Special Libraries

A Truly Virtual Library

Since my first take on Second Life, there have been a lot of things happening in the space. One of the most interesting for me personally is the launch of the “Second Library Library 2.0(Second Life Library 2.0)”: There was an “earlier project(Turning the Pages at the SL Public Library)”: (hence the 2.0). I haven’t found out exactly what happened. But I think our focus is going to be more focused on providing virtual reference rather than as a material repository (although we will certainly be doing some of that as well). One interesting aspect of SL is that there is a clear demarcation between what is known as “The Teen Grid” and the areas where adults interact and, from what I understand, there are good reasons behind this. It does, however, pose a challenge for this type of service. Currently, the “Virtual Teen Library(Virtual Teen Library: Second Life)”: is looking into how to deal with this. Perhaps someday we will be able to have a Teen Room inside the main library, but I don’t think the technology supports that sort of thing yet. If you would like to learn more, “stop by(Second Life Library)”: for the “Book Discussion( Programs at Second Life Library 2.0)”: tomorrow night (which is also an organizational meeting). It should be an exciting time.

By Michael K Pate

Michael K. Pate tends to spend a great deal time of time around computers. He has been a Librarian since 1997.

Michael was born in Avon Park, Florida in 1966. Except for a couple of brief periods in his life (once in Tampa and once in Winter Haven/Haines City), he has been a life-long resident.

Originally, he planned on a career as a Computer Programmer and therefore graduate from Webber College with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 1988. However, unhappy with career opportunities at the time, he soon returned to school and received a BS in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida.

He began his career in education at Avon Elementary and later Avon Park Middle working as a Computer Lab Coordinator. While technological challenges were interesting, he found himself more and more interested in becoming a Media Specialist. He began work on his MLS in 1995.

However, a summer internship at the Sebring Public Library in 1996 soon made him reconsider just what his career should be. Upon graduation in 1997, he secured a position as a Media Specialist at Eastside Elementary in Haines City. Eventually, the position he was looking for opened up and he returned to SPL as Reference Librarian in 1999.

In 2003, he became Assistant Director of the Highlands County Library System, serving in that role until the position was eliminated during a late round of budget cuts in 2010. Since then, he has been the Computer Support Specialist for the Heartland Library Cooperative. In 2011, he began serving on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.