Thursday, April 1, 2010

Oregon Information Literacy Summit

This Saturday, island librarian KevinW. Huckleberry (Kevin Moore of Portland Community College) and I will be going to the Oregon Information Literacy Summit at Linn-Benton Community College. We'll be available at a poster table to answer any questions librarians and information specialists from across the state may have about the Oregon isle library, and library services in Second Life in general.

So far, the island library pilot has included Kevin establishing the space and creating a link to each of our 17 community college's library catalogs. The library also includes an area for small groups to review and discuss media, as well as a link to a 24 hour reference desk. We both think it's a good first start, this presentation of content.

We're both also looking forward to having an open conversation with those who are thinking deeply about information literacy regarding what the next steps for the library and services on Oregon Community Colleges isle might be. After all, we're working in an environment exploring a new kind of literacy-avatar literacy.

I grew up on an island, and the local library was my bloodline to information from the outside world. Having earned my master's degree online, I reflect back to see now how similar the mental isolation of these two experiences were. Maybe if the librarians at the library helped my imagination flourish as a kid, I wonder, could it help distance learners in their sense of isolation to have access to a librarian? Would some of those learners prefer to do it through an avatar?

I hope to find a way to bring a couple key roles to the island for 2010-2011 to help us answer some of these questions, and Kevin as our librarian is one of them. Student services is another. So far, our work has been focused more from the perspective of finding out if faculty are interested in using virtual worlds as a tool for presenting learning experiences. Now that we have a core team of instructors who know how to use the environment and value it's pedagogical strengths, I'm excited to delve more deeply into helping Kevin help our students become more info-literate avatars.