Getting Real in the Library: A Case Study at the University of Florida

In the fall of 2014, the University of Florida (UF) Marston Science Library, in partnership with UF IT, opened a new computer lab for students to learn and develop mobile applications. The Mobile Application Development Environment (MADE@UF) features both software and circulating technology for students to use in an unstructured and minimally-staffed environment. As the technological landscape has shifted in the past few years, virtual and augmented reality have become more prominent and prevalent, signaled by companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft making significant financial investments in these technologies. During this evolution, MADE@UF has migrated to focus more on virtual and augmented reality, and we will discuss the opportunities and challenges that hosting and managing such a space has provided to the science library and its staff.