I probably would have missed sharing a digital cup of chai with Storm (teen avatar name) this morning in Teen Second Life, had I responded in a certain way to an issue I was having about the Island. I would’ve probably missed ‘buying’ that cup of chai at Sylbucks (teen avatar that built the coffee shop calls themself Sylver) and seeing that part of the profit went to Storm and part of it went back into the Island. Great entrepreneurial skills! I would’ve probably missed seeing another teen avatar come into the coffee shop and ask me when they could have estate privileges to start building on the Island and then uploading their Photoshop designs in 3D which rezzed before my eyes, to share them with me and Storm (who was still ‘drinking’ his coffee).
The issue I was having is that I visited the Island last night and saw a violent image that wasn’t appropriate for our Island on one of the buildings. I immediately felt responsibility for (which I should). I decided to ask Storm in a casual manner why the image was there. “Oh that? We devised a board to develop rotating ad space for the library-I’ll remove it,” he said. “That was just a programmed sample.”
Wow-rotating ad space for the library?! “That’s brilliant!” was my response.
I do not think this is any different than if your library uses a MySpace site and your password is phished and an inappropriate post is sent out and dealing with the situation by not closing the site (or the Island down) as it may be.
He understood to remove it without me ranting about everything, and I learned so much by our journey after that short conversation.
Many of us who serve teens already have the skills of interacting with them to create whatever it might be-crafts, music, drawing, etc. Interacting with them in a virtual environment such as Teen Second Life is just one more way to reach them (some who might not come to a physical library). It doesn’t mean it’s a better way nor does it mean you need to be super tech savvy. But it could be an option for you and an option for a teen to connect.
Oh-and how do I know that the digital cup of Sylbucks was a chai and not something else? Because that’s what I like. XD
Posted by Kelly Czarnecki