Santa Clara U Debuts Future Library in Second Life

Santa Clara University is debuting its new library--even though it won't be finished until next fall--in Second Life, the online virtual community.

The Second Life environment gives SCU community members a sense of what it would look like inside the building once it is built.

In the virtual library a staff of librarians can help visitors via chatting and eventually with voice communications when that feature is added.

"My hope was that students would walk around in here and give them a sense of having a library before it opens," Michael Ballen, an instructional technology specialist at Santa Clara, who is leading the project, told The Santa Clara, the campus newspaper.

Classrooms inside the library provide a way for teachers to  teach classes by pre-recording lectures and screening them in Second Life, which allows video and audio streaming.

The model was made by the New Media Consortium, a higher-education-technology group.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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