NOTICE: LIB.TWG is expanding to include museums and will be rechartered as the LIBRARY and MUSEUMS TWG (LAM.TWG).
Co-chairs are Jerome Yavarkovsky (Boston College) and Melissa Carrillo (Smithsonian). The original LIB.TWG charter follows:

Library Technology Working Group (LIB.TWG)

Name: Library Technology Working Group (LIB.TWG)
Identifier: LIB.TWG
Web site:
Discussion forum:
Email list: LIB.TWG (at)
Standards process:
IP policy:
Chairs: Yavarkovsky, Jerome (Boston College), Nagel, Nicholas H. [interim chair] (Grid Institute and Boston College), Walsh, Aaron E. [interim chair] (Grid Institute and Boston College)



The Library Technology Working Group (LIB.TWG) is responsible for defining, implementing, evolving and maintaining applications and open standards related to the provision of library services associated with Immersive Education.



This TWG is open to all members of the Immersive Education Initiative having:

  1. experience with real-world libraries, or
  2. experience with digital libraries, or
  3. extensive experience developing or using virtual worlds, simulators or video games.

TO JOIN: Please complete this form to join this TWG.



In the age of Immersive Education libraries are challenged to provide resources and personalized research and learning services that transcend physical space. Scholarly communication that once depended on printed books and journals is now network disseminated and enriched with the spectrum of multimedia—moving and still photo/video images, sound, animation, immersive 3D and virtual reality, simulation, executable code, large data sets—as well as interactive communication among reviewers and readers. Pedagogy that was predominantly an independent and competitive process for students outside class now makes greater use of collaboration, cooperation, and group study.

In addition to a changed learning and research environment, librarians face continually changing sources for the digital literature and other assets they acquire and make available, and continually changing tools for scholars to locate and use these resources. Management of the library enterprise is characterized by more complex and intense communication among librarians, and the delivery of library services is distinguished by the need for direct, personalized advice on what is available and instruction on how to use it.

Although library practice has been deeply technological for thirty years or more, and a cornerstone of research and course delivery, it is now constrained by the traditions of physical services in real buildings. Similarly, working relations among library staff and with consortial partners depend on traditional modes of email, telephone and process control systems. Certainly, ample opportunity exists to enable vastly greater efficiencies in communication through the use of virtual reality meetings and consultations.

The Library Technology Working Group is chartered to project library services beyond the limits of the brick and mortar physical plant through the application of interactive 3D graphics and animation, open video game and simulation technology, virtual reality, voice over IP, web cams and other rich digital media. These technologies can be leveraged today toward the creation of virtual collaborative study spaces, virtual information literacy programs, virtual research and course consultations, virtual interlibrary document management, and virtual service delivery to name just a few possibilities.



The overarching objective of the Library Technology Working Group is to lead the development of standards and technologies that enable the provision of library services in support of Immersive Education. Toward that end, members of the Library Technology Working Group aim to provide:

  1. To create library specific client-side and server-side platform specification(s) and reference implementation(s),
  2. A specification and framework (with reference implementation) for the development of platform support, products and services for Immersive Education Libraries, and
  3. Best practices for the provision and assessment of Immersive Education library services.



The criteria for success of the Library Technology Working Group are the adoption of standards developed for the implementation of library services for Immersive Education and the successful development of a framework enabling individuals and organizations to create, assess and utilize those services.



This Technology Working Group is closely related to:



Immersive Education Study Rooms

Provide a collaborative learning environment which fosters communication, collaboration and cooperation in learning.


  1. Following a foreign language class in Japanese a group of American students gather in an Immersive Education study room in preparation for a virtual field trip to reinforce the classroom learning. The students use library services available in the study room to identify a virtual Japanese restaurant simulation and instantaneously "travel" to the virtual location. There, they are immediately paired with other participants in the simulation and walk through a restaurant experience which is a combination of scripted AI behavior and live interaction all of which reinforce the material gained in the classroom learning experience. They use a shared word processor to prepare notes on the experience.

  2. Following a class in Latin American studies a group of students meet in a virtual classroom and utilize library services to digest news feeds related to a specific topic of common interest. Voice chat is used to discuss and exchange political views which inform individual reports submitted to meet requirements for a subsequent class.

  3. Students planning a production of Macbeth, and investigating it in depth, use their collaborative study room to display images of the play’s First Folio to get a flavor of its original appearance, as well as a modern printing that they can compare with the original. They display video of selected scenes from film and television versions of the play to understand different character portrayals. They interview scholars of Shakespeare to explore nuances of character and to get different perspectives on the play, recording these interviews and sharing them via the collaborative and personal study spaces. The students display images of the Globe Theater or create a miniature three-dimensional model of the Globe to discuss it in the study space. Using a collaborative spreadsheet, the students create a budget for the production. Costumes, sets and furnishings are sketched and displayed in the study room. Individual students prepare their production assignments in their personal study room and bring their work to the collaborative room for discussion. The collaborative study room is used for table readings of the play as it is being rehearsed.

Use Case Diagram

Use Case Diagram: Immersive Education Study Rooms

From this use case we can identify several classes of participant; students, educators, NPC's (artificial interactive participants) and content providers to name just some. A number of resource types also materialize; learning simulations, content repositories, news feeds. Educators and learners access content through shared applications (e.g., web browsers and word processors) and from there participate in collaborative learning experiences.









Technology Working Group telephone conferences and/or virtual world meetings are held once a month, with additional telephone conferences arranged at the discretion of the group.

Face-to-face (f2f) meetings are one- to three-day sessions held approximately twice a year, with additional f2f meetings arranged at the discretion of the group. To maximize working relationships between the Technology Working Group and relevant standards bodies and vendor organizations f2f meetings may be held in conjunction with industry events, standards meetings, or on location at member or collaborator organizations. All f2f meetings are announced through the group's email list and Web page.



The proceedings of this Technology Working Group are confidential and restricted to members of this group. As an open standards organization, and in recognition of the need for ongoing accountability to the general public, will periodically publish a public summary of all technical decisions (together with the rationales for these decisions) made by this group since the last public summary. Deliverables produced by this group, such as specifications and software implementations, will be provided to invited experts and collaborators for review prior to being furnished to the general public.


Document revised 2010-07-15