That E-Book Smell: Curating for the Senses with AR/VR

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There is value in the physicality of a library’s stacks, books, and journals which has been lost in the ongoing transition from physical to digital corpora. The sensory experiences associated with a library’s physical collections – the texture of a worn page, the location on a particular shelf, the smell of an old book – are both a source of pleasure and a support for learning through memory formation. Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), which will soon be capable of simulating a wide range of sensory experiences beyond the two-dimensional sights and sounds of conventional digital media, has the potential to re-engage future users with the physicalities of traditional collections while maintaining the enhanced accessibility of digital media.

This chapter will explore the ways in which multisensory AR/VR is already beginning to influence developments in digital publishing platforms and how these new models of presenting and consuming information could impact on libraries and library users into the future. In particular, it will focus on the potential for augmented and virtual reality to re-engage users in physical content and the various roles that libraries might play in the facilitation and mediation of multisensory experience. Potential pitfalls – copyright, equitable access, and technical aptitude – will be discussed, as will new opportunities for collaboration and partnership.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAugmented and Virtual Reality in Libraries
EditorsJolanda-Pieta van Arnhem, Christine Elliott, Marie Rose
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherRowman & Littlefield
ISBN (Electronic)9781538102923
ISBN (Print)9781538102916, 9781538102909
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameLITA Guides
PublisherRowman and Littlefield


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