VR equipment offers ‘amazing experiences’

Reaching for the stars was possible in the Alexandra Public Library earlier this month.

Library programme co-ordinator Will Harrison said he had just started in the role and was delighted to be handed virtual reality equipment to use in the library.

"It had been lobbied really hard for by the librarians around Central Otago following in the footsteps of some successful programmes in ... Queenstown and Wanaka showcasing these really wonderful, accessible technologies with some really amazing experiences."

It was not just for play and jumping around, although there was plenty of that going on, but to bring immersive experiences to the libraries, Mr Harrison said.

"I was very lucky on my first day this was thrown at me to figure out how we can incorporate it into the library. It’s been a really fun introduction into this role."

Last week a steady stream of people arrived at the Alexandra Library for their own VR experience.

Central Otago District Council library programme co-ordinator Will Harrison adjusts a virtual...
Central Otago District Council library programme co-ordinator Will Harrison adjusts a virtual reality headset for Jack Hore, of Omakau, at a session at the Alexandra Library. PHOTO: JULIE ASHER
Henry Hore, 10, of Omakau, had been keen on VR for some time and was excited to actually try it out.

It was everything he hoped it would, Henry said.

Later in the afternoon Sue Mort, who is in her late 70s, was travelling to "somewhere with trees please".

It was a superb experience, Miss Mort said.

"What is does is transport you to a whole new world," she said.

Mr Harrison said he planned to use the equipment with all age groups around all of Central Otago.

Branch and school libraries would have the opportunity to use it.

He also planned to take it to rest-homes to allow residents to see or relive visiting places all around the world.

"We can take them on a wonderful journey without having to get off the couch."