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Timmins library resuming in-person events, buys mobile ‘book bike’

Timmins library resuming in-person events, buys mobile 'book bike'

The Timmins Public Library saw a healthy uptick of families visiting over the March Break and now staff is looking forward to inspiring the next generation of young readers by being back the popular “story time” event series for the first time since the pandemic began.

The library’s early childhood education advisor, Melissa Vieno, said having children exploring books and finding their interests in a physical library is something that’s been lacking for far too long.

Timmins Public Library hosting in-person events again. Mar. 18/22 (Sergio Arangio/CTV Northern Ontario)

“We’re excited because it’s been two years since we’ve held our storytime (and) a lot of our children that were coming as regular library users for the storytime are now in school,” said Vieno.

“So we’re excited to welcome new faces, new children and just have some children in the stacks again. It’s nice to be able to reach out to those people and see them in person and really connect them with the books, connect them with the new series we have.”

The library is also purchasing its first ‘book bike,’ which will allow staff to travel around town with an ice-cream-bike-style tricycle stocked with books, hard-copy materials and technology that can be brought right to people who need them but may not have had a chance to visit the library.

Timmins Public Library is going mobile with new book bike. March 18/22 (Sergio Arangio/CTV Northern Ontario)

It will cost around $18,000, funded by the federal Healthy Communities Initiative. The library commissioned a Cochrane-born, London, Ont.-based Indigenous artist to design the bike’s artwork.

The library’s CEO, Carole-Ann Demers, said it will hit the streets this summer, visit events in the city’s downtown and travel around the community.

“If it’s a children’s event, we’ll fill it up with children’s books, stuff to give out to the community and we’ll have an iPad on-site, so you’ll be able to register for a library card right there,” Demers said.

“We’re looking forward to attending places like senior’s complexes, perhaps the YMCA, for little children, the Living Space.”

The bike will also carry lendable Wi-Fi hotspots, she said, that people can borrow for a week or two to get free internet access in their homes.