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Fentress Library Gets Job Training Virtual Reality Equipment

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Fentress Library Gets Job Training Virtual Reality Equipment

New virtual reality job training equipment now in place inside the Fentress County Public Library to help residents prepare for potential future careers.

Assistant Library Director Delana Goad said the devices include training programs for regionally-popular fields like nursing and welding. She said she worked through a nursing course while training with the headset at MTSU before bringing it back to the library. She said the program allowed her to assess and treat the wounds of a virtual patient.

“There’s a lot of people that come here to do online schooling, homeschooling, and stuff like that,” Goad said. “That would just be another way that the community could use the library, utilize the library to further their education.”

Goad said in a small, rural town, it can be challenging to find hands-on work experience. She said with Roane State and TCAT breaking ground on a new facility in the county, these devices can help potential students narrow down interests before starting college.

“This is just another way, especially for the young people and the ones that are maybe going on to college, to help them decide what they… it just gives them a hands-on feel,” Goad said.

She said the library has one virtual reality device now and plans to add more. She said she anticipates the devices will be well-used because most young people nowadays have used or at least understand how to use virtual reality headsets. She said the program would act as a means of expanding what the library has to offer.

“It was pretty neat actually,” Goad said. “I can see where it would come in handy in training as far as job placement and that sort of thing,” Goad said. “If there’s somebody that’s going to college, they think they want to do something, say they want to go into the nursing field and they do this training and they figure out, “well, maybe I should try something else.’”

Goad said the equipment was funded through a grant from MTSU and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. She said the headgear also includes safety features for those not familiar with virtual reality use.


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