Virtual Reality (VR) for Libraries – A Trial at NTU Libraries

Poster of the VR Pop Up event at NTU Libraries

After the VR exploratory workshop held last year, NTU Libraries conducted a trial to provide users with access to Virtual Reality (VR) devices and content.

This took place at the Communication & Information Library (CMIL) from 25 January to 12 February 2016. Together with the staff at CMIL, the team learnt how to set up and manage both VR hardware and software.

Poster of the VR Pop Up event at NTU Libraries

Here are some key findings and recommendations from the trial.

Findings

  1. There was strong interest in PC-VR but low interest in Mobile VR.
  2. Users wanted better guidance and instructions on using the headset and interacting with the content.
  3. With VR headsets, privacy becomes more important. Users did not feel that they had enough privacy in an open environment.

Recommendations

  1. While consumer VR is still new and relatively expensive, it will make sense for libraries to play a timely role in providing access for the benefit of library users.
  2. PC-VR requires its own unique space, at least two or three times the usual space requirements for setting up PCs in the library. For room-scale VR, even more physical space will be required.
  3. Instructions for PC-VR have to be brief, preferably visual, and perhaps best delivered in person. A short demo video could be an ideal solution.

The full report is available here – Access to Virtual Reality (VR) – A Trial at NTU Libraries

The team will be presenting a poster at the upcoming Smart Libraries For Tomorrow Conference 2016.

Submitted by Mr Law Loo Shien, Senior Librarian (Acquisitions & Collection Management) at NTU Libraries