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Five Amazing Things You Can Borrow from Your Public Library in BC

Posted on: July 23, 2021

When we think of libraries, we often imagine a building full of books, librarians, and silence. We imagine ourselves wandering through the shelves to find our latest read or scouring information for research and for learning. Many newcomers who arrive in BC are surprised to learn how diverse libraries are here. These vibrant, engaging community hubs provide patrons with access to free resources that many people might not have the opportunity to try or to consider.

Dash Robot Kits

Kids can learn to code with a fun robot named Dash! Give Dash Robot voice commands and explore loops, events, conditions, and sequences. The free in-app challenges give your child hundreds of hours of STEM learning, while the fun accessories let you easily turn your robots into everything from a bulldozer to a catapult for engaging freeform play. You can borrow a Dash Robot Kit from the Surrey Libraries. All you need is your library card.


Musical Instruments

The Vancouver Public Library offers a collection of instruments that you can borrow using your library card. From violins to doumbek’s, there’s an instrument for every interest. The Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library is located at the Central Library. The instruments can be found by searching the library catalogue. Instructions and training material can be found in their Musical Instrument guide.


Birding Backpacks

Birding Backpacks are for beginner birders, avid birders, and people who are just curious to try. Bird with your family, with friends, or on your own. Try identifying birds, as well as other things in nature, like plants, flowers, butterflies and moths. To borrow a Birding Backpack all you need is your library card. You can borrow a Birding Backpack for 28 days from the Burnaby Public Library.


iPads and iPad Minis

You can borrow either a full-sized (10.2”) iPads, or a mini iPad from the North Vancouver District Public Library.  These devices are loaded with apps to help you keep connected at home, including video conferencing, social media, productivity, Google Suite, and entertainment.  You can install your own apps by logging in with an Apple ID. If you don’t yet have your library card, you can register for one in person, or online.

3D Printer

3D Printers

Book a 3D printer and watch your inspiration come to life. The Coquitlam Public Library has a variety of 3D printers available, along with 3D computer assisted drawing (CAD) software. There is also access to free, online tutorials through LinkedIn Learning to help you learn about 3D printing, such. Your library card provides you access to these resources.

It doesn’t matter what community you live in, you can visit any public library. Because each library is different, it is a good idea to visit the websites of different libraries to learn about their facilities, materials, programs, and events. There are 18 library systems in the South Coast region of BC including libraries in communities across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Some of these library systems have more than one location. In total, there are 84 libraries in the region.