Drinking chai on the Island

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us 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

Defining a Library

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usIt’s almost 11pm and teens are still at the library. The virtual library-building a model of what library services mean to them. There are fourteen buildings listed including a robotics lab, heliopad, and underground area for paintball (that had to be fit in somewhere).

Here is an excerpt from a conversation with the developer and a teen encouraging youth participation and believing and encouraging in what they can do.

developer: when you commit to the model we must determine needs
teen: Can you decide?
developer: no. I want you all to have a committed involvemet
developer: because I can easily
teen: It’s to hard for me
developer: come in and build things out
developer: well that is where we will work closely
developer: I wont let you fail

developer: I will guide
teen: 🙂

Do not be afraid to jump into Second Life. So many librarians have the skills of encouraging true youth participation, believing in youth, making innovation happen, using web 2.0 tools. You can do this!

posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Welcome to Oz

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library are in Teen Second Life! They are working with Hopestreet Academy initially. Jean Gardner, YA Librarian took the initiative to partner with organizations including Emporia State University and Kansas Medical Center for this project. Meeting teens where they are at online and in these virtual spaces, is a great place to connect library services and teens. Look for some great work by Jean and the Kansas Community in Teen Second Life.

Watch for updates on the Hope Street blog and podcasts.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Teen Second Life follow up

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usGreat post about concerts in Second Life! Eye4You Alliance Island streamed our first concert into TSL last week. We’re partnering with Muse Isle on the main grid of Second Life and worked with a live band in Atlanta, Lee Broderick, and Sarah Mac. The teens created a performance stage right away and really enjoyed the music.

You can use a microphone or Winamp to stream in music to Teen Second Life. We just need a URL and we’re good to go. I’d invite any library that is having a concert to contact me, we can stream the music to our island so that teens from all over the world can listen to it: eye4youalliance@gmail.com or join our island as a volunteer. We’re hoping to partner in real life this weekend with Dancing for Darfur so that we can raise money on the Teen Grid for a good cause and the teens can have a great time.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Teachable Moments in Internet Safety

Some of you know that my Meebo is logged in all day – my office is experimenting with being available to members via IM, to encourage our libraries to try it.

This afternoon, around 5, I got a message from someone I didn’t know, on my old AIM account, and since I am kinda “out there” on the ‘net, and I do get messaged by librarians all the time, I feel comfortable disclosing my name:

[14:05] Stranger: hey

[14:05] me: [screen name]… do I know you? 🙂

[14:06] Stranger: I doubt it. How’s it goin’?

[14:06] me: ok… 🙂

[14:06] me: what’s up?

[14:07] Stranger: Nothing really. Who are you? You’re on my buddy list for some reason…

[14:07] me: *lol*

[14:07] me: Beth Gallaway, gamer librarian

[14:07] Stranger: Gamer Librarian?

So, at this point, I am still thinking I am talking to another librarian. Then her buddy icon resolves itself, and it is a photo of a teenaged Asian girl.

[14:08] me: i’m a librarian, working as a trainer and consultant to libraries now

[14:08] me: and I am writing a book on games and libraries

[14:08] me: 🙂

[14:08] me: ring any bells?

[14:09] me: I teach classes in library topics for Simmons, CT state library, and talk at a lot of library conferences.

[14:09] me: and I used to work in [Town], and sometimes gave out this AIM there to library patrons 🙂

[14:09] me: who are YOU? *g*
[14:09] Stranger: Nope. I live in [Town, State].
[14:10] Stranger: I am [First name, Last name] possibly the best person you’ve ever met.
[14:10] me: most definitely.
[14:10] Stranger: Not to sound cocky.

So. Within 5 minutes, this young person gave me their town and full name. We shook virtual hands, and I just knew it had to be a kid… a bit later, after explaining what I do, I asked what do you do, work, school… she replied, “school” and that she had the day off due to the extremely cold weather.

We exchanged some game links (I gave her Set Game and she sent me to Flash Flash Revolution). And I suggested Teen Second Life and she immediately set up an account and gave me her screen name THERE. I gave her my account name and told her to visit the Eye4You Alliance Island.

