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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Toy libraries

Libraries are such a good idea. They make knowledge available to everyone - for free. Kudos to Ben Franklin for setting up the first library in the US. But why stop at books? Why not expand the idea of lending to other things as well - like toys?

While I've been in New Zealand & Australia these past several months, I've noticed a fair amount of toy libraries around. What a great idea - lending toys.

I was curious so I dug into it a bit further & found that - at least in Australia & New Zealand - toy libraries seem to charge a small membership fee, & toys are borrowed at a daily or weekly rate. But even with the fees, the libraries seem to be a good way for parents to provide low-cost entertainment for their children. Plus they are often the hub of family social networking, giving parents community support to boot.

There are several toy libraries in the US as well. These seem to be closer to my idea of a library, offering free borrowing of toys. Most of them seem to be established for the benefit of families that can't afford to buy their own toys. But I don't see why everyone can't use the libraries. Who needs a house full of toys their kids are tired of when you can get new toys every week at the toy library? It's good for the environment - less waste. It's good for the community - sharing is caring. & it's good for the budget. What more could you want?

Do you have a mound of unwanted toys? Why not find your nearest toy library & donate them?


Doctor Bullshit said...

My mum was a toy librarian! She totally loved it. My siblings and I loved it too, as we got to roadtest most of the toys - just to make sure they were educational enough and not dangerous, of course. :-)

Nancy Lewis said...

Ha! That's awesome, Dave!

Scott said...

That is a cool idea. Plus perhaps it would help kids with the concept of what's 'mine' and what is not. Anyway, interesting!

Nancy Lewis said...

I thought the same thing, Scott. Having to return the toys on a regular basis keeps kids from becoming too attached to them, & might help them deal with other situations in which they would need to share or collaborate with others.