VIRL Partners with VIU To Promote Early Childhood Literacy Through New Family Space Collection

September 2, 2021

VIRL Partners with VIU To Promote Early Childhood Literacy Through New Family Space Collection

Nanaimo, BC – Come September, Vancouver Island University (VIU) students with young children will be able to enjoy a brand-new Family Space equipped with a collection of children’s books on loan from Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL).

“Connecting children to their libraries, instilling a love of reading, and promoting literacy across Vancouver Island communities have always been important mandates for VIRL,” says VIRL’s Executive Director, Ben Hyman. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to support easier access to lifelong learning through this partnership with VIU and this collection for their newly renovated library space.”

Renovations for the new Family Space have been ongoing throughout 2021, focusing on VIU’s commitment to student success, and the culmination of strategic, coordinated efforts to steward library services, including technologies, spaces, and collections that enhance learning and well-being.

“We are striving to create an inclusive and welcoming library environment for all members of the university community, including students with young children,” said Lara Wright, Interim University Librarian. “This demographic is largely invisible and may experience significant barriers to learning, whether in terms of financial constraints or childcare challenges. We want to do what we can to make education more accessible for everyone. We are delighted to partner with VIRL to provide access to children’s reading material in our space.”

Along with a collection of children’s books provided by VIRL, VIU’s new Family Space will be 2SLGBTQ+ and breastfeeding friendly space and feature a mural by Snuneymuxw and Hupacasath artist and VIU alumni, Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, entitled “Lhuxw (Flow). It will also be equipped with seating for children and adults, and several computer workstations.

In addition, families will also have an opportunity to learn more about the digital tools and valuable resources VIRL offers young learners and parents, which can be found on VIRL’s website at


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