Challenges and Strategies for Educational Virtual Reality: Results of an Expert-led Forum on 3D/VR Technologies Across Academic Institutions
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Virtual reality (VR) is a rich visualization and analytic platform that furthers the library’s mission of providing access to all forms of information and supporting pedagogy and scholarship across disciplines. Academic libraries are increasingly adopting VR technology for a variety of research and teaching purposes, which include providing enhanced access to digital collections, offering new research tools, and constructing new immersive learning environments for students. This trend suggests that positive technological innovation is flourishing in libraries, but there remains a lack of clear guidance in the library community on how to introduce these technologies in effective ways and make them sustainable within different types of institutions. In June 2018, the University of Oklahoma hosted the second of three forums on the use of 3D and VR for visualization and analysis in academic libraries, as part of the project Developing Library Strategy for 3D and Virtual Reality Collection Development and Reuse(LIB3DVR), funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This qualitative study invited experts from a range of disciplines and sectors to identify common challenges in the visualization and analysis of 3D data, and the management of VR programs, for the purpose of developing a national library strategy.