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Since their introduction in the mid-1990s, virtual web tours have existed alongside traditional instruction and outreach methods as digital tools to increase access and knowledge in a variety of institutions (Mosley and Xiao 1996). By 2002, tours available on the web constituted the third-most popular tour option in a survey of 111 academic libraries (Oling and Mach 2002). In the spring of 2019, Pitts Theology Library (Emory University) launched its own virtual tour project using Matterport technology to supplement instruction and outreach for students, faculty, staff, and community members. Systems & Digital Scholarship Librarian Spencer Roberts captured and processed the 3D images to make available for the public, while Reference Librarian & Outreach Coordinator Anne Marie McLean capitalized on the technology in volunteer projects, orientation sessions, and exhibition promotion. This session details the envisioning and execution of virtual tours of Pitts Theology Library, as well as practical applications for its use in both outreach and instruction in a theological library setting.
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