Librarianship in Virtual Worlds

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ALA TechSource
8 12"
  • Description
  • About the Authors

Over the past several years, virtual worlds have become increasingly popular. Virtual worlds are no longer sources of amusement or recreation—they are now fully functional communication and networking tools. In this issue of Library Technology Reports, Tom Peters helps virtual world novices and experts alike learn about the key issues and opportunities available for libraries, library-related organizations, and library users.

This Report discusses how the library profession is approaching virtual worlds, and is designed for library professionals who are considering whether or not to establish a virtual world presence. In addition to giving readers a detailed look at the current state of virtual world librarianship, this report also provides a foundation for virtual world knowledge. It defines commonly used terms, delineates common problems and concerns about virtual world and explores the different approaches to and applications of virtual worlds for twenty-first-century librarians.

Topics Covered in this Issue Include:

  • Terminology, Contexts, and Distinctions, including information about: Virtual Communities; Four Components of the Metaverse; Avatars; MUVEs and MMORPGs; Three Types of Libraries; and Being in the Real World, Online, and In World
  • Ten Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Librarianship in Virtual Worlds
  • Issues to Consider, including: Ownership, Intellectual Property, and Rights Management; Timing; Metrics: Studying the Attitudes and Behaviors of Avatars; and Interoperability and the Portability of Resources
  • Resources, including information about: Following the Virtual Worlds News; Platforms, Software, and Tools; WebFlock from Electric Sheep; Books and Articles; and A Selective List of Virtual Worlds

Tom Peters

Tom Peters began his library career serving as an academic librarian for 16 years at various Midwestern universities and academic library consortia. In 2003 he founded TAP Information Services, a small company that helps organizations innovate. Current TAP Info projects include OPAL, an easy, affordable, accessible Web-conferencing service, and Unabridged, which provides downloadable digital audiobooks for blind and low-vision users in several states. Tom, his wife, their four children, and three dogs live on an acreage nestled between Oak Grove and Grain Valley, Missouri.

Library Technology Reports

Published by ALA TechSource, Library Technology Reports helps librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects. Library Technology Reports publishes eight issues annually and provides thorough overviews of current technology. Reports are authored by experts in the field and may address the application of technology to library services, offer evaluative descriptions of specific products or product classes, or cover emerging technology. Find out more information on this publication and how you can subscribe here.