Accessible and Inclusive Collections: enhancing research and learning through Virtual Reading Rooms (VRRs) and Virtual Teaching Spaces (VTSs)

Poster Description: This poster reports on the results of a recent survey launched by Research Libraries UK (RLUK), in collaboration with members of the IARLA network, to document the most recent innovations in the development and delivery of VRRs and VTSs across the international research library and archives community.

Poster: Click the square icon at the bottom to advance the slides. For additional information, view the Canva infographic.

Presenter Name: Christina Kamposiori

Presenter Bio: Christina Kamposiori is the Executive Programme Officer at Research Libraries UK (RLUK). As part of her role, she leads key areas of the RLUK strategic plan and closely works with RLUK members and stakeholders to deliver its goals. She holds a PhD in Digital Humanities from University College London. Email: christina.kamposiori@rluk.ac.uk .

3 replies on “Accessible and Inclusive Collections: enhancing research and learning through Virtual Reading Rooms (VRRs) and Virtual Teaching Spaces (VTSs)”

Can you give a little elaboration on what you mean by VRR and VTS? I assume VTS is like using Zoom for instruction? I’m unsure what is meant by VRR- would a librarian share a book or other print resource with students via Zoom or another platform? Thanks!

Hello, Bree. Thank you for your question. Based on the definition we used for this research, VRRs and VTSs provide human-mediated remote digital access to collections which do not depend on digitisation. Institutions, such as libraries and archives, use live streaming services (e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams) and hi-resolution visualisers positioned within physical research spaces to facilitate access and engagement with collections that is user-driven. Thus, scholars, teachers or members of the public can view and digitally engage with an institution’s heritage and cultural collections, asking for these to be positioned and repositioned by a member of staff, to enable their research.

I’m very pleased to add that we have just published the full report based on this research where you can find more information on the establishment of VRRs and VTSs, including on current institutional practices and procedures for connecting and working with academics, researchers, students, and other user groups through remote technologies. You can access the report at: https://www.rluk.ac.uk/rluk-vrr-vts-report2/.

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