Virtual Reality Libraries in Finland

NIKOLA, Ritva and HYYTIÄINEN, Pauliina (2019) Virtual Reality Libraries in Finland. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 113c - IFLA Poster Session.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Virtual Reality Libraries in Finland

How could libraries benefit from the new technology of virtual reality (VR) – which can simulate both real and fictional worlds – and employ it as a new service? The city libraries of Oulu and Vantaa developed and published their own virtual reality libraries. The two projects shared several similarities and had many common goals. Virtual reality glasses and handheld controllers lead the user to explore intriguing locations and spaces that represent various themes and genres of literature. This interactive experience shares a lot in common with video games – one could argue that we have gamified the visit to library. Find new books to read in a fun way • by discovering the book recommendations hidden in objects • by playing mini games The circulation of the books recommended in the VR library increased when the books were on display close to the VR session site. Have adventures and try out different features! • Move the books around or pet a cat! • Solve mini games in order to advance to the next room • Create your own story and leave it in the virtual library for others to read Gaming and the stories available through games improve diverse literacy skills. Participatory Design and Collaboration Library users were involved with the design and development of the virtual experiences through o workshops and programming groups o having their thoughts and requests heard and put to good use Next we will combine the two virtual worlds and create a development model of virtual content for Finnish libraries. Main features Oulu • Virtual library and three fantasy worlds • Development started in 2016 • Collaborated with the University of Oulu • Device: Oculus Rift • Game engine: Unreal Engine Vantaa • Fantasy library, three book recommendation worlds and a space for advertising workshops • Development started in 2017 • Collaborated with Tammi Publishers and Zoan Oy • Device: HTC Vive • Game engine: Unreal Engine

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