The LITA Twitter chat on March 29 (1pm Eastern/12pm Central) will feature two projects and three panelists. In this post, we interview panelist Plamen Miltenoff, MLIS Professor at St. Cloud University. Plamen and colleague Mark Gill, VizLab Director at St. Cloud University, created an augmented reality prototype for library orientation, and Plamen interviewed librarians from several universities about their approach to XR in academic libraries. Both will participate in the chat using the @SCSUtechinstruc Twitter handle and will talk about their projects and low-end approaches to using XR in libraries. We recently interviewed Miltenoff about these projects.
Q. Tell us a little about your role at your institution. What are you responsible for?
SCSU is a midsize university; ~15K students with about 800 faculty. Our student are mostly first-generation students.
Mark is the Director of the Viz Lab, and he deals with faculty and students around the campus. I am Informedia Specialist with InforMedia Services (IMS), which is stationed at the library. IMS used to be a group of PHDs working with faculty on the sound didactical use of technology. In regard of XR technologies, I sought Mark’s help to create some library-related projects with the ambition to replicate them later on for other use across campus.
Q. Describe your project, its purpose, and its goals.
Mark and I did the VR library orientation project in 2014: https://web.stcloudstate.edu/pmiltenoff/bi/. The idea was to test if the spatiality of the video 360 library orientation will help students, both on campus an online acquire better understanding of the library services.
In 2018, Mark and I did AR library orientation: https://youtu.be/ZmLnre5w3nE. We surveyed students about their propensity to use a phone app for AR orientation and presented the results at the LITA forum in Minneapolis: https://www.slideshare.net/aidemoreto/scsu-augmented-reality-library-tour-122152539
Q. What was the biggest challenge you faced, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was and still is the lack of interest among most of the stakeholders: librarians, faculty, administration. I interviewed librarians from several other universities about their setup of XR -related services, and I understand the cautious approach across the nation toward this new technology.
Q. Do you have a link (website/GitHub/etc.) that demonstrates your project or shares documentation or other information about it?
I shared my website to the library project above: https://web.stcloudstate.edu/pmiltenoff/bi/. Mark reflects many of his activities on his lab FB page: https://www.facebook.com/SCSUVizLab/. I also collect every possible info related to XR in education on the IMS blog: https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself and your project?
My interviews of librarians engaged with XR made me understand the importance to work as a collective; diminishing resources (finances) and rapidly developing technology demands it. I am very excited to be part of the conversation on the 29th and I am looking forward to learn a lot from the community.