As you may be aware, over the last 2 years the volunteer committee of management have been trying to find a sustainable long term funding solution for the toy library. We thank you all for your help during this campaign. When MCTL was facing closure, the message from our community was very clear – this toy library matters.
While we continued with the work of trying to improve our toy library, managed staffing and propped ourselves up with more short-term grants, we also engaged in a process with the City of Melbourne to closely review the service and find a sustainable path forwards. After considering all of the options, a proposal was made to bring the toy library ‘in house’ and to make it a part of the library service. Over the past 6 months, we have been working with staff from the City of Melbourne to make this a reality, and to ensure that the toy library meets the needs of our community and reflects what we want from it as parents.
Over the last two years, we set ourselves three pillars: Supporting children’s development through play, improving sustainability and reducing landfill caused by toys, and improving community connectedness in our suburbs. At every opportunity, we extended hours, improved our collection and ensured we had staff who made families feel welcome. We built the toy library we wanted. Our 3 toy libraries are busier than ever before, and it is so beautiful to see families playing together at every opening session.
So, it is bittersweet that we announce this transition. We are all looking forward to less stress about the running of the toy library and excited to see what council funding and management will achieve. The City of Melbourne staff have been very keen to maintain volunteering and parent involvement, and this partnership is very exciting, and something we are very keen to see – Parent and children’s voices reflected in programs and services for families! The message below has been prepared by the City of Melbourne, and outlines the following:
- All three branches will continue as normal until the end of June
- They will then close, to allow for re-cataloguing and other transition tasks.
- North Melbourne and Carlton will re-open on the 17th July.
- Docklands will not re-open, due to the limitations and challenges of this space.
Instead, there will be a click and collect service at Library at the Dock, and then toy borrowing will be available at Library at the Dock from September. We understand that Docklands families will be most affected by these changes, but neither we, nor council could solve the issues with the current space. While there will be an interruption to services in Docklands, we hope that this transition will see better support in place for Docklands – increased playgroups and toy borrowing at the library.
Thank you again for all of your support, and a special thanks to everyone on our committee of management who have been working to keep the organisation running and find a solution to our funding challenges.
Yours in play,
Who doesn't need a reliable playdough recipe?! This is one of our favourites and we encourage all our families to try it out. You may also like to use our scavenger hunt suggestions for a family outing, or make up your own scavenger hunt!
It's very common for parents and extended families to feel like children need high quality toys and exciting things to facilitate their play. Here at Melbourne Community Toy Library, we believe that almost all toys have value and can be played with in different ways to promote imagination and creativity. Our toy library members benefit from being able to borrow toys for short periods of time, being able to try new things, and having opportunities to explore what is out there in the world of toys. However, not all toys need to be fancy, and every day objects can promote play and creativity just as well (if not better than) some conventional toys. For children's week this year, we've put together 7 play ideas that encourage kids to think, connect with nature, and use their imagination to play with regular objects they would find at home. We hope you enjoy them!
To read more about the importance of play based learning, we've found some great information here.
For more tips on how to encourage open-ended play at home see here.
Some more simple nature play ideas can be found here.
Oral language development lays a strong foundation for kids' learning and future success in life. One of the best things you can do for your child is to talk to them, and encourage them to talk back. To support parents with creating opportunities for talk, we've created this fridge magnet (below) with some ideas of ways to get conversations going, strategies for encouraging your child to solve problems and questions that promote reflection. These questions are best suited for children aged 3 and up, and it is our hope that they will help you strengthen your connection with your child.
If you're interested in finding out about the academic evidence and background for this then you may like to start with 'The Snow Report' and this article from Reading Rockets. Further suggestions for supporting your child's oral language development can be found here.
If you're worried about your child's language development, then this continuum from the Queensland Government can help you understand when to seek help.
We're excited to announce that we will be increasing our services as Melbourne emerges from lockdown. We will be closed for the Melbourne Cup Holiday next Tuesday. Members are able to borrow or return all branches, so we've included updated hours.Here is an update on services at all of our branches from 6th November.
Carlton (The Chapel, Cardigan St)
Updated Opening hours:
Monday 4pm - 6pm
Tuesday 10am - 12pm
Wednesday 10am - 12pm
Thursday - CLOSED -
Friday 10am - 12pm
Saturday 10am - 1pm
Updated Opening Hours:
North Melbourne (Hotham Hub)
There has been a slight delay in gaining access to this space however we are hoping to get open in coming weeks.
Proposed opening days (to be confirmed):
This is to advise you of the upcoming annual general meeting of the members of Melbourne Community Toy Library Inc (MCTL). The details of this meeting are as follows:
Date: Saturday 23rd October
Place: online via Zoom. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for link.
We have had a huge year since the last AGM, with new branches opening, old branches relocating, new staff and volunteers and some funding challenges. It's a great time to join the MCTL committee as we look to the future and making sure our library continues to be a vibrant part of our communities. As always, some people will be moving on from the committee and we are looking forward to welcoming new volunteers to help us achieve our goals over the next year.
At the meeting, members will be asked to vote on:
· accept the minutes of the last annual general meeting
· accept the annual report
· accept the annual financial statements
· elect committee members
· Proposed changes to the Rules of the Melbourne Community Toy Library Incorporated to enable Deductible Gift Recipient Tax status
Please contact email@example.com if you would like more information regarding the special business or more information about the positions available.
Looking forward to seeing you virtually.
As many of you know, we have lost our long term Kensington home due to the redevelopment of the recreation centre.
While we are yet to secure ongoing funding, Melbourne City Council have found us a lovely new home in North Melbourne. We know that many in the Kensington Community will be sad to see us go, but we hope that this location will still be accessible for many families, and allow us to expand our opening hours.
About our space:
- It's 100sqm (twice the size of our Carlton branch)
- We will have exclusive use of our space (means we can set it up properly)
- We hope it will open later this month or early October for click and collect services until restrictions ease and will let you know as soon as we know opening hours
There's a lot to do when you're opening a new toy library and we'd love some help from members or other community volunteers. If you're able to help then please send us a message. At this stage we have professional removalists getting everything out of Kensington, but we'll need help setting up once we have access to North Melbourne.
Lockdown has ended and we are looking forward to seeing you back in the Toy Library soon.
All branches will return to normal borrowing from today
Docklands Thursdays 10am to 11.30am, Saturdays 1.30pm to 3pm.
Carlton Fridays & Saturdays 10am to noon.
Kensington Saturdays & Tuesdays 10am to noon.
West Melbourne Wednesdays 11am to noon
As always new members are welcome so tell your friends.
Cheers from your friendly Toy Librarians.