Innovation at the library

Virtual and augmented reality demonstrations, an Internet of Things workshop and an intro to borrowable podcasting equipment feature at Newcastle Library during the upcoming Hunter Innovation Festival.

City of Newcastle, New South Wales, has partnered with festival organisers to help Hunter residents explore innovation in a friendly, hands-on environment as part of strategic smart city strategy adopted by Council in 2017.

Lord mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, said, “The City of Newcastle is proud to be on board with the Hunter Innovation Festival as Festival Partner in 2019, supporting an expanded program and providing the library as a festival hub.

“Newcastle has a long history of producing world-class innovation in heavy industries and we’re also punching above our weight in emerging industries, such as robotics and advanced manufacturing.

“Our smart city infrastructure and platforms are now attracting international attention and we’re working hard to diversify the local economy through a range of public works and economic initiatives.

“Social inclusion is an important part of this, so I’m delighted that library members will soon be able to borrow tech to create professional podcasts and that our libraries in general are spearheading the smart city charge - through virtual and augmented reality and even hosting school holiday STEM programs.”

The festival follows adoption of Newcastle Libraries’ 2019-2029 Strategy, which aims to deliver a world-class library for a smart, liveable and sustainable city.

Newcastle Libraries Manager, Suzie Gately, said, “The library is a gateway to understanding the knowledge economy, supporting an inclusive approach for the benefit of all citizens.

“A key part of our new strategy is partnering with stakeholders in the smart city ecosystem to promote initiatives to improve liveability, sustainability and local innovation.

“The Hunter Innovation Festival is a great event to show the integral role libraries play in introducing the community to new technology and providing resources and programs to bridge the digital divide. “