Exploring VR in Adult Learners Week

For Adult Learners Week this year at Whitsunday Region’s Cannonvale Library, we wanted to provide an opportunity for our community to experience current and emerging technologies to enhance digital literacy in our community.

We transformed part of our public space into a place where people could immerse themselves into a digital world. A huge thank you to State Library of Queensland for the loan of a Virtual Reality (VR) kit which consisted of HTC VIVE virtual reality equipment and Google Cardboard goggles (plus lots of cables!)

Woman wearing a VR headset in a library

We ran drop-in morning and afternoon sessions over two days with 42 people (30 adults and 12 children) taking the opportunity to don the headset and experience the 3D immersive world. Many advised this was their first time trying out VR – and what an amazing experience they had!

All who participated enjoyed learning and exploring VR using HTC VIVE equipment and Google Cardboard goggles. I used the painting program Tilt Brush in all the VR sessions, and it was a fun learning journey for both myself and the users.

We also had many other people who were curious and interested in the tech but did not want to play. I did find that people were more willing to try the tech if someone was already playing with it – so when there weren’t any participants, I put the HTC VIVE goggles on and explored the VR world to coax visitors into trying it for themselves.

Child wearing a VR headset in a library

Some comments I kept hearing over the two days were, “this is amazing!”, “so cool!”, and “woah – trippy!”.

It was an enriching experience for all involved and allowed us to offer another opportunity to help lessen the digital divide in our community.

Author bio
Sharon Lam is a Library Assistant at Cannonvale Library. She plans and facilitates events and activities for children and adults and is currently studying for a Diploma of Library and Information Services.