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“Virtual reality in libraries is common sense”

Felicia Ann Smith (Library Department, Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA)

Library Hi Tech News

ISSN: 0741-9058

Article publication date: 6 September 2019

Issue publication date: 6 September 2019




This paper aims to propose an Immersive Virtual Reality program to teach Information Literacy skills to college students. The proposal aims to expand the horizon of instruction into cyberspace.


The paper explains the planning, cost and logistics required to implement such a program. The virtual reality (VR) program puts students in everyday situations that require “common sense” decision-making actions, then transfers them into a library setting requiring them to use the exact same reasoning. A crucial component of Information Literacy is Digital Literacy, so this program includes scenarios that require students to identify “Fake News.”


The paper provides insights about the Game Design Document, Concept and Design Phases as well as Performance Specifications, Deliverables and for Return on Investments used for formative assessments.

Research limitations/implications

Without securing sponsorships or collaborations due to the inordinate expense of creating virtual worlds this program remains unfunded.

Practical implications

The program is a revolutionary approach to Information Literacy instruction. It shows students that they inherently possess the cognitive tools necessary for critical evaluation skills needed to be Information Literate.

Social implications

VR can transmit knowledge without students feeling they are being preached at.


This program fulfills an identified need to keep libraries relevant in this technologically advanced Digital Age. This radical VR program represents a truly transformational approach to instruction that can catapult us into the virtual and eventual future of Libraries.



Smith, F.A. (2019), "“Virtual reality in libraries is common sense”", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 36 No. 6, pp. 10-13.



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