Q: How do I join?
Q: What toys are available to borrow?
We have nearly 2,000 different items, including toys, games, puzzles, dress-up costumes, sporting equipment and ride-on toys such as balance bikes. We focus on developmental and educational toys, and our collection includes wooden and plastic items.
We are also the only toy library in Australia that offers a cargo bike. This can be borrowed for two weeks at a time.
Q: What ages are the toys suitable for?
A: We have a wide variety of toys suitable for babies and children from four months to eight years of age.
Q: How long can I borrow toys for?
A: Toys are loaned for up to three weeks. Unfortunately, we can’t offer any extensions beyond this time.
Q: How many toys can I borrow?
A: As a member, you may borrow three toys and three puzzles/games per child.
Q: I want to borrow a party pack...do I have to be a member?
Q: Where are the toys from?
A: Toys are sourced from many different places, including donations from families in the community. We also get toys from local toy shops, educational suppliers, markets, garage sales and op-shops. Learn more about our toys.
Q: Are the toys clean?
A: Members are expected to clean toys before returning them so the next child can enjoy them. We ask all members to return toys in the condition that they would like to borrow them. Refer to our Care of Toys cheat sheet for tips on cleaning different types of toys.
Q: How long are roster shifts?
A: Plan to spend a little over two hours at the library for your roster shifts, from opening at 9:30 a.m. to packing up after closing around 11:45 a.m. to noon. Members participate on the roster three times a year.
Q: Do I get to choose my shifts?
A: Yes, you can choose the time that best suits you. The roster is posted online — you can add your name to it once you have joined the toy library. You’ll be emailed a reminder prior to the week of your shift
Q: Can I bring my child/ren along to my shift?
A: Of course! In fact, this is one of the reasons many members enjoy their roster shift — it’s a chance for their kids to explore the library too.
Q: What happens if I can't make my shift?
A: We appreciate if you try to arrange a swap with another member. You can do this using the roster, or with the help of our coordinator. If you cannot make it on the day of your shift, please let our coordinator know.
Q: Is there an alternative to doing the roster?
A: We rely on roster duty volunteers to help run the toy library, and membership requires each family to serve on a roster during open hours.
However, if you would like to help outside of opening hours, please let our coordinator know. Roster alternatives include tasks such as cleaning or repairing toys, or helping the committee at events, working bees, stock-take or activities such as giving talks to new parents’ groups.
Q: What happens if I lose a piece from a toy?
A: Items returned with missing pieces are fined at $5.00 per piece/item of each toy, puzzle or game, and $3.00 per packaging or guitar string. If you find the missing piece, you’ll receive a refund for your fines when the pieces/items are returned.
Q: What if a toy was already missing a piece when I borrowed it?
A: It’s important to check your toys and count all the pieces for items you are borrowing before leaving the toy library. If anything is missing, check with the coordinator to ensure it’s already noted on the database.
As part of your loan, you’ll receive a receipt listing each toy, game and puzzle borrowed. This receipt details the condition, number of pieces, any damage or missing pieces and the due date for return.
Q: What if my toys are overdue?
A: Overdue toys incur a non-refundable fine of $1.00 per family per full week.
Q: What happens if I break a toy?
A: We understand that despite your best efforts this can happen! While allowances are made for normal wear and tear, members are required to pay for the cost of repair if an item is returned with significant damage. If an item is lost or returned in a condition beyond repair, you are required to contribute a reasonable sum towards the replacement cost. (This sum is determined by the Elwood Toy Library Committee.)
Q: Who runs the toy library?
Q: How long has the Elwood toy library been around?
A: We started running in 1985! In 2015 we celebrated our 30th birthday.