Welcome to the Virtual Library of Birmingham!
The Library of Birmingham opens in summer 2013 but you don’t need to wait until then to walk round it. We’ve built the library in Second Life, an online virtual world and you – or your avatar – can visit the building now and have your say on how you’d like to use the service in the future.
Sign up for Second Life and visit the Virtual Library from anywhere with an internet connection! If you have a PC and internet connection you could create your own avatar and explore the library. Follow these steps:
a) Check your computer is able to run Second Life with this systems checker. If your system is not compatible then you can still get involved by visiting a Roadshow or taking part in our online survey.
b) Follow the registration process to sign up to Second Life and get your own avatar. The registration process also explains how to get the software you need to run Second Life.
c) There will be guidance about how to use Second Life when you enter our Library Of Birmingham Orientation space. If you want more information about Second Life you can use these useful resources to help you:
- Instructional videos produced by Torley Linden from Linden Lab
- The Second Life Wiki for text information
- Our one page crib sheet of keyboard shortcuts (PDF), or fuller one by Kippie Friedkin.
If you already have a Second life account then you can go straight to the Virtual Library of Birmingham orientation space
Take a tour of the Virtual Library online!
Even if you can’t use Second Life or get to one of our Roadshows you can still see the Virtual Library online. Take a video tour of the Library
Background to the Virtual Library project:
The Virtual Library of Birmingham is a 3 dimensional interactive model of the new library that will be opening in Centenary Square in Mid 2013. It has been modelled directly from the architects’ plans, and the layouts, spaces and navigation routes around the building closely match those of the physical building. Some details of lighting, furnishings and fixtures are more representational and do not exactly reflect the developing real life plans. For regular updates on the Library of Birmingham visit www.libraryofbirmingham.com
The Virtual Library of Birmingham has been built with funding from the West Midlands Improvement and Efficiency Partnership. Its purpose is to help make the process of designing the new library more efficient, and to help improve public planning and consultation processes.
The Virtual Library of Birmingham has four key purposes:
1. Familiarisation It enables library staff and members of the public to visualise and explore the new library and become familiar with its layout and inside spaces. Visitors to the Virtual Library of Birmingham can explore the new building at their own pace and in their own way - much as they will in the real library.
2. Design It enables interior designers and library staff to better understand how people might use and move around the building. For example, different layouts of furniture can be quickly tested and inexpensively.
3. Consultation Birmingham has over a million residents, and each and every one has slightly different expectations of what they want from their library. The Virtual Library of Birmingham includes a number of different interactive tools that help users share their opinions and express their preferences.
4. Future Beyond its use as a tool for planning and consultation, the Virtual Library of Birmingham also offers a whole new way of delivering some library services. For example, talks and presentations could take place online as well as in real life. Unlike ordinary websites, visitors to the Virtual Library can talk to each other and share experiences together. Just like the real library, the Virtual Library could host debates, reading groups and classes.
The Virtual Library of Birmingham has been built by Daden Ltd – one of the UK’s leading virtual world developers. Building from the original architect’s plans, Daden have worked closely with members of library staff to make sure that the virtual library reflects the real life building as closely as possible.
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