You can now be a ninja, ride a rollercoaster and swim with sharks at the Port Macquarie Library after their new virtual reality space was unveiled on December 11.
It was a flurry of excitement as officials and community members alike took turns using the new technology in a purpose built room at the entrance to the library.
The space is just one of the new areas which includes eight dedicated study rooms and an outside reading area said Port Macquarie Library manager Jim Maguire.
“As more things happen at the library we are getting more requests for dedicated study rooms so it is exciting for us to be able to now offer eight dedicated rooms, an outside reading area along with the virtual reality portal room,” Mr Maguire said.
“For the last few years we have had virtual reality technology on offer at the library but with no dedicated space we could only bring it out for special events.
“Now with the dedicated space people can reserve the room any time the library is open.”
The new additions to the library cost $195,915 and came from a grant from the NSW State Government.
Port Macquarie-Hastings mayor Peta Pinson said the new spaces are reflective of the fact libraries are more than just books these days.
“Libraries need to adapt to cater for the changing demands of society, particularly as more of our everyday lives involve interactions with new technologies and the digital world,” Mayor Pinson said.
“It is great to now have a dedicated space at the library where residents and library users can access, try new technologies and have new experiences.
“With the growth in local education, our region will be home to even more students in the coming years and the upgrades will provide even more opportunities and places for people to meet and study.”
The opening of the new virtual reality portal coincided with Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams announcing $136,470 in funding for a new Library Van to service the Port Macquarie-Hastings region.
“The Library Van is a fantastic way for the library to connect with people all over the region and a bigger van means more opportunities to connect with more communities and people in the Port Macquarie region,” Mrs Williams said.
“The van is important as it provides equity of access to people all over the region. From Port Macquarie to Rollands Plains and Comboyne everyone should be able to access the facilities of the library.
“Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s library is one of the highest funded on the Mid North Coast with over $2 million in grants awarded over the past seven years.”
The new van is expected to offer more flexibility for the library to deliver more services to a wider audience as well as extending existing services to emerging growth areas and the Aboriginal Land Council.
“It is a very exciting day for all library uses throughout the Port Macquarie-Hastings region,” she said.
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