How will the toy library help the black community?

We are deeply saddened by the events that took place in our community recently.  George Floyd lost his life at the hands of police officers.  It was wrong. Our community must come together to find ways to address the inequality people of color are experiencing. We have thought about how we can help promote justice within the toy library community.  We though about one of our goals as an organization – “building community.”  After brainstorming we have come up with the following goals to help address the inequality experienced by black people and people of color:

1) The toy library will purchase more culturally diverse toys/materials for young children.  Children should see representations of their skin color, cultural traditions, and family make-up when browsing our toy shelves.  This affirms a child’s worth in the world and gives families opportunities to discuss these topics through play at home.

2) The staff will look at the structures and policies in place to ensure that wording and actions are fair for all who work with the library and hold membership with the library.

3) Our outreach committee will hold a brainstorming session within the next couple months, to discuss “how are we reaching and engaging with our communities of color?” Can we do more to engage with them so they know about the toy library as a resource for their family.  At the end of the meeting they will come away with 2 action items for continued work on this topic.

We hope you stand with us, as we do what we can to help fight injustice we see in our communities.  If you have any resources you’d like to share with us about culturally diverse toys, resources for talking with YOUNG children about racial inequality, or black community organizations we as the toy library should be aware of please send us an email at mplstoylibrary@gmail.com.  If you’re a member and would like to be part of the outreach committee, please email outreach.mtl.committee@gmail.com.

Thank you,

Rebecca Nutter
Executive Director
Minneapolis Toy Library

Looking for volunteers

We love our volunteers.  They are why we exist.  They give their time to help us provide the toy library service to hundreds of members.  We have been so grateful for the support from our volunteers.  Thank YOU!  Thank you for choosing to spend time with us and support our mission.  We truly are blessed.

Our curbside service has been running smoothly for the past month – hooray!  We have worked out the kinks and are operating fairly smoothly.  (thank you to those volunteers that have given us the ideas to make things work better – it takes a village). Our social distancing protocol is being adhered to and all volunteers are wearing masks, so we feel we are operating to the best of ability to curb the spread of COVID19.

We have some upcoming shifts that we need help filling. Here is the scoop of what shifts would look like:

Monday shift from 6-8pm – put toys back on shelves, clean visibly dirty toys, check toys in using the computer, and possibly take pictures of toys (to adhere to bag so folks know what’s inside).

Wednesday shift from 6-8pm – fill toy orders by gathering toys appropriate for certain ages and interests (provided) and place around the library for easy pick up on the Saturday event.

Saturday shift from 9 – 12pm – CURBSIDE TOY PICK UP EVENT.  Bring pre-bagged toys out to curb for members to pick up, bring returned toys back into the library, check in those toys on the computer, and place toys back on shelf.

If you are interesting in helping please visit our SignUp Genius page.  If you know others looking for volunteer opportunities, please pass this along!  We miss the teenagers and families that would come and helps us out, even though they weren’t members.

Thank you,

Rebecca and Kari