October 12, 2023

Big Fun: Library Hosts Whale-y Cool Programs for All Ages

Learn about blue whales in free events funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

Whale tail above ocean surface

Walk into Virginia Beach’s Central Library and you’ll encounter a life-sized floor image of the tail of the largest animal on earth – the blue whale. You may be surprised how long it takes you to stride across the tail, tip to tip.

Why is a giant whale tail making a splash at Central Library? This fall and winter, Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL) is offering programs and educational resources about the blue whale as part of a grant-funded STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiative that introduces concepts of field study and aligns with the release of a new documentary, “Blue Whales: Return of the Giants,” by Tangled Banks Studios. VBPL is also partnering with the Virginia Aquarium to offer free programs at the aquarium and in libraries.


For children in grades 3 – 5, “Calling Your Pod,” on Saturday, Oct. 14, at Oceanfront Area Library, focuses on whale sounds and communication.

“Big Life-Small Life, Nature Exploration and Journaling,” on Friday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 21, at the TCC/City Joint-Use Library encourages children to observe and document what they see, hear, smell and touch in nature.

On Thursday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m., teens can solve puzzles and clues to “Escape the Room” at Bayside Area Library

VBPL heads to the Virginia Aquarium on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., for a series of free programs* including “Whale of a Tale Storytime” for children in preschool through second grade, and “How Big is a Whale? How Big am I?” for children in grades K -5. There will also be an interactive StoryWalk based on the book “Following Papa’s Song.”

*programs do not require Virginia Aquarium tickets, but don’t include full access to the Aquarium.

Kids using a photophone at the library to learn about whale communication

In January (date/time TBD), Virginia Aquarium staff will visit the TCC/City Joint-Use Library to speak with adults and teens about whale stranding.

For registration requirements and more information about these programs visit vbpl.librarymarket.com.

About the Blue Whales Grant
VBPL’s blue whale programs are funded by a $1,000 grant received by the Virginia Beach Library Foundation on behalf of the library. The material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2115860. The work was also assisted and supported by the Space Science Institute, which was the recipient of the grant. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or the Space Science Institute.

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Virginia Beach Public Library

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