The Ruth Lilly Medical Library Makerspace celebrated its first anniversary on May 19th, 2023, with an event that aimed to not only commemorate the milestone but also educate medical students about the exciting Virtual Reality resources available on campus. The event brought together RLML Makerspace staff members, IU Health Medical Library representative Jason Lilly, University Library VR lab representative Jason Peercy, Idea Garden Team Lead Zachary Snyder, Idea Garden Student Support Coordinator Eric Raymond, and Idea Garden Student Technologist Matthew Muller.
As medical students finished up their final exams, they were met with a warm welcome from RLML Makerspace staff and emerging technology professionals at the entrance of the Ruth Lilly Medical Library. Jason Lilly ensured the VR headsets remained clean and safe for use with the Clean Boxes he brought from IU Health’s Medical Library. The UV Clean Boxes were brought in to sanitize the headsets between uses by using UV Light to disinfect them, providing students with a hygienic and worry-free VR experience.
In addition to VR resources, Idea Garden staff members demonstrated AR (Augmented Reality) capabilities using the Microsoft HoloLens. Students were able to immerse themselves in this augmented reality headset, visualizing intricate anatomical structures in a whole new way. Those interested in utilizing the HoloLens should visit the Idea Garden in Hine Hall on the IUPUI campus (Room IP106) Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4 pm.
The University Library VR department plays a crucial role in emerging technology education and innovation by offering VR development opportunities to students, faculty, and staff across the entire Indianapolis campus. By encouraging students to explore the creation of VR experiences, the department fosters creativity and empowers students to contribute to the growing field. Additionally, students can check out Meta Quest 2 VR headsets from the University Library to continue their VR exploration at home, breaking the boundaries of traditional learning environments.
Upstairs in the RLML Makerspace, students were greeted with a sweet treat – cupcakes! At least 50 students visited the Makerspace, giving them the opportunity to explore the equipment available, including VR headsets, 3D printing resources, and materials for silicone molding and casting. The RLML Makerspace houses three VR headsets: two Meta Quest 2s and one HTC Vive headset. With over 30 applications total across the two platforms, students are provided with a wealth of learning opportunities. From anatomy study applications to meditation and wellness programs, the VR experiences cater to the educational and practical needs of medical students. Students can engage in practical training sessions such as CPR training and proper handwashing techniques in a clinical setting, enhancing their skills in a simulated environment
The RLML Makerspace is open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, allowing students to make use of the VR services during their free hours. For added convenience, appointments can also be scheduled online through the Makerspace's website (https://library.mednet.iu.edu/makerspace/) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).