Librarians’ Online Efforts Toward Virtual and Collaborative Information Services

Michelle Kowalsky


Virtual worlds have attracted hundreds of librarian volunteers who are interested in exploring virtual online environments like Second Life (R) as avenues to deliver and promote library resources to users “where they are.” A core team of leaders from a variety of library types from many countries emerged online during this initiative to tackle many difficult questions in developing and implementing library services for virtual users. As innovators, librarians are not often seen as leaders by those outside of the profession. However, a growing online presence of librarians as technological early adopters has emerged to inform our view of ways in which library and information services professionals can design, test, and revise online “third places” where social interaction, information exchange, and inquiry about technologies or any other topics can occur as seamlessly as in a physical library. Online virtual environments have been truly social learning environments for the librarians, as well as for their users. We need to not overlook the importance of these new spaces or “sandboxes” as most useful for professional development of instructors and information professionals. Transferable skills in online collaboration, articulating oneself clearly through words and avatars, and functioning as a contributing team member on a new and uncharted initiative are truly valuable experiences for professional learning in information, communication, and technology (ICT) fields.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2013.v3n7p100

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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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