Yordonos Tizazu, 3, and Caitlin Ottenbreit, children’s librarian, do a trial run with some of Vancouver Island Regional Library’s new STEAM Tinker Totes at VIRL’s Harbourfront branch earlier this month. The totes can now be checked out from any VIRL branch to get children learning at home about science, technology, engineering, art or mathematics. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Toys are teaching tools at Vancouver Island libraries

Families can take home sci-tech fundamentals learning with STEAM kits loaned from VIRL branches

Children can now have fun learning about science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics at home with Vancouver Island Regional Library’s STEAM Tinker Totes.

The library launched the program in mid February, in time for the Family Day long weekend.

Five Tinker Tote kits are available to borrow and take home for anyone with a VIRL library card.

“Those are going to be part of our floating collection, so they’ll be available to people in Nanaimo and everywhere else in our service area,” said David Carson, VIRL director of corporate communications and strategic initiatives.

According to VIRL, five kits available including Sensory Playtime, which helps children explore and learn through sound. Code-a-Pillar teaches children coding and computational thinking. KEVA Connect Planks provide the foundation for imaginative building. Handbells introduces children to music and composition and Magna Tiles are perfect for aspiring young builders.

Tinker Totes can be checked out from any VIRL branch for three weeks and can be reserved by searching the VIRL catalogue and, as with other children’s materials, there are no late fees for the totes.

To learn more, visit the VIRL website at http://virl.bc.ca/.

Library eliminates children’s fines

If you’ve been avoiding the public library because your kids have racked up fines for their overdue books, fear no more. At the Vancouver Island Regional Library board’s final meeting of 2018, a unanimous vote eliminated children’s fines.

“This simple solution is a wonderful response to a demonstrated community need,” said VIRL’s executive director, Rosemary Bonanno. “By eliminating children’s fines, we are helping to ensure that library services are available to some of our customers who need them most. After all, children should not be faulted or punished for overdue library items – instead, they should have barriers to access removed so they can grow and learn without limitations.”

As of Jan. 1 all fines on children’s materials have been eliminated and all outstanding fines have been waived. The fines “do not represent a significant portion of VIRL’s revenue” and won’t have a meaningful impact on the company’s finances or service delivery, according to the library system.

-files from Black Press

Just Posted

Inspirational Parksville youngster Kaiden Finley dies after cancer battle

‘He was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Development cost charges considered to fund regional parks

DCCs to assist in funding land acquisitions and development

Parksville powerlifter qualifies for world championships

Buhler sets personal bests in both raw and equipped lifting events

Wires left dangling after van crashes into hydro pole in Dashwood

Road closed while BC Hydro crews dealt with situation

Police go on hunt for distracted drivers in Parksville Qualicum Beach

One motorist ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt and using a cellphone while driving

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

Prime Minister Trudeau comes campaigning in Nanaimo

A day after announcing a May 6 byelection date for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Justin Trudeau visits riding

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Kamloops chamber of commerce director let go after controversial Facebook posts

Facebook account had derogatory comments about Muslims, Justin Trudeau

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Most Read