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

Individuals chosen to begin ‘road to recovery’ at supportive housing facility

Orca Place at 222 Corfield St. is expected to open this summer

Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum partner on studying child care needs

Union of B.C. Municipalities provides $125,000 grant

RCMP make arrest following break-in at Parksville’s Log Cabin General Store

Police credit tips from public for helping with case

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident well eating you could be penalized

Delta cat severely injured in animal trap was likely stuck for days, owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read