Profile photo of John Heaven (TuTech Innovation GmbH)

The Virtual Library of Birmingham

21. July 2011 – 17:45 by John Heaven (TuTech Innovation GmbH)
Picture of me in Second Life

Me, posing in Second Life

This morning I went for a walk in a place on the other side of the channel which doesn’t exist yet. All without leaving my desk. Thanks to Birmingham’s Second Life model of the Library of Birmingham, the real life version of which is due to be opened in 2013, I was able to have a look at what they’re planning.

A couple of months back I blogged about Birmingham’s virtual model of the Library of Birmingham, then in the later stages of development. Earlier this month the Virtual Library went live, meaning that people from Birmingham (and beyond) can see a virtual model of the library that is scheduled to open in 2013 and let the developers know what they think.

As a Brummie, I recognised Centenary Square, and it was clear where the new library will be located and easy enough to get in (although Second Life can take a bit of getting used to before you start walking like you’re sober). Almost all areas of the library are accessible, and you can even choose whether to take the escalators or teleport to the different floors. It gives a good feel of how the library will eventually look and I noticed that some people had already commented on the building: one visitor was  “concerned about the floor — it might do your head in!” and someone advised “Make sure the tables are able to be used by disabled people and children.”

As I mentioned in my previous article, the Virtual Library launch is being accompanied by a range of activities to ensure that it doesn’t go unnoticed in Second Life. Regular workshops are being held at the current library for the public, who are then able to use the computers at the library to access Second Life or go home and try it themselves. Those who don’t fancy signing up for Second Life can either view fly-through videos of the library or submit their comments using questionnaires.

For more information about the launch of the Virtual Library, you see the press releases from Birmingham City Council and from Daden, the company that created the model. I’m going to get an update from library staff after their current phase of outreach work, so watch this space!

Can you spot me?

Can you spot me?

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  1. 2 Responses to “The Virtual Library of Birmingham”

  2. By Simon Whitehouse on Jul 25, 2011

    Hello John – and another great use of the virtual library comes to light: ex-pat Brummies get to see what is happening in the city after they have left. Thank you for the post. Oh, and my guess is that you are the solitary figure standing in the middle of the amphitheatre.

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  2. May 4, 2012: Daden - Pep-net – The Virtual Library of Birmingham

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