Sunday, October 28, 2007

Internet Librarian Conference

Well, sometimes it is tough being a librarian. I am in Monterey attending the Internet Librarian Conference. The main conference begins tomorrow but I attended two pre-conference sessions - Training Adults - Getting and Keeping Attention and Libraries on the MUVE in Second Life.

The most important thing to comment on is Monterey - this is my first time here and it is amazing. I pet a sea lion and made him very irritated - he barked at me and then today, I saw two sea otters playing. It is difficult to concentrate when the weather and surroundings are so beautiful.

I guess I should give details of the conference thus far. The Libraries on the MUVE (Multi User Virtual Environments) was very interesting. I have a great interest to provide training in Second Life (or another MUVE)and wasn't exactly sure how to best pursue this. After seeing Second Life Live in the session and thinking this over, I think the best way to use any MUVE is for training simulations. For instance, instead of the traditional interactive training with lecture and discussion, set up a training library and have staff demonstrate good customer service skills, team building, conflict resolution - any type of soft skill that is difficult to train in the classroom setting.

My greatest concern is that it seems to take dedication of time to learn the skills to use a MUVE efficiently - on the part of the trainer and the trainee. All four presenters have work time and staff dedicated to nothing but Second Life tasks and training. I did take time to go online after the preconference, and set up my avatar - Roxie Blinker. I don't have it completely ready to go yet, but it wasn't difficult to get started. The hard part is apparently learning to navigate sidewalks and buildings without hurting yourself!

The other session I attended was the Training Adults. This was much more basic than I expected and was really geared towards new trainers in general - not just those working with adult learners. One tool I did learn was instead of asking participants at the beginning of a workshop what they hope to learn, ask them how will they know the session was valuable to them when they leave. This different way of thinking allows the participant to define what they really are seeking from the session.

Finally, it needs to be known that Rosine's has an excellent peanut butter pie - Adam W sent me to the right place!

Check back for more details after the conference gets officially started.

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