Rotorua residents had the chance to see inside and learn more about Rotorua Library's two outreach vehicles this week.

Te Waka Pounamu - the Mobile Learning Centre and Te Waka Matauranga - the Mobile Library set up shop at Te Manawa on Tuesday and Thursday.

Library director Jane Gilbert says they wanted to show the public what is on offer and what the library is doing with the outreach vehicles.

"Te Manawa is centre of the city so why not bring them here?".


The two vehicles travel around the Rotorua district, providing services to many residents who cannot easily visit Te Aka Mauri.

The Mobile Learning Centre is equipped with numerous forms of technology including laptops, tablets and a WiFi hotspot.

It delivers services and programmes such as eLibrary education sessions and Stepping Up classes in the community.

Jane says SeniorNet Rotorua has partnered with the library for this, and at the moment there is a focus on audiobooks and magazines - teaching people how to read online.

The Mobile Library visits schools, rest homes, and community and care facilities, offering library services.

SeniorNet chairman Keith Garratt says SeniorNet's clientele is technically people more than 55 years of age.

"I believe it's become more and more necessary for older people to be IT literate."

He says for senior people in particular the internet has all sorts of benefits.


Keith says for those who are immobile, the internet can allow them to do things they would otherwise have to leave the house for.

"I think the library with their initiative on trying to help people with IT is something very valuable.

"Libraries are now not just to do with books."