Volunteers lend a hand at toy library workshops

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Volunteers lend a hand at toy library workshops

Library volunteers stepped up to prepare toys for the re-opening of toy libraries at the Blackwood and Mitcham Memorial Libraries this month.

Hundreds of new toys needed to be labelled, sorted, bagged, laminated and catalogued due to a three-month backlog brought about by COVID-19 closures.

Library volunteer Lee-Ann, a retired Child and Youth Health nurse, has volunteered with the toy library for 15 months and says people would be surprised at the work involved.

“Every single item needs to be labelled so that it can find its way back to the library,” she said. “Every puzzle piece, every toy – we even engrave call numbers onto some toys using a special tool.”

She finds working for the toy library rewarding because she can see the benefits it brings to the community.

“It’s not just young families who use these libraries but aged care facilities and primary school teachers,” she said.

Toy Libraries Coordinator Lisa Francis said the library started weekly workshops using volunteers redeployed from other roles.

“We are heavily reliant on volunteers to keep our toy libraries running smoothly,” she said.

Library volunteers also cover and shelve books and help deliver books for the Home Library Service.

Blackwood Toy Library is at the Blackwood Community Centre, 4 Young St, Blackwood, and is open Tuesday and Wednesday 9.30am to 11.45am, Thursday 4pm to 6pm. Mitcham Toy Library is open during normal library hours (10am to 5.30pm Monday to Thurs, Friday 10am to 2pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm, Sunday 2pm to 5pm) at 154 Belair Rd, Hawthorn.