Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk on the moon, swim with sea turtles or meet with others without leaving home? Have you ever wanted to interact with alien creatures, step back in time with dinosaurs or travel to ancient ruins where time and place are interchangeable? All of that and more is now possible at your local library!
Nevada County Community Library is collaborating with XRLibraries and Blue Trot, to test the new Oculus Go virtual reality (VR) headset. XRLibraries provides ongoing support and resources for libraries on VR technology and Blue Trot is a creative studio that designs and evaluates experiential content, programs and tools. The collaboration was born out of the VR Experience grant that the library received in 2017. Most recently, Blue Trot joined XRLibraries and Nevada County Community Library at the Nevada County Fair to provide thousands of people the opportunity to try the Oculus Go.
Library staff are working with Blue Trot and XRLibraries to explore use of the technology. The Oculus Go is a standalone VR headset that allows users to move freely without any cords, computers or phones attached. Six Oculus Go units, a 360 camera and a laptop with video editing software were donated to the library as part of a pilot with the Facebook Education Program.
Library Staff recently participated in a meeting with staff from Sutter County Library and the employees of Blue Trot in Portland, Oregon using Oculus Rooms, a hangout space where people from around the word can meet up in a virtual environment. Instead of using video conference equipment, everyone’s avatars met in a posh lakeside room with contemporary furnishings, a fire pit and gorgeous lake views, without ever leaving their office. The library has plans to conduct meetings from branch locations using the technology. This means the staff from Nevada City, Grass Valley and Truckee can all meet in a Virtual Space to conduct meetings.
Library staff are planning to offer classes demonstrating the Oculus Go and using the 360 camera to create and edit content from around the County. This content will be loaded into the Oculus Go to provide 360-degree virtual tours of Nevada County. The public can try out the Virtual Reality equipment during one of the demo sessions or classes that will be coming soon. For more information on Oculus Go programs at Nevada County Community Library visit the events calendar at www.MyNevadaCounty.com/library or call (530) 265-7050.