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SAN FRANCISCO – June 20, 2018 – Libraries are a gathering place for education and learning. Now through a partnership with HTC VIVE™ and the California and Nevada state libraries, library patrons in both states can explore and learn in new ways through premium virtual reality. With VR systems deployed in 100 public libraries throughout California, the program will launch additional VR installations in 11 public libraries across Nevada beginning in July.
“This generous contribution by VIVE is helping bring a virtual world of adventure and learning to communities across California,” said California State Librarian, Greg Lucas. “As more virtual reality stations take root across our library system, we are seeing positive learning impacts and visitors that are genuinely excited about technology and education.”
“We’re excited to partner with the California and Nevada state libraries and XRLibraries to democratize Virtual Reality and give everyone equal access to the best VR experiences,” said Chris Chin, Executive Director of VR Content, HTC VIVE. “Anyone can go to a local library and experience for themselves how VR is changing the way we create, explore, and learn in the 21st century.”
Libraries have always played an instrumental role bringing new technology and resources to their communities -- from bound pages and VHS tapes, to MP3s and eBooks streaming directly from the cloud. They offer a safe space for the public to access emerging technologies that may not be available in local households. HTC VIVE offers a premium and immersive experience where learning naturally takes place and the possibilities for exploration are endless.
Paula MacKinnon Executive Director, CALIFA, defined the focus. “Libraries are the perfect community space to provide access to new technologies and the wealth of educational VR content that is getting published today. Whether it’s exploring the endocrine system of a shark or travelling back in time or to Mars – Libraries are great social places that curate large collections of content and the means to experience it - for fun, for learning and for free.”
The VIVE Library program content is powered by VIVEPORT, HTC VIVE's official App Store and Content Platform and includes access to a curated list of 35 free educational content experiences, which have been developed and published or curated by VIVE Studios, spanning geography, arts & culture, science, history, design, and wellness. Patrons can uncover the mysteries of the Amazon and explore the International Space Station, visit museums around the world, time travel back to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and even learn meditation to reduce anxiety. This comprehensive content catalog will continue to expand in the weeks and months ahead.
John MacLeod, Executive Director of XRLibraries, explained that these new launches benefit not only local communities, but VR industry partners making new and exciting VR experiences. “This makes VR available and accessible to everyone.”
“We love how VR in libraries opens the door for more communication and interactivity among our communities.” Said JC Escalante, Senior Technology Specialist, at San Mateo County Libraries. “Our VR experience allows patrons to visit other countries, paint in 3D, defend castles from invading armies, and it's all achieved from the convenience of their local library.”
“For most of the families that use VIVE at our library, it is their first experience with VR technology,” explained Andrew Tweet, Lead Senior Librarian at Folsom Public Library. “Families know they know they can trust us to provide VR programs that will be safe, fun, and educational with the professionalism and knowledge that they expect from a library.”
With the success of the California State Library launch, Libraries and VIVE will partner with Nevada State Libraries to bring premium VR to 11 more libraries including Carson City, Boulder City, Henderson, Reno and Lovelock. These libraries represent a select group of emerging technology early adopters serving underserved populations who have demonstrated a need and have developed well-conceived ideas for incorporating VR into their library programs.
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VIVE is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality platform, built and optimized for room-scale VR and true-to-life interactions. Built on the SteamVR platform, VIVE delivering on the promise of VR with game-changing technology and best-in-class content, VIVE has created the strongest ecosystem for VR hardware and software, bringing VR to consumers, developers and enterprises alike. The VIVE ecosystem is built around the best VR hardware in market, supported by VIVE X, a $100 million accelerator for VR and related technology start-ups, VIVEPORT, a global platform and app store with the world’s first VR subscription model that operates in more than 60 countries, and VIVE Studios, its VR content development and publishing initiative. For more information on VIVE, please visit www.vive.com.About Califa Group
Califa Group in partnership with the California State Library is project administrator for the California Virtual Reality Experience (CAVRX). Califa is recognized for its innovative, nimble and dependable approach to planning and delivery of services and statewide library programs and has demonstrated success in partnering with similar organizations on grant-funded projects. For more information, contact Paula Mackinnon, Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.orgAbout the California State Library
Founded in 1850, the California State Library has an extensive collection of documents from and about the state’s rich history, ranging from books, maps, miners’ diaries, newspapers and periodicals to photographs, paintings and posters. The State Library also holds federal and state publications and is home to both the Bernard E. Witkin State Law Library and the Braille and Talking Book Library. www.library.ca.govAbout Nevada State Council on Libraries and Literacy (SCLL)
The Nevada State Council on Libraries and Literacy (SCLL) is leading the way for Nevada's libraries to adopt vital 21st century technology. At the end of the annual 2017 Nevada Library Association (NLA) conference, it was announced that Nevada libraries would have a robust continuing education opportunity to learn about virtual reality (VR) and deploy it in their facilities in early 2018. These libraries are part of a select group of emerging technology early adopters in the country. For more information, contact Tammy Westergard, Nevada State Library Assistant Administrator, email@example.comAbout XRLibraries
XRLibraries has been making technology available and accessible with a special focus on youth for the last 30 years. XRLibraries was started in 2016 as a clearinghouse for libraries to share best practices in the installation and use of virtual and augmented reality technologies in libraries, we are the project coordinator for the California Virtual Reality Experience and the Nevada Pilot. For more information, contact John MacLeod, Director, XRLibraries, firstname.lastname@example.org
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