Yesterday, I had the pleasure of addressing a UCLA LIS class during a panel presentation about information literacy instruction in various kinds of libraries. Eight panelists from around the country described ways they help their users find and use the information they need. Representatives from public libraries, libraries in public and private elementary and high schools, community colleges, universities, hospitals, an art institute and a virtual library gave the 21 students a broad view of the different types of information consumers libraries serve, the challenges they present and the instructional approaches employed to meet them. Geography was no object, because the presentation took place at an open-air auditorium on Info Island in Second Life.
Although I have attended events and taken classes in Second Life, this was my first speaking engagement. It took longer than I expected to condense what we do here at Sacramento Public into a 10-minute presentation, because I didn’t know until literally the last minute, whether I would be talking via SL Voice or entering my speech a sentence at a time into the chat box. (I used voice, in the end, for my presentation, and answered questions using chat.)
I had excellent support from Esther Grassian (Alexandria Knight in SL), the instructor, who answered all my questions promptly; from Rhonda Trueman (Abbey Zenith), who gave a tutorial for the presenters in constructing posters that can give informational notecards to those who touch them; and from Sandy Vella (Agnesa Capalini), who took me shopping for a professional outfit and helped me set up my Voice and learn to give teleports. I also need to thank my supervisors for allowing me to be “off-desk” for 4 hours in order to attend the event, and my co-workers, who pulled extra desk time as a result.