ST. JOHNS COUNTY, FL — 10/8/2019 — Interested in swimming with a dolphin? How about skydiving or racecar driving? Want to take a trip through the solar system? You can do it all from the safety of your seat with VR! The St. Johns County Public Library System’s Southeast Branch hosted its first “Experience Virtual Reality (VR)” program on September 24th, allowing patrons to do those activities and much more. Experiences offered included nature treks, rollercoasters, interactive games, and space exploration.

Eight pairs of Oculus Go virtual reality headsets were acquired through a library grant. They are untethered all-in-one headsets, meaning they contain all the necessary components and don’t require a connection to an external device. The VR goggles were also brought to The Night Market at The Amp, a free event held in the evenings this September.

The response to both programs was overwhelmingly positive. Southeast Library patrons Judy and Mike Shannon were delighted to have the opportunity to try out the virtual reality experiences. “They’re a great educational tool for both teens and adults. I learned a lot about the solar system in less than twenty minutes,” said Mike. Judy said, “Swimming around in Ocean Rift really blissed me out. Something that relaxes me that much is great…everything else just fell away.”

Keep an eye out for more information about the Oculus Go headsets in upcoming releases…just watch out for sharks!

This project was funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Florida’s LSTA program is administered by the Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services.