INFO 228 Students Julie Gerardin, Michelle Yamamoto, and Kelly Gordon Publish Essays on Reference in Immersive Environments


A grouping of essays written by Julie Gerardin, Michelle Yamamoto, and Kelly Gordon in Dr. Charlotte Ford’s fall 2007 INFO 228 class has been published in the Reference & User Services Quarterly. Introduction:

In the fall of 2007, an adventuresome group of MLIS students in an advanced reference class at San Jose State University set out to examine the current state and future potential of reference service in an immersive environment. After reviewing the literature on reference in Second Life (SL), they created avatars; explored numerous Second Life libraries; attended a guest lecture by an experienced SL librarian; and engaged in simulated reference interactions “in world.” Students were asked to describe and reflect upon their experiences, and to analyze the viability of Second Life as a platform for reference services, addressing the question, “Will librarians find the mother lode or fool’s gold in virtual environments?” (1)

Citation: Gerardin, J., Yamamoto, M., & Gordon, K. (2008, Summer). Fresh perspectives on reference work in second life. (FOR YOUR ENRICHMENT). Reference & User Services Quarterly 47(4). Retrieved from Expanded Academic ASAP database (Gale document number A181072975).

Julie GerardinJulie Gerardin is currently employed as an information technology consultant at CSU Stanislaus, and will graduate from the San José State University School of Information program in December 2008.


Kelly GordonKelly Gordon is currently completing a data curation internship, working jointly with librarians from Cornell University’s Alfred R. Mann Library and researchers at the Cornell Biological Field Station. Beginning in fall 2008, she will be working as a reference assistant at University of California, Berkeley’s Bioscience Library, developing an online tutorial to teach introductory biology students about finding information in the life sciences. Her professional interests include investigating innovative ways for science librarians to support research and teaching, designing and evaluating online tutorials, and the dynamics of reference services in traditional and non-traditional formats. Kelly will graduate with an MLIS from SJSU in May 2009.

Kelly Gordon posted a few snapshots of her travels in Second Life while doing this research at Flickr: Kelly Gordon: Second Life.

Michelle YamamotoMichelle Yamamoto (iSchool 2007) is currently working as a librarian for the San Mateo Public Library system as both a Children’s and General Reference Librarian. Yamamoto writes, “Although I am not currently engaged in any virtual reference work, my time at the iSchool, especially INFO 210 and 228, prepared me well for the breadth of questions posed to a busy reference desk in a branch library.”