Clinical Support

Paper: Program Description Abstract

Collaborating with Clinical Faculty to Create a Library-Based Virtual Reality Studio

Tuesday, May 7
4:50 PM - 5:05 PM
Room: Grand Ballroom B (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Background : The University of Washington (UW) Health Sciences Library (HSL) partnered with surgeons, nurses, radiologists, research scientists, and programmers to establish a library-based virtual reality (VR) studio to support pre-surgical consultations for cardiothoracic surgery. The project was designed to allow the UW cardiothoracic surgery team to use static, two-dimensional MRI and CT images to create patient-specific and fully interactive three-dimensional models that could be viewed using virtual reality hardware and software. The results of the project were disseminated to other health sciences libraries through a how-to primer. This project was funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services Leadership Grant.
Description : HSL converted its existing Translational Research and Information Lab (TRAIL) to support VR as an additional service layer, purchasing a VR-capable laptop and Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headset packages. The project team conducted full- and half-day retreats to test and demonstrate software, identify core requirements for implementation into the clinical workflow and pre-surgical consultations, and map future clinical and educational uses for VR. Software include Pyrus Medical’s Bosc, designed at UW, and other commercially-available products. A design architect was hired to provide feedback and best practices for selecting and renovating a room to host VR, with topics including space considerations, natural and artificial light, privacy, and seating. To disseminate the findings, HSL staff designed and wrote a 44-page how-to primer for other health sciences libraries interested in introducing VR.
Conclusion : Enthusiasm for VR and potential implementation into clinical workflows and curricula was high among all participants, across all experience levels. Though VR has advanced significantly over the last decade, this project discovered that current software isn’t sufficiently refined to be implemented into the clinical practice for real surgical procedures. Surgical teams are too busy to learn new applications still in the development stage. HSL will continue to offer as a service for non-clinical applications. Printed copies of the primer were mailed to AAHSL directors and other interested parties, and a PDF placed on the Health Sciences Library website (

Michael Moore

Grants & Special Projects Librarian
University of Washington Health Sciences Library
Seattle, Washington

Michael T. Moore is the Grants Administration & Special Projects Librarian at the University of Washington Health Sciences Library in Seattle, WA. He was a team member for UW HSL's IMLS-funded "Medical Libraries of the Future: Creating a Primer on How to Design a Virtual Reality Studio" grant project, and was the lead writer and designer for the resulting "Virtual Reality in Academic Health Sciences Libraries: A Primer," a how-to guide for similar libraries interested in implementing virtual reality. He works on a variety of projects at UW HSL, including the Translational Research and Information Lab (TRAIL), a five-partner collaboration to advance innovation in health care ( He previously worked at McGill University Library and Archives in Montreal, Canada, where he supported the Library's Rare Books, Archives, Visual Arts, and Osler History of Medicine units.


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Tania P. Bardyn, AHIP

Associate Dean & Director
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

Tania Bardyn, MLIS, AHIP, joined the University of Washington on November 7, 2011 as Associate Dean of University Libraries, Director of the Health Sciences Library, and Director, National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Pacific Northwest Region (PNR).

From 2008-2011, she worked at the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library at UCLA, as Associate Director for Public Services. In this role she was responsible for overseeing the full range of public services, including research and instruction services, collection development, access services and interlibrary loan. At UCLA Tania has significant experience with conducting needs assessments that lead to better alignment of resources and services.

Prior to coming to UCLA, Tania was Assistant Director of Affiliated Libraries at the New York University Health Sciences Libraries. Tania began her career at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio where she worked in public and access services. Tania is active in a diverse set of professional associations.

Within the Medical Library Association she currently serves on the Executive Board of the Hospital Library Section and chairs their Strategic Planning Committee. Within the American Library Association, Tania chairs the Library Interiors, Furnishings, and Equipment Committee, in the LLAMA Building and Equipment Section.

Tania is widely published in both library management and health sciences journals, and is a frequent presenter at conferences. Most recently, she and two colleagues presented this month at MLA on a very timely topic: “Perceptions of data needs, data skills and library roles: a focus group for translational researchers.”

Tania holds a B.A with honors in Political Studies and Economics from Queen’s University in Ontario, and a MSLIS from the University of Western Ontario. Tania recently graduated from the 2010-2011 class of the NLM/Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries Leadership Fellows Program.


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Adam Garrett

Assistant Director, Systems
University of Washington Health Sciences Library
Seattle, Washington

Adam's expertise and experience draws from my position as the Assistant Director, Systems of the UW Health Sciences Library. He provides leadership to a team of three IT professionals, one librarian and one student assistant in the day-to-day operations of Systems department. And is a member of the Health Sciences Libraries Management Team. He supports the library staff desktops which includes Windows and Mac, the Windows servers for file, print and backup services, mobile technology, work productivity and project management tools. Adam also collaborate with the librarians with their technology projects. In addition, he was the project manager for The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)'s National Leadership Grant for Libraries, to design and build a Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) program and studio for surgical care teams to simulate cardiac surgery in a library environment.


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Deric Ruhl

Linux System Administrator
University of Washington
Seattle, WA


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Gili Meerovitch

Pfeiffer Partners Architects, None


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Collaborating with Clinical Faculty to Create a Library-Based Virtual Reality Studio

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