- Keywords: human-computer interaction, virtual reality, libraries
- TL;DR: We developed and publicly deployed an online virtual library with almost 10m books primarily supporting serendeiptious browsing.
- Abstract: Research libraries that house a large number of books organize, classify and lay out their collections by using increasingly rigorous classification systems. These classification systems make relations between books physically explicit within the dense library shelves, and allow for fast, easy and high quality serendipitous book discovery. We suggest that online libraries can offer the same browsing experience and serendipitous discovery that physical libraries do. To explore this, we introduce the Virtual Library, a virtual-reality experience which aims to bring together the connectedness and navigability of digital collections and the familiar browsing experience of physical libraries. Library of Apollo is an infinitely scrollable array of shelves that has 9.4 million books distributed over 200,000 hierarchical Library of Congress Classification categories, the most common library classification system in the U.S. The users can jump between books and categories by search, clicking on the subject tags on books, and by navigating the classification tree by simple collapse and expand options. An online deployment of our system, together with user surveys and collected session data showed that our users showed a strong preference for our system for book discovery with 41/45 of users saying they are positively inclined to recommend it to a bookish friend.
- Supplementary Material: zip
- Confirm No Double Submission: Yes
- Withdraw On Reject: Yes