Throughout the Netherlands, different events focusing on the use of Virtual Reality in libraries are being organized: lectures on VR, demonstrations of the Oculus Rift and even making your own Google Cardboard headset, to name but a few. I support these efforts, as I consider the library to be an excellent environment to help people familiarize themselves with a new medium. Simultaneously, Virtual- and Augmented Reality could become useful for libraries in the nearby future. For example, AR could be used to enrich the library, while VR could provide an alternative method of exploring digital collections.
In this post, I will discuss several projects (both old and recent) we conducted with a number of libraries.
De Gele Ballon in Virtual Reality
Commissioned by the Gelderland-Zuid library, I developed a Virtual Reality “lookbook” with Donna Schipper, inspired by the well-known picture book “The Yellow Balloon” by Charlotte Dematons. In our experience, Virtual Reality was a great way to search for different objects in a virtual environment. We enjoyed development of this small but amusing project! Currently, the Gear VR-based app is only available through contact with the Gelderland-Zuid library.
Sometime ago – in 2013 – I created the Augmented Reality app “ARBieb” together with Berber de Vries. By using your phone to scan children’s books, our app allows you to examine book reviews. The app is meant to encourage children to not only read but also review books. Simultaneously, ARBieb helps children familiarize themselves with Augmented Reality. The application was developed for a contest; as such, it is currently not in use.
Workshops Virtual Reality – Mediawijsheid
As part of the week of media literacy in November, I organized several Virtual Reality workshops in a number of libraries in The Hague. During these workshops, I educated on the state-of-the-art of Virtual Reality, my PhD-research and interesting applications. Participants were also able to experience all sorts of VR demonstrations for themselves. I enjoyed being able to discuss this new medium together with such a diverse group of visitors!
In Fall of 2016, I organized a series of workshops for employees of the Royal Library. During three sessions and with a group of 15 employees, we discussed possible ways Virtual- and Augmented Reality could be applied to the library. We developed, among other things, a concept for a social reading-application and a possible way to offer Virtual Reality-content in the library.
Training Go Mediacoach
On January 16th, 2017, I gave a lecture on the Virtual Library as part of the Go Mediacoach training. This new professional group is getting increasingly influenced by this new medium. Many of the participants saw opportunities for the library to help their visitors become familiarized with Virtual- and Augmented Reality, and found this to be in line with the tasks of the library on media literacy. The slides of my lecture can be found below.
Virtual Reality in de bibliotheek
Want to get started with Virtual Reality in your library? Perhaps you are thinking of organizing a workshop, or setting up a dedicated VR Learning Lab for visitors and schools? Then take a look at what services we offer or contact us.