10 cool things you can do with your library card

May 25, 2022

Your library card unlocks a treasure trove of resources and information.

You can borrow books from any of our 39 VIRL branches, from Haida Gwaii to Port Hardy and Sooke – and that’s just the beginning. Library cards give you access to a wide-range of services and materials, from video games to computers, databases and more.

Here are 10 cool things to do with your library card: 


1.Learn a new language. Mango Languages  is an award-winning lanugage-learning program where you can learn languages like Italian, German, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish or Pirate.

2. Learn a skill. From photography to 3D animationVIRL’s LinkedIn Learning database offers business, software, technology and creative video courses and tutorials taught by industry experts.

3. Stream music and movies. Access 15-million free (and ad free) tunes from Freegal Music. You can stream music up to three hours every day and download five songs each week. Or try watching a film from Kanopy. It has one of the largest and most unique collections in the world, with 26,000 movies, documentaries and indie and foreign films.

4.Create a 3D bookmark or any 3D masterpiece! If you think it, you can make it on our 3D printer. Send your design to our Creativity Commons team in Nanaimo and they’ll print it and send the result to your home branch.  At $0.10 per gram, it’s an affordable and fun activity. Learn more and get tips on how to create your design.

5.Research your family history. Investigate the past by using Ancestry Library Edition at your local branch.

6.Read a digital magazine or newspaper.  Browse our digital magazine and newspaper racks. Here are three places you can find magazines or newspapers:

  • The Libby App (download on Google Play or the App store): Find magazines like Maclean’sHello! Canada and Toronto Life
  • Pressreader :Get newspapers and magazines, including in 65 different languages
  • Canadian Newsstream  : This resource has 463 daily and weekly newspapers, including the Globe and MailNational PostToronto StarCalgary HeraldMontreal Gazette and Ottawa Citizen.

7.Try a daily painting challenge.  VIRL’s CreativeBug has all kinds of great online craft tutorials, including a daily painting challenge that’s all about getting out into the natural world. Find it here  but for free access, please log into CreativeBug through our website first.

8.Get a digtial audiobook or ebook. Download the Libby App to start browsing your digital audiobook and ebook options and find great recommendations for your next read.

9.Borrow video games. Borrow Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch games from your local library. Check out our collection.

10.Request books for the collection. If we don’t have an item in our collection and you think we should, let us know! Feel free to suggest authors, titles or subjects of interest to you.

If you need to get a library card, just visit your local branch or get started online.