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The Reality of VR: Librarian Involvement in Virtual Reality Projects

May 20, 2024



As an instruction librarian in a makerspace and later as science liaison librarian at both large and small universities, the author has participated in various virtual reality projects for education, including doing workshops and class-related instruction on virtual reality and creating 360 video tours, creating an asynchronous virtual reality paper prototyping assignment, and participating in a faculty AR/VR working group and helping create a virtual chemistry lab. There are ways for librarians to be involved in virtual reality for education at all levels, whether your only experience is with Google Cardboard or you are an expert at creating 360 videos or virtual reality scenes. The library can also be an excellent place to introduce students to virtual reality in a way that reaches across disciplines, invites participation from underrepresented groups, and levels the playing field for all. In this session, participants will learn some basic uses of virtual reality in instruction, identify various ways that librarians can participate in instruction using virtual reality, and identify some basic tools and software for using and creating virtual reality. In the interactive portions, they will have an opportunity to share their own experiences, ideas and questions with each other and try some basic tools.


Camille Andrews, Instruction and Research Librarian at William & Mary, is liaison to the sciences and Africana Studies, teaching students not only how to find, manage and evaluate information but also use it to create and communicate through posters, video, 3D modeling and printing, virtual reality and more. She has also been involved in: makerspaces; online learning; assessment for learning outcomes, technologies, services and spaces; information, media and multimodal literacy initiatives; and learning technologies. She is extremely interested in the intersection of library and information science, user experience, instructional design, 21st century literacies and new technologies.