In-world Wednesdays: Lois Gresh to Speak on March 25

In-world Wednesdays: Monroe County Library System’s Monthly Author Visit in Second Life

March Visiting Author: Lois Gresh (Bobo Fromund in Second Life)

Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 8 pm Eastern Time (5 pm Pacific Time)

Location: The MCLS Amphitheater in Second Life

The Creative Process: Writing for Different Audiences

New York Times Best-Selling Author Lois Gresh, author of 19 books and dozens of short stories, will discuss how to write different types of material for a variety of readers. She’ll read excerpts from some of her novels, short stories, speculative science books, and pop culture books.

For each excerpt, she’ll explain the creative process behind the writing. How does writing a novel differ from writing a short story? Is it more difficult to write humorous stories or dark stories? How does writing fiction differ from writing speculative science books, pop culture books, and other forms of non-fiction? Following her talk, Lois will be happy to answer questions about the creative process, as well as questions about agents, contracts, editors, and other matters related to the business of writing.


Lois H. Gresh is the New York Times Best-Selling Author of 15 pop science/culture books and 4 science fiction novels from John Wiley & Sons, Random House, and St. Martin’s Press. She’s also the author of dozens of short stories. Her books have been translated into many languages and are in print worldwide: Italy, Japan, Spain, Russia, Germany, Portugal, France, Brazil, Thailand, Korea, China, Estonia, England, Canada/French, Finland, Poland, Czech, etc. In addition, they are often featured in the New York Times Book Review, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Science News, National Geographic, Physics Today, New Scientist, and US News and World Report, as well as by National Public Radio, the BBC, Fox national news, the History Channel, and many other television and radio programs. Lois’ teen novels have been endorsed by the American Library Association and the Voice of Youth Advocates. She has been nominated for national fiction awards six times.

What is Second Life?

Second Life is an online immersive environment, or “virtual world”, which allows people to interact in real time with people from all over the world. Libraries have played an important role in this environment since 2006.

New to Second Life? Here’s How to Get Started

Be sure to set up your user account prior to the event. The process will take about half an hour or so to create an account and download the free software. Doing this a day or two before our event will ensure that you are ready on time and don’t miss the discussion!

To get started, go to this web address:
You will have an option to “teleport” to this address if you already have a Second Life account, or you may click on “Sign up now for free” if you are brand-new to Second Life. You will be prompted to create and account, including your virtual persona, or “avatar.” You will be prompted to download and install the free software, and then you will log in.

On your first trip in to Second Life, there is a very short tutorial which will help you get comfortable with the environment. Once you finish, you will find yourself at the MCLS Amphitheater – the location where our event will take place. The night of the event, click on the above link again and you will be teleported directly to the Amphitheater without going through the tutorial.
Questions? Contact

Technology Leadership Institute

I attended an extremely invigorating seminar yesterday! The Monroe County Library System presented it’s Technology Leadership Institute in downtown Rochester. The presenters — Stephen Abram, Michael Stephens, and Ed Vielmetti — were excellent. It was a great opportunity to hear about what others are doing to take advantage of new technology to provide better library service. And it was also nice to have some of my own ideas validated. : )

Stephen Abram is very knowledgeable on all sorts of technology topics, and he’s also funny and irreverent. His talk was delightful. Two key points he brought up early on were that libraries need to shift marketing toward what patrons need, not what we have (they already know we have books), and also that we need to think about how our users Feel in our library. We need to provide a positive, comfortable experience.

Michael Stephens echoed this idea as he talked about “stories.” What are the stories our libraries are telling? Are we a welcoming place? Or do we have too many barriers that keep patrons from having a rich user experience? Michael provided specific examples of services we can provide — easily and cheaply — to positively impact the user experience. I’ll talk about these more when I’ve had a chance to look through my notes.

Ed Vielmetti, the Superpatron, provided a nice balance to the seminar by talking about library service from the patron’s point of view.

And during the break I drew up some sketches for a website prototype! This was an incredibly productive day for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll be writing more, like I said, when I’ve had a chance to go over my notes and digest it all.