Rider’s Franklin F. Moore Library Receives $10K to Provide VR Programming Experiences
Rider’s Franklin F. Moore Library Receives $10K grant

Rider’s Franklin F. Moore Library Receives $10K to Provide VR Programming Experiences

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Rider University’s Franklin F. Moore Library has been awarded a $10,000 grant by the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries to provide an immersive, virtual reality programming experience focused on critical subjects, such as the Holocaust, the refugee experience, Black history, the racial justice movement, and homelessness, to its students.

The grant is a part of the American Library Association (ALA) initiative funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. 

The federal emergency relief program was designed to help libraries lagging due to the pandemic. Moore Library is amongst the 200 national libraries that have received funding through the program.

The immersive experiences will amalgamate several aspects of visual, sound, and technology to enable users to interact with their environment uniquely.

The technology will first debut with the patrons in April to commemorate the Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Day. Users will use Oculus headsets to visit Anne Frank’s Secret Annex in virtual reality and witness the rooms where she wrote in her diary while hiding during WWII.

More experiences, such as the Black Americans during the Jim Crow era, will enable the users to experience the period of racial justice protests. Additionally, the more recent experiences, such as homelessness and the challenges faced by the refugees, will soon follow.

“The pandemic exacerbated Moore Library’s growing issues to support humanities curriculum through library materials and programming,” said Dr. Sharon Whitfield, an assistant professor-librarian. “Yet, the library remains committed to being a supportive place and providing a vehicle for students to engage in out-of-the-classroom learning experiences.”

The library has specifically chosen the topics as they complement the courses taught at Rider. In addition to these immersive experiences, the library will also expand its offering in the area through books, film screenings, and discussions.

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