Mount Vernon City Library employee Betsy Risser uses the library’s Oculus Rift virtual reality headset Wednesday as library Director Isaac Huffman watches. A screenshot of a scene from the Oculus Rift virtual reality program is seen Wednesday as an operator uses the program.

The following are criminal cases heard Thursday in Skagit Co SEDRO-WOOLLEY — A 13-year-old Cascade Middle School student MOUNT VERNON — Books can transport people to places they’ve only imagined. Now, a new piece of technology at the Mount Vernon City Library can, too.

“It’s so cool to see the water above you and be able to breathe without all that heavy equipment,” library employee Betsy Risser said as she used a virtual reality headset to “swim” in the ocean and look at sea creatures. The library is one of the first in the state to take part in new “Virtual Reality in Libraries” program, which is sponsored by the Washington State Library and Oculus VR.

As part of the program, Oculus VR, which is owned by Facebook, donated 50 virtual reality headsets to libraries in Washington. The devices can transport users to almost any virtual destination they can imagine — under water, into space, or on top of mountains.

“It’s much more experiential,” Library Director Isaac Huffman said. “It has a much more immersive feeling than 3D. Read more from…

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