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Join us for a library book discussion of Voyage of the Dawn Treader by
Clive Staples Lewis for tweens ages 9-13. The book discussions will be
held on Wed. Dec. 5 at 2:00 p.m. central and Thurs. Dec. 6 at 10:00 a.m.
and 8:00 p.m. central in the Greek Theater in Whyville. The discussions
are being held as a kickoff activity to offer library services for
children at a Whybrary which is currently under construction. There is
no cost to participate in the discussion.. All that is needed to
participate is to go to, set up an account and
then go to the Greek Theater for the discussion of "Voyage of the Dawn
Treader."  Interested librarians may also join a google group for
ongoing discussion of Whyville at .


Since its inception in 1999, Whyville has grown to a population of
almost 3 million registrants and a run rate of 35 million page views per
month. Every day, tens of thousands of children from around the world
visit to interact, have, and explore topics in science, economics,
citizenship, and more. They become Whyville citizens by creating
avatar-base personas and earning virtual "clam" salaries by
participating in educational activities. They design rocket engines, fly
hot air balloons, start their own virtual businesses, and even campaign
for a seat in the Whyville Senate. The Whyville Times, the town
newspaper, is filled with articles written by the citizens on town
issues as well as world events. Whyville's activities are interactive,
open ended, and foster creativity. Whyville has also been rated "Best on
the Internet" for child safety by iParenting for two years in a row. 


"We hope this will be the beginning of a collaborative effort between
libraries of all kinds to promote books in all formats, information and
fun for kids and young adults spending their time online," said Dr.
James Bower, Founder and CEO of Numedeon Inc., the company that runs

"This is where many of our next generation and future tax payers are, on
the net in social networking sites with their friends," state Kitty
Pope, Executive Director of the Alliance Library System. "We have worked
with librarians from all over the world to pioneer library services in
virtual worlds for teens and adults. It's now time to reach out to

"Whyville is a perfect fit for libraries since it's such a safe and
educational platform. Adapting library services to where youth are is a
win-win for all!" said Kelly Czarnecki, Teen Education Librarian at


Imagine a virtual world filled with library materials in all formats
(print, audio, video) and programs of all types, from story hours and
book discussions to natural history to art to science and technology.
Children from around the world visit regularly, exploring materials and
participating in activities together. The education in Whyville is
designed to be hands-on, inquiry based and constructivist. 

They can attend a live or video story hour, browse stories in many
formats, and look at exhibits. They can meet other children from all
over the world. They go on a virtual dig as archaeologists in a museum
of natural history. They attend a live discussion session on carbon
dating at a virtual open air theater. They can create their own stories
and share them in whatever format they choose. Libraries are about
books, stories, and community-books and stories in a variety of formats
be it print, a movie, a video, a cd-rom, DVD, or storytelling. 

This favorite web destination for children serves as a virtual space
where experiences from a recent library visit can be shared and
extended. It supports a "between-visit" experience that strengthens the
relationship between libraries and the communities they serve. Sound far
fetched? Not all! Whybrary is an extension of, the premier
educational virtual community for children. 


Numedeon specializes in the design and operation of virtual worlds. It
is the parent company of which remains the only
learning-based virtual world for today's digital kids. 

Whyville is about to surpass 3 million registered users, and is an
environment that engages its vested "citizens" to learn about life,
while having fun. Numedeon's technology enables organizations to be on
the inside of virtual worlds, and in the case of Whyville, providing
them with the means to truly interact with the hard-to-reach demographic
of 8 to 15 year olds. Sponsored programs in Whyville include: 

Reading programs (supported by Scholastic); pop music concerts (EMI,
Virgin records, Hollywood Records, Radio Disney); investigations of
important issues like global warming (An Inconvenient Truth/Penguin
Books), and immersive activities involving automobile engineering
(Toyota), human disease (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and
biotechnology (Texas Workforce Commission), to name only a few. Numedeon
was created by scientists from Caltech to invent innovative new ways to
harness the engagement power of the Internet. Numedeon already supports
a number of "private label" virtual worlds using its proprietary
technology and will soon be launching several new virtual worlds of its


For more information about the project, contact Lori Bell at 

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