virtual world is still password protected. A couple weeks ago, our class read that libraries and teaching institutions were setting up virtual equivalents in Second Life. My criticism is this: are we not making things more complicated for ourselves by creating a virtual world within the World Wide Web? Entering Second Life to access library materials seems like an unnecessary hurdle considering that a number of these resources are likely available online elsewhere. Hopefully institutions putting resources and services on Second Life are already established on the parts of the web that are searchable!

Maybe when I get a chance, I’ll search around on Second Life a bit to see if my mind can be changed, but for now, Second Life does not seem to be a very effective research tool!