The two new library branches will be CVL Hypergrid Resource Libraries with content designed to help people navigate virtual worlds across grids with various viewers.
How to help
Many people have collected landmarks and high-quality immersive simulations across grids over the past years. Acquiring these resources into a single collection and keeping it up to date is a massive undertaking which would be best achieved through crowdsourcing with librarians initiating the project.
Often people are unaware of the high-quality immersive learning environments in virtual worlds because they lack accurate and up-to-date search tools. Educators often waste time “reinventing the wheel” without awareness of the educational content created by other educators. By collaborating, sharing resources, and pooling skills and talent, real learning can take place on a larger scale and best practices can be better understood.
Grid access directions in various worlds
People often get lost navigating from one virtual world to the next. Downloading various virtual world viewers and juggling multiple avatar accounts adds to the confusion. A center with directions and tips for moving across worlds would make searching for events, simulations and virtual communities easier.
The projected timeline for the CVL Hypergrid Resource Library targets a grand opening in the summer of 2019. One branch will be located near the CVL Digital Citizenship Museum in Kitely and another will be near Rockcliffe Library Consortium in Avacon.
Virtual world database
The Community Virtual Library created a virtual world database sharing virtual world communities as “real resources” similar to books. In virtual worlds, finding environments and communities of interest requires search strategies and librarians are uniquely qualified to help.
Because virtual worlds provide global connectivity in a sustainable yet evolving digital format, people can connect and learn in communities are common topics and subjects of interest and expertise. Locating those individuals and communities would be more possible with a database.
CVL strives to share best practices for utilizing virtual worlds and the work educators, artists, and content creators have done and are doing. You can help by sharing your virtual world content via an online form created for individuals to add favorite communities.
Help is needed to keep the virtual worlds database current. We have all visited virtual ghost towns as well as dead links online. Making sure the sims and communities are active is an ongoing job.
In addition, providing instructions for navigating between worlds and sharing grid addresses will be an important role for librarians and volunteers. Individuals with knowledge of hypergrid jumping are encouraged to get involved as the plans for a Hypergrid Resource Library begin. Office hours at CVL — even just one hour a week — is a way to build a professional network and help with documentation of virtual worlds both currently in use and for future archival.
Certainly, none of us can be active in all virtual worlds and CVL is not suggesting the need to visit them all. As a “real library in a virtual world,” the goal of CVL is to increase awareness of the potential for virtual worlds, inspire partnerships, help with navigation, and contribute to the documentation of virtual worlds in digital culture.
For information on volunteering or contributing to the virtual world database or virtual world library programs, contact CVL director Valerie Hill, also known as Valibrarian Gregg in-world, at [email protected] or CVL assistant director Alyse Dunavant-Jones at [email protected].