Using Augmented and Virtual Reality in Libraries to Enhance the patron Experience

Augmented and virtual reality have changed the face of retail, but it’s not yet known how they will impact libraries. Librarians are creative thinkers who understand the importance of patrons’ experiences with their physical spaces and resources, so there’s no doubt that AR and VR will impact libraries and their services in the future. Here are some ways to get started with augmented and virtual reality in libraries today.

In today’s world, video gaming has become a leisure activity, with many gamers consuming countless hours of games each week. Due to these large amounts of time spent playing video games, libraries are attempting to incorporate augmented reality and virtual reality into their services. People with VR experience will tell you it takes a few minutes before your eyes adjust from looking at your computer screen to seeing an AR or VR environment for what it really is.

How does it work?

In basic terms, virtual reality (VR) involves a headset that you put on and, as a result, get transported into an entirely different digital space. Augmented reality (AR), on the other hand, uses computer-generated images to augment or superimpose onto a user’s real-world surroundings. A prominent example of AR is Pokémon Go. The game allows users to hold up their smartphone cameras and see augmented creatures superimposed over whatever they are looking at.

augmented and virtual reality in libraries

Why would we want this?

The library has always been a place for technological innovation—look no further than our predecessors, who embraced technologies like microfilm, encyclopedias, and card catalogs with open arms. So why would libraries want to embrace augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR)? And what do you need to know about these technologies? In an age of smartphones and tablets, some libraries have begun using AR or VR to engage their patrons while waiting for their materials.

What are some ways we can make use of this technology?

Before we dive into the possibilities, it’s important to understand what exactly augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are. To simplify things, augmented reality brings elements of our world into virtual settings, while virtual reality takes you out of your current environment into a completely new one. While these two technologies have some overlap in their applications, they are typically viewed as very different beasts. It’s hard to use AR without VR—or vice versa—but they both have clear uses within libraries.


Hope you found the blog useful and informative to understand augmented reality and other VR concepts. feel free to comment your ideas and other knowledgable facts in the comment box.

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