Before logging off, I couldn’t let go of the fact that she gave personal information to a complete stranger within five minutes of talking for the first time

[14:29] me: just a sidenote:

[14:29] me: you gave me your full name and location within 5 minutes of meeting me…

[14:29] me: and i am totally legit *g*

[14:29] me: 32 yr old female librarian

[14:29] me: BUT

[14:29] Stranger: Ooh. Wow. Yeah.

[14:29] me: i would be remiss not to slap you on teh wrists!

[14:30] me: bad girl

[14:30] me: my myspace is informationgoddess29

[14:30] me: and if you DO get into second life, look me up

[14:30] Stranger: okay

[14:30] me: and keep sending game links 🙂

[14:30] me: take care!

[14:30] Stranger: I will

[14:30] Stranger: lol

[14:30] Stranger: you too

[14:30] me: 🙂

Should I have asked why? If she did it all the time? What her parents would think? Should I have tried to google her name and location, or looked her up on Facebook or MySpace to further prove my point? What do you all think?

I still have no clue how I got on her buddy list. Maybe we can play six degrees of separation if she messages me again.

Another successful program

Teen: Who is hosting tomorrows event?

Instructor: me
Teen: Cool
Teen:D
Teen: Im coming

How to measure success virtually? YALSA member Jami Schwarzwalder taught the first skills class to captivated listeners and eager learners in Teen Second Life on Eye4You Alliance Island today. Teen Second Life is a 3D world for 13-17 year olds. The goal of Eye4You Alliance is for teens to create new stories in a virtual world. Teens can choose what to build in this environment and what library services might look like and mean here. Podcasting, build contests, book publishing, streamed in video and audio, are some of the activities teens have expressed interest in and are possible in the space of Second Life.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

My So-Called Virtual Life

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Anastasia Goodstein reports in this week’s BusinessWeek how and why teens are experimenting with their identity in virtual environments such as Teen Second Life and Meez.

Also, check out Mediasnackers podcast with Global Kids. They talk about bringing a youth development model to digital media, particularly Teen Second Life.

Is your library involved in a virtual world with teens? Consider adding it to the Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki Page or check YALSAs Teen Tech Week wiki.

btw, you might catch a glimpse of Santa at the Cybrary City opening tomorrow in Second Life at 2:30p PST, where librarians can showcase their local resources.

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki

Positive Use of Social Networking #13 – Second Life

During October a small group of YALSA bloggers are posting ideas and information about positive uses of social networking tools in schools and libraries. Here’s positive use #13.

Second Life(SL) is a 3D virtual world for adults age 18 and over where one can create an avatar, interact with others, and design the world they want to live in. Over 100 universities and colleges are involved in SL to offer their students a learning experience through this world.

Teen Second Life is for teens, 13-17 and is separate from adults because of safety reasons. Teens can own land, run their own business, design clothes, create machinima, bring their favorite story scene to life through build and design skills, and learn about social issues such as child pornography and sex trafficking which was what GlobalKids did through their camp in Second Life this summer with teens. Schools such as Suffern Middle School in New York, is aligning curriculum standards for their 8th graders with Teen Second Life, and will have a presence to serve their students hopefully by next month.

The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in NC and the Alliance Library System in IL have announced a partnership last week to collaborate on library services for teens through Teen Second Life. The project will involve a collaboration with libraries and other youth serving organizations to reach teens where they are at and keep the library relevant to their needs. To find out what libraries are already doing on Second Life with adults, check out: www.infoisland.org Many YALSA members are already involved in Second Life with incredible and tremendous talent and are involved with the teen library project as well. The Alternative Teen Services blog links to Second Life under their ‘connect’ list.

While background checks are required for any adult working with teens on Second Life, if DOPA in its current form, had passed, teens at public and school libraries that are offering Second Life as a program, might be unable to access it or at least the rich world of communication tools that surround the virtual world such as blogs and wikis that foster collaboration and information for projects.

Developmental needs such as community support, motivation to learn, and cultural competence are perfect combinations to build upon through Second Life.

For more information on the library project, or to get involved, check out www.infoisland.org. To find out what other educators are doing in Second Life, go to the SimTeach wiki at: www.simteach.com.

It’s not too late to participate in Info Island’s open house going on this weekend in Second Life. Create an avatar and join the fun! Audio presentations will be archived on OPAL

Posted by Kelly Czarnecki