Virtual Library


Suomeksi / In Finnish

The Virtual Library is a virtual reality (VR) application developed together by the Oulu City Library and the Center for Ubiquitous Computing (UBICOMP) at the University of Oulu. Oulu City Library and UBICOMP have been developing the Virtual Library application as a part of the AIA, AKAI, and COMBAT research projects. The Oulu City Library offered support and spaces for the project and participated in the development. The University of Oulu then further developed the concept and was in charge of the technical implementation. Users can explore the Virtual Library through a VR headset, which includes headphones and handheld controllers. The Oulu City Main Library has a stand where you can explore the virtual environment with the help of an instructor.

The Virtual Library has simulated the first two floors of the Oulu City Main Library. The information services desk gives the user an access to the OUTI web library, and the virtual environment shows how the user can find a specific shelf location. The lobby has a virtual art exhibition. The lift takes the user to three fantasy worlds: Fantasy Village, Study with a fireplace, and Future Alley. These environments include book recommendations that are hidden in interactive objects. By touching the objects, the user can read or listen to the book recommendations.The spaces also have other interactive objects, such as books that can be moved around and a library cat you might run into. The Study room also has a storybook where the user can write a story of their own and leave it to be read by other users, if they want to.

Girl using Virtual library

Virtual Reality Libraries in Finland



  • Virtual library and three fantasy worlds
  • Development started in 2016
  • Collaborated with the University of Oulu
  • Device: Oculus Rift
  • Game engine: Unreal Engine


  • Fantasy library, three book recommendation worlds and a space for advertising workshops
  • Development started in 2017
  • Collaborated with Tammi Publishers and Zoan Oy
  • Device: HTC Vive
  • Game engine: Unreal Engine


More information:
Oulu: Ritva Nikola, ritva.nikola(a)
Vantaa: Pauliina Hyytiäinen, pauliina.hyytiainen(a)