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A virtual reality exploration of library services: Affordances and perceptions

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Community college libraries provide valuable resources and services to both students and local residents. However, these libraries are not used as much as they could be, partly because people can find them hard to access and are unaware of what they offer. This study used both qualitative and quantitative methods to measure how well people remembered information from a virtual reality (VR) library tour compared to a traditional public presentation about the library’s offerings. The study found no statistical difference in user knowledge retention between the control and experimental groups. Additionally, VR participants described positive experiences of autonomy and immersiveness while using the interface, expressed desires for a wider range of actions during the tour, and at times reported motion sickness and discomfort using the VR interface. While such VR tours afford access to students and members of the public not able to physically travel to the library, VR tours should be utilized as augmentations, not replacements, for ways of sharing what libraries offer. Future research should specifically investigate gendered differences in user experiences.


virtual reality, community college, open educational resources, library services.