Beyond Reality: Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality in the Library—eEditions e-book

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

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The current price of virtual reality headsets may seem out of economic reach for most libraries, but the potential of “assisted reality” tools goes well beyond merely inviting patrons to strap on a pair of goggles. Ranging from enhanced training to using third-party apps to enrich digital collections, there is a kaleidoscope of library uses for augmented, virtual, or mixed reality. In this collection, Varnum and his hand-picked team of contributors share exciting, surprising, and inspiring case studies from a mix of institution types, spotlighting such topics as

  • collaborative virtual reality for improved library instruction, education, and learning and teaching;
  • 3D modeling using virtual reality;
  • virtual reality as collaboration space, from gaming to teleconferencing;
  • balancing access with security, and other privacy issues;
  • future possibilities for augmented reality in public libraries; and
  • augmented reality for museums and special collection libraries.

A perfect introduction to the topic, this book will encourage libraries to look beyond their own reality and adapt the ideas inside.


Chapter 1    Augmented Reality: All about Holograms
Austin Olney

Chapter 2    Extended Reality in Informal Learning Environments
Chad M. Clark

Chapter 3    Virtual Reality for 3D Modeling
Bohyun Kim

Chapter 4    Play, Education, and Research: Exploring Virtual Reality through Libraries
Brandon Patterson, Tallie Casucci, Thomas Ferrill, and Greg Hatch

Chapter 5    Every Student Her Universe: Alternate Academic Realities
R. Bruce Jensen

Chapter 6    Integrating 3D and Virtual Reality into Research and Pedagogy in Higher Education
Matt Cook and Zack Lischer-Katz

Chapter 7    Information Literacy Instruction Using Virtual Reality
Felicia A. Smith

Chapter 8    Augmented Reality in the Library: Pivoting Toward a Security-First Implementation Strategy
Brigitte Bell and Terry Cottrell

Chapter 9    Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and Their Legal Implications for Libraries
Michael Riesen

About the Contributors

Kenneth J. Varnum

Kenneth J. Varnum is the Senior Program Manager for Discovery, Delivery, and Library Analytics at the University of Michigan Library. In this role, Ken is responsible for the library's discovery interfaces (the "MLibrary" single search tool, ArticlesPlus, Search Tools, etc.), delivery interfaces, and the library's evolving and emerging analytics infrastructure. He received a master's degree from the University of Michigan's School of Information and his Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College. Over his two decades working with public-facing technology in academic, corporate, and special libraries, he has gained a deep appreciation and understanding of the need to tailor systems and interfaces to the local user base. A frequent speaker and author, Ken presents and writes about discovery systems, library analytics, and technology. In addition to numerous articles and chapters, he wrote Drupal in Libraries (2012), edited Lorcan Dempsey's The Network Reshapes the Library (2014), and compiled four books, including Exploring Discovery: The Front Door to Your Library’s Licensed and Digitized Content (2016), Beyond Reality: Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality in the Library (2019) and the LITA Guide New Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know (2019). He blogs at and can be found on Twitter at @varnum.

"Overall, the book strikes a good balance between technical information and discussion of broader issues regarding the present and future of AR/VR for libraries ... This book will be useful for librarians who want to understand the basics of AR and VR as well as those planning to implement these technologies in their libraries."
— Booklist