Experimenting with virtual reality in a university library

Creator
Weatherall, Ben
Description

National 2016 Conference, 29 August-2 September 2016 Adelaide: Engage Create Lead.
 
This conference paper describes a project in 2015 at the University of Adelaide Libraries to demonstrate innovative and relevant use of Virtual Reality (VR) technology in support of the University's mission.  The project aimed to demonstrate opportunities for the University Libraries to utilise emerging technologies.  
 
The pilot project existed as part of a greater movement driven by the University’s Technology Services division, and allowed an examination of how established groups could best exploit a technology on the very forefront of change.  To meet this goal a two phased project was proposed focusing on the rapid acquisition of VR production skills and the creation of a body of resources which could assist staff and students in the creation of content for this new media format.  Using the freely available Unreal Engine (UE4) an experience was created which allowed users to view a fictional world which rendered the effects of Boolean searching on a range of objects.
 
This project existed within, and due to, upheaval within the library industry. The direction of the project and the decision to produce documentation supporting an unreleased product came from the idea of the academic library as a place that creates opportunities for self-directed clients, easing the process of learning and research.  The process highlighted the value of documentation designed to lower the initial barrier to entry for this rising technology. Following the pilot project the University Libraries will consider VR as a component of the 'Library of the Future’ and determine how best it may be utilized to meet client needs.

Publisher
Deakin, ACT : Australian Library and Information Association
Contributor
University of Adelaide
Date
2016
Type
Format
Language
en
Relation
https://read.alia.org.au/alia-national-2016-conference-program
https://read.alia.org.au/sites/default/files/documents/experimenting_with_virtual_reality_in_a_university_library-slides-ben_weatherall.pdf
Coverage
Australia