My most recent experience using a Multi User Virtual Environment (MUVE) was in undergrad. I got a writing certificate in writing for online interactive media and one of the courses revolved around using Second Life professionally and for expanding the writing experience.
In the class, we had to explore Second Life and find a professional organization to research in the game. We did videos on how Second Life was being used to promote an organization or company as well as write pieces about our experience using Second Life.
It was an interesting experience but personally I did not enjoy it. I found Second Life to be empty compared to the Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games I was playing. Most places seemed abandoned and it was hard to find active organizations within in the community. Second Life was also released in 2003 and graphically it doesn’t compare to the current standard of virtual spaces. It feels dated and clunky.
However, I can see how Second Life could be very advantageous for libraries. On top of researching places within Second Life, we also held class in Second Life. The class was an online course so we never met in person. But we did all have to meet in our “classroom” Online for a session and it was very interesting. It made the class, my professor, and the other students feel more real. I think this could be useful in a library setting.
This could allow patrons to “attend” an event online if they can’t otherwise reach the library provided it’s not a craft event. But a virtual book club in Second Life could help people who have no way to get to the library feel like a part of the community.