Virtual reality offers library patrons a new way to explore the world

From Simi Valley Acorn

” Patrons at local public libraries will always be able to crack open a book and escape into stories of adventure and exotic locations.Soon they’ll also be able to experience far-flung destinations in virtual reality.In the next few weeks, 90 public libraries in California, including several locally, will receive at least one Oculus Rift, virtual reality hardware produced by Oculus VR, a division of Facebook Inc.The hardware fits over the head and in front of the eyes like a helmet with a visor.Each library will also receive an Oculus Ready personal computer and about 20 virtual reality applications that transport users to any place on Earth and into space.Oculus is also providing librarians with training on how to use the VR system, said Deborah Lynch, spokesperson for the California State Library.“This shows that the library today is about more than just books,” said Christine Conwell, head librarian at Moorpark City Library, one of the facilities receiving the virtual reality technology through the state library’s Virtual Reality Library Project.Along with Moorpark, public libraries in Camarillo, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Calabasas will receive the virtual technology, which generates a fully 3-D stereoscopic scene that gives the user the feeling of being there.”