Associate Dean, Knowledge Services and Chief Technology Officer
University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma is celebrating its 125th anniversary and, in recognition, the University Libraries launched the exhibition “Galileo’s World: An Exhibition Without Walls.” The exhibition covers three campuses, seven locations around the state and 20 exhibitions. Every work on display was digitized and loaded into a Fedora repository with an Islandora interface layer. A NavApp was developed using indoor/outdoor guidance positioning technology to lead users between locations on campus as well as through the exhibits. Tablet technology was used to provide detailed ebooks and videos supporting the exhibits. A new Drupal website was developed to weave everything together and make it possible for people around the world to experience the exhibition and all of the displays virtually. A 20-foot replica of the Tower of Pisa was built in the Library lobby for students to simulate Galileo’s ball drop (using radar measured and reported speeds) in order to draw people to the exhibition. Virtual reality tours were developed to let people experience Galileo’s understanding of knowledge then vs. knowledge today. Finally, hack-a-thons of various types were used to engage users in enhancing the exhibit. Overall, we believe this exhibition shows a new way forward in utilizing library special collections and state-of-the-art technology to help communities of users understand how knowledge builds on knowledge and why libraries and science are so very important in today’s world.