Libraries offer new way to escape reality

Libraries in the Selwyn district have new virtual reality headsets. Photo: Selwyn Libraries
Libraries in the Selwyn district have new virtual reality headsets. Photo: Selwyn Libraries
You can visit the International Space Station, kayak in Antarctica or tour Anne Frank's house as part of a new Canterbury library initiative.

Libraries in the Selwyn district now have new virtual reality headsets.

Digital futures co-ordinator Mark Lawrence said the virtual reality experience is about learning and having fun.

"It’s something we have been planning for a long time," he said. 

"It’s to do with different learning styles and well-being, giving people a bit of fun.

"People come into libraries, but books might not be how they learn.

"Sometimes when they’re in an experience, it’s a different world, it’s a new way of learning and we’re all about life-long learning."

Virtual reality has benefits for people who require different sensory experiences to suit their learning style.

"It’s difficult to describe - you have got to try it. When people are in an experience we cast what they’re experiencing to a big screen so everyone can see what’s going on.

"Everyone who sees it is blown away and asks to have a go.”

Sessions are available at each Selwyn library and are regularly taken to communities with the Libraries’ Edge Connector Vehicle.