Our work regarding inequality
This summer we stated that the toy library would work on 3 goals to promote equality within our community, as a response to George Floyd’s death. These were our 3 goals and how we have worked on them recently:
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.
We have purchased many new toys that represent P.O.C and diverse families. We will continue to monitor our inventory to make sure these groups are represented.
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.
During our last board meeting, the board and staff looked at our bylaws to look for wording and policies that would deemed unfair to certain groups in our community. Nothing stood out to the board attendees, but we did feel it necessary to add a clause that the toy library does not discriminate against gender, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, religion, or political views. This will be added.
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 began this work by surveying all our 300 members, asking “how can the toy library ensure we are reaching and serving underrepresented communities?” The chair of the outreach committee also set up a Zoom meeting to discuss some ideas further. From this meeting they came up with 3 goals:
1) Promote our scholarship fund to families
2) Translate our order form to Spanish
3) Make a “how to” video on our curbside service in Spanish and English
The toy library is looking forward to working on these goals and serving a more diverse community population.