OWLs (an acronym for On-line Writing Labs ) come in a number of species, each with their own unique set of goals and functions. In all cases, though, they represent an attempt to expand writing center services via the Internet and/or to create new types of services in the new medium.
To get a better sense of how these creatures can differ, try browsing through some OWLs. Ask yourself in each case what kinds of services are being offered and what kinds are absent.
Remember, though, that you'll be "leaving" this preface if you visit those OWLs. Be sure you know how to "back up" somehow in order to return to Kairos and this essay!