October 27-29 Monterey Marriott
Monterey, California
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A302 - Virtually Interacting With Books & Exhibits

11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Juan Denzer, Library Systems Specialist, Binghamton University
Benjamin Andrus, Social Science Librarian, Binghamton University
John Shoesmith, Outreach Librarian, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

As rare books become more delicate with time, making them available to the public becomes harder. Hear about an application that makes it easier to view rare books without ever having to touch them. It combines the Leap Motion hands-free device and 3D-rendered models to create a new virtual experience for the viewer, allowing them to rotate and zoom in on a 3D representation of a rare book. The user can open the virtual book and flip through it using a natural user interface, swiping the hand left or right to turn the page. The application is built on the .Net framework and is written in C+. 3D models are created using simple 3D software such as sketchup or Blender. Scans of the book cover and spine are created using simple flatbed scanners. The inside pages are scanned using overhead scanners. Denzer and Andrus discuss the technologies used in developing the application, giving tips for any library to implement the application with virtually no coding at all. The second presentation discusses transforming a physical exhibition into a virtual one, adding value to a library’s outreach mandate without overburdening IT. Using its existing web content management system, Drupal, this rare book library moved to a model that empowers librarians to mount their own virtual exhibitions, largely independent from the library’s ITS staff. Partnering with the university’s Museum Studies Program staff began a pilot project using the free, open source CMS Omeka, which is being adopted by museums and libraries of all sizes for the curation of online digital collections, and as a platform for creating born-digital exhibitions. Get practical advice for launching virtual library exhibitions of any size and content, including collaboration, streaming, user experience, creating digital content, web design, and podcasting and videocasting.

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