Sunday, October 1, 2023
October 1, 2023

Salt Spring library hops on Fridays

When your children are grown up or you don’t have grandchildren or neighbours with kids, it’s easy to get out of the loop about what kids get up to on our island when they’re not in school.

Someone with intimate knowledge of how children spend their out-of-school time — especially on Fridays — is Salt Spring Public Library librarian Julia Wagner, and she wants to celebrate all the activity going on there.

“Friday at the library has become the kid-friendly family destination place we hoped it would be,” she told me in pitching a story about library activities for youth, especially on Fridays.

“Since the New Year we have weekly [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] programming for three age groups, including Lego Robotics, BOTWARS and videogame coding and design. An early Story Time for the younger set runs in the morning, and then a popular afternoon board game drop-in for the tween set. There’s also a regular teen Dungeons & Dragons campaign that’s in full swing in a program room these days too. Add the Teen Zone being a popular unstructured hangout space, and there’s really something for everyone at the library!”

I was happy to drop by to get a peek at all the activity, and then Wagner threw in the ultimate carrot: she asked if I would be the Neighbourhood Story Time reader that Friday. Reading stories aloud was one of my favourite parts of being a mom, so I couldn’t say yes fast enough to being the guest reader for some eager young listeners and their caregivers. Wagner picked out a variety of fun books for me to read.

I came back later to check out the board game drop-in session from 2 to 4 p.m., where the island’s game aficionado Bryan Dubien of Foxes Board Game Shop and Core Inn youth programs had just dropped off a big pile of new games. He and Wagner explained that the idea is to have someone there regularly to help orient kids in the age eight to 13 group — even some of the older ones in the cohort — to new games.

Spring Break Art Camp, led by Wagner with volunteer helpers, was also in full swing when I was there on March 24, as well as a tech camp put on by Victoria-based LittlUniverse, where kids were making a 3D platform game using the Godot game engine, which they will post for people to use on either the Steam or websites.

As well, machines were whirring away in the FabLab, which is coordinated by Matt Tong, and a young girl was using the Tinkercad program for a 3D-printing project. People can connect with Tong about using the FabLab via the Salt Spring library’s website.

For kids who’d rather be outside, the self-guided Story Walk begins at the library and goes through Mouat Park, page by page, with a new book every Friday.

See the events section of for the lowdown on all the activities taking place at the library.


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