SDSL's Cornerstone Newsletter

South Dakota State Library's e-newsletter

December 16, 2021

Oculus Go Headset: The Gift of Virtual Reality

The South Dakota State Library offered an opportunity for an Oculus Go Headset to be permanently located at a South Dakota public library. The receiving libraries were announced at the 2021 SDLA Conference this fall. To be consider for this opportunity libraries must have previously checked out the headset before. A shout out to all fourteen public libraries who brought the virtual reality experience to their communities! The two receiving libraries were the Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library and the Mitchell Public Library.

Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library received a headset kit that included a fitted interface headset and sanitation masks, along with a Samsung Galaxy tablet and case. Amanda Raiche, Youth Services Librarian, and Daniel Burniston, Library Director, submitted the below paragraph describing why their library should be chosen to permanently house the virtual reality headset:

"Vermillion Public Library enjoyed using the Oculus Go headset previously and would be excited to have one permanently. We previously used the headset for individual appointment times due to COVID precautions, but we have many ideas for other program formats that we would like to utilize the headset in. After putting much time and effort into learning about the headset, apps, troubleshooting, and program logistics for VR programming, we feel confident that we could put the headset to good use for various ages at the Vermillion Public Library, and in turn, then share our experience with other libraries."

After receiving the VR headset, Raiche stated, "We are very excited to have received one of the VR headsets and look forward to putting it to use."

Vermillion library patron using the VR headset and controller.

The other Oculus Go headset kit was awarded to Mitchell Public Library. Zackery North, Adult Services Librarian, and Kevin Kenkel, Library Director, submitted this paragraph:

"The City of Mitchell recently conducted a strategic planning initiative called 'Forward 2040.' As part of that initiative, the city identified a need to “strengthen the technology, agriculture, and other industry clusters in and around Mitchell.” To increase the success of this effort, the library reevaluated our technology plan and set a goal to begin exploring and implementing makerspace technologies. A virtual reality headset at Mitchell Public Library would allow library patrons to take advantage of educational and creative applications that support both the library’s and city’s goals. As VR technology is adopted for educational and industrial applications, public libraries can play an important role in introducing this technology to individuals of all ages."

After receiving the VR headset, North shared, "We’re excited to offer the VR headset as a part of our services to our patrons. This is the first of many steps as Mitchell Public Library grows our offerings and expands into the realm of makerspaces.”

Library Director, Kevin Kenkel using the new VR headset.

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