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15 July 2019

Cumbria libraries to host BBC tour showcasing Virtual Reality experiences

Libraries across Cumbria will be hosting a BBC Virtual Reality experience throughout July. 

The national tour has been devised in partnership with the BBC, Libraries Connected and the Scottish Library and Information Council to allow members of the public the opportunity to try out new Virtual Reality experiences, with the headsets supplied by the BBC. More than 150 libraries across the country are participating, and Cumbria’s principal libraries in each district are pleased to be included.

Zillah Watson, head of the BBC’s Virtual Reality Hub, said:

“Virtual reality is an extraordinary way to experience a story, by immersing yourself in it completely you get a huge connection into it. The trouble is that headsets are expensive, and only a very small number of people have them at home. That’s why we wanted to bring some of our favourite experiences out on the road, and by putting them into local libraries across the UK we’re hoping to give everyone the chance to try out virtual reality.”

Cllr Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Local Communities, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for local people to come along and try a virtual reality experience - our libraries are community hubs that offer access to all sorts of opportunities and experiences, and I am delighted that libraries across Cumbria are involved in this partnership. I am looking forward to trying it out myself at my local library!”

The experiences on offer include Congo VR - a three part news documentary series about the Democratic Republic of Congo; 1943 Berlin Blitz - a film following the RAF on a bombing raid during the Berlin Blitz; and Dr Who, the Runaway - an animated story about Britain’s favourite time traveller.

Mark Freeman, President of Libraries Connected said:

“We're excited to partner with the BBC to bring VR experiences to libraries across the country as part of our Culture Offer. We want to help more people to access quality and diverse cultural events through libraries, especially those less likely to access arts and culture.”

A virtual reality headset will be available in each library on the following dates:

Barrow Library Monday 15 - Friday 26 July

Carlisle Library Monday 15- Friday 26 July

Penrith Library Monday 15- Friday 19 July

Whitehaven Library Monday 15 - Friday 19 July

Kendal Library Monday 22 - Friday 26 July 

Workington Library Monday 22 - Friday 26 July.

For further details about what is happening in each library, please contact your local library. Customers will be encouraged to give the virtual reality experience a try and to feedback their experience via an online survey or by chatting to library staff. 

Libraries across Cumbria will be hosting a BBC Virtual Reality experience throughout July.