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Bradley Hilltopics

Spring 2007 • Volume 13, Issue 2
Campus View
Multimedia 490  •   Virtual library

Check out BU’s virtual library


Barbara A. Galik, executive director of Cullom-Davis Library; her avatar, Puglet Dancer; and Al Quiros, technical information specialist, with his avatar, Watsnu Pussycat, are shown with the Second Life version of the Cullom-Davis Library behind them.

Bradley University has a virtual presence in the digital world of Second Life (SL). Located on Info Island II, the exterior of Cullom-Davis Library looks much like Bradley’s real-life campus library. The first floor offers a slide show highlighting many aspects of the real life campus. On the second floor, visitors can access virtual computers to search the online catalog. Bradley students, faculty, and staff can search licensed databases.

“Essentially, you can search anything we have on our Web page,” explains Barbara A. Galik, the Library’s executive director. The second and third floors currently spotlight artwork by artists Bradley librarians have met on SL. Galik hopes to eventually spotlight artwork by Bradley students in this area.

Outside the library stands a statue of founder Lydia Moss Bradley, surrounded by flowers with benches nearby. Talking squirrels scamper about the area, offering information and humorous quips. With a click, residents can be teleported to different rooms in the three-story Lydia Moss Bradley House next door to the library. The founder’s imaginary house has a Horology Room with slide shows about clock making, a Lydia Moss Bradley Room, and a video re-enactment of Mrs. Bradley, originally presented during the University’s Centennial celebration.

Al Quiros, technical information specialist at Bradley, “constructed” the building to look like Bradley’s real library and designed the circle with the statue, flowers, benches, and squirrels. The Lydia Moss Bradley House was pre-built. An SL Task Force, consisting of Galik, Quiros, and BU librarians Skip Burhans and Denise Johnson, added furniture, viewers, and other amenities.

Galik has found a home in SL, both personally and professionally. She frequents Info Island, gathering with other librarians to conduct meetings, discuss issues, and network. She has made friends from Holland, England, and other countries, as well as people from all over the U.S. “You get to know people faster and better because there are no barriers. I have met some extremely kind and caring people. They’re from all walks of life and have many points of view.”

Galik welcomes Bradley people in SL to contact her (send an instant message to Puglet Dancer) so they can be added to the Bradley University group.