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More exhibits for 2010 Banned Books Week in Second Life

Don’t miss these!

Tidewater Community College

Tidewater Community College is celebrating Banned Book Week 2010 with a Second Life exhibit on the set of their latest video triumph “Banned Book Week at Rosie’s House,” starring Pat Swordthain as the Book Policeman and Gardenia Mills as Rosie and the Dragon.

Come to TCC Island, watch the video, and tour the set.


Stepanovych’s 1st Amendment / Banned Books Awareness Project

Kick off September 25th 2010 in conjunction with the American Library Association Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Loosely modeled after a scene from George Orwell’s 1984  and drawing from the words of Orwell and Bradbury regarding censorship.  This instillation features a video of  46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century that have been the target of ban attempts. The scene is a representation of a world where censorship has “cleansed” society… dreary, dull, used, and without “life”


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Housekeeping: ALA Island no longer a venue at

Time and time and time again the Second Life Events of other individuals and groups would “automagically” be listed on the ALA Island venue page — — as if they were events being held on the ALA Island. For whatever reason, once an event is listed on a venue page, however it came to be listed, even the venue page owner can’t delete it from the page. Now what sense does that make??

Since Linden Lab set up these Second Life venue pages in seemingly on a whim one day — and without notifying the Second Life residents, as far as I know, as it was a random Google search one day that alerted me to the one for ALA Island — in order to give the many, many Second Life events some kind of RSS feed and therefore visibility, for ALA Island it’s been an ill whim that blows no good!

Seeing yet another set of events not belonging to us on the ALA Island venue page, I decided that enough is enough. ALA Island has a Google Calendar and other social media tools that provide RSS feeds and visibility for its (admittedly infrequent) events. Why endure an online tool that in effect malfunctions and confuses–?

The venue withdrawal request had the following message attached —

“Events that do not belong to this venue are ALWAYS being added to this page. It has become some kind of dumping ground for the Second Life Event servers which are obviously not up to the job. If you can’t get it right, what’s the point? I never added the venue in the first place, and it’s being “maintained” so badly, it isn’t funny. DELETE!!”

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Virtual Members Actualized @ Midwinter

This document produced by the Task Force on Electronic Member Participation was discussed by Council at last month’s Midwinter Meeting and recommendations set forth were tentatively accepted. Most significant, perhaps, was #4: “Phase out the category of Virtual Member as non-voting: Agreed that the recommendation is for approval in principle of elimination of Policy 16.5 (Virtual members) so that members who could participate only electronically would have the full array of rights and responsibilities of all committee members.” This is going to require a lot more work and study by a new task force on implementing these recommendations. Those of you who participated in MW’s MIG meeting should definitely look for admission to this group and lend your expertise to this significant turn of events. The VCL MIG is the rallying point for creating your own niche in ALA as well as advising any upcoming task forces on how virtual particpation in ALA activities can be actualized.

I learned about this at a recent ITTS Update meeting at ALA where Jenny Levine presented an amazing report on the prevalence (and impact) of Twitter use during MW. It’s very possible that a tipping point on the blurring between actual and virtual participation has occurred. Levine cited several instances where people at different meetings at MW connected via Twitter caused changes to take place because of their electronic connections. As well, people who were only at MW via Twitter were also able to “be heard” at Council as well as the Web Advisory Committee.

I wish I could point to more detailed documentation of these instances but maybe participants or witnesses might come forward to comment or share their experiences.

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MW09 Day One: Stats as good as the presentations

first day stats.jpgContributed by Oberon Octagon

Statistically, we did very well on our first days of MW coverage on ALA Island, with a great amount of interest in the Privacy Revolution on Friday and the Virtual Communities & Libraries Members Initiative Group (MIG) on Saturday. I have a graphic that illustrates the spike in attendance at these two venues, and noticed 37 avatars at the MIG meeting. The spike on Tuesday the 22d of January is due to an AASL meeting on the Main Stage, otherwise you can see that attendance on the island during MW has close to tripled the average attendance numbers! On the BBW site, 174 avatars were around at some point, checking out the Privacy Revolution debut and (no doubt) getting their free t-shirts!

On Friday night a number of avatars were also flitting around the YALSA Tech Playground like hummingbirds at a feeder. With a few difficulties at first, the simulcast of the FINRA press conference went well and had a fair attendance inworld and questions from SL were answered by folks in Denver.

The plan for today is to facilitate an inworld presentation of the new Web-based Guide to Reference, to be handled at 10 am SLT (noon CST, 11 am MT) on the Book Logo Platform with overflow handled at the Small Stage below the platform.

We are also coordinating efforts for SLibrarians to attend “Rural Librarians Connecting Globally” on how rural librarians are connecting in SL. Their sim is a neighbor to ALA Island. This will occur at 1 pm SLT, 2 pm MT.

At this time, I am still working with OIF people on the possibility of simulcasting the keynote address of Rushton Kidder on the 70th Anniversary of the Code of Ethics. This will be rather impromptu but will occur in the Banned Books Village square if all goes well. This would take place at 2:30 pm SLT, 1:30pm MT.

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