Realizing the Untapped Potential of VR/AR for Libraries

Wednesday, 9/22/2021
  • 1:00 PM-2:30 PM (Eastern)
  • 12:00 PM-1:30 PM (Central)
  • 11:00 AM-12:30 PM (Mountain)
  • 10:00 AM-11:30 AM (Pacific)

Curious about implementing Virtual Reality (VR) and/or augmented reality (AR) devices in your library? Or do you want to explore ways to expand your current VR/AR applications in your library? Then please join us for an exciting overview of VR/AR technologies and how they can be used to enhance your library services and assist in resource discovery. 

Library staff and patrons want to know more about the possibilities of VR/AR, especially when physical library spaces may no longer be available - this webinar can speak to technologies that expand the reach of library services and allows them to adapt to online possibilities, no matter the size or resources of the library.

This webinar will consist of 4 panelists discussing their experiences with VR/AR and future trends of the technology for libraries. This panel presentation is suitable for public, academic, special, or corporate libraries that plan to offer VR/AR devices or services. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this webinar, the participant will be able to:

  • Identify current use of VR/AR in libraries
  • Adapt VR/AR use to your organizational need and resource capability
  • Consider future applications of the technology

Who Should Attend

The content of this webinar will be relevant to library faculty and staff that are curious about the novelty of VR/AR and its untapped potential as a library service and tool for resource discovery.


Matthew Cook, Digital Scholarship Program Manager at Harvard Library, explores/develops/deploys tech for research and instruction. Matt was instrumental in helping explore virtual reality applications at the University of Oklahoma Libraries and now with Harvard Library he continues to pursue VR applications. 

Dr. Valerie Hill, with 25 years experience in education serving as a school librarian and professor of library and information science, continues teaching and researching information literacy in global digital participatory culture. Her interests include all information literacy formats (media literacy, digital literacy, transliteracy, metaliteracy), human-computer interaction, philosophy, literature and storyteling. 

Dr. Zack Lischer-Katz, has held the position of Assistant Professor in Digital Curation and Preservation at University of Arizona's iSchool since Fall 2020. He studies how to use virtual reality technologies for scholarship and teaching, and in particular, how to curate and archive virtual reality technology and 3D research data.

Ken Varnum, Senior Program Manager and Discovery Strategist at the University of Michigan Library. Working within Library Information Technology's Design and Discovery unit, he is responsible for technology and project management for the library's discovery interfaces. He has edited several books published by ALA Editions, including Beyond Reality: Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality in the Library.  




Individual registration rates are as follows:

  • RUSA members: $45
  • ALA members: $60
  • ALA student & retired members: $25
  • Non-members: $79

Group rate: $279 single login

*DURING THIS TIME OF COVID-19 RELATED LIBRARY CLOSURES: For purposes of group registration, RUSA will define a group as up to 20 staff from a single library system working remotely and logging in individually from multiple locations to participate in the live webinar broadcast. It will be the responsibility of the registrants to share the webinar login information with members of their staff who wish to participate.

How to Register


Tech Requirements

This webinar will be offered using Zoom. Please ensure that you have internet connection. Audio for these sessions will be streamed over computer speakers and via a teleconference line. You will be able to ask questions and interact with the presenter and other webinar participants via chat. 

For assistance for the deaf or hard of hearing, please send your request via email to Ninah Moore at by September 8, 2021


Questions about your registration should be directed to

Technical questions about the webinar should be directed to Ninah Moore, RUSA Program Officer-Continuing Education, at

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!