Oculus Education Pilot Kicks Off in 90 California Libraries

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“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.” —Ray Bradbury

Books, like VR, open the door to new possibilities and let us experience worlds that would otherwise be beyond reach. Today, we’re excited to bring the two together through a new partnership with the California State Library. This pilot program will place 100 Rifts and Oculus Ready PCs in 90 libraries throughout the state, letting even more people step inside VR and see themselves as part of the revolution.

“It’s pretty cool to imagine how many people will try VR for the very first time—and have that ‘wow’ moment—in their local libraries,” says Oculus Education Program Manager Cindy Ball. “We hope early access will cause many people to feel excited and empowered to move beyond just experiencing VR and open their minds to the possibility of one day joining the industry.”

The 90 participating locations span nearly half of the state’s 184 library jurisdictions—with the possibility for future expansion. Ultimately, the goal is to support equitable access to new and emerging technology.

“Public libraries provide safe, supportive environments that are available and welcoming to everyone,” adds Ball. “They help level the playing field by providing educational opportunities and access to technology that may not be readily available in the community households. Libraries share the love—at scale.”

Beyond the library, Oculus Education is exploring a variety of research projects that ask how VR affects the ways in which we learn. The team also continues to support other impactful projects across Oculus and Facebook, including NextGen, TechStart, and inspirED.

“We already know that VR has superpowers to accelerate learning,” Ball explains. “Both VR and AR will have a profound effect on education, from making difficult academic subjects more accessible and increasing the efficiency of surgical training to providing a rich backdrop for storytelling and the development of empathy and understanding.”

By providing free and easy access to books as well as computers, libraries break down barriers and form the heart of many communities. We’re excited to help VR find its place there.

— The Oculus Team

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