COVID-19 Closing

posted Mar 13, 2020, 1:29 PM by Debra Lewis

In light of recent developments related to COVID-19, we have decided to close the Finger Lakes Toy Library until further notice.  All loans will be extended at least a week beyond the date we reopen and no late fees will apply.  Please do not try to return your toys during this time, as no one will be at the toy library.  We will send another update as soon as we know more.  If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our director, Emily Art. 

Take care of yourselves and your families and we hope to see you soon!

Gannett Foundation Grant Awarded!

posted Jun 17, 2019, 9:35 AM by Debra Lewis

The toy library has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Gannett Foundation, which will go towards our operating expenses and for which we are so grateful!

We were not awarded the larger project grant, which would have allowed us to expand into a larger location, but we will still focus our sights on the hopes for an expansion in the future, and in the meantime we are so grateful for having participated in this grant competition and for the support of the community and the Gannett Foundation that we received from doing so.

CrowdRise Campaign Final Numbers

posted Apr 17, 2019, 2:25 PM by Debra Lewis

Hooray! We finished our campaign with $6,750 raised from 72 individual donations! We ranked an impressive 33rd in total money raised out of 100's of Tier One Organizations. We should all be very proud! Thank you everyone!

(Tier One was organizations with an annual budget under $500,000.)

Ithaca College Television

posted Apr 17, 2019, 2:23 PM by Debra Lewis

Thanks to Katie Eckelmann, producer for Good Day Ithaca, ICTV's morning news show for including us on the morning show on April 12th!

Ithaca Voice

posted Apr 17, 2019, 2:21 PM by Debra Lewis

Thanks to Rae Harris at the Ithaca Voice for this great article about our current grant application related crowdfunding campaign to expand the toy library into a larger location. 

Big News!

posted Mar 21, 2019, 4:23 PM by Debra Lewis

Big News! 

FLTL has made it to the fundraising round of a grant competition to help the toy library EXPAND to a larger space!* 

We need to show we have community support by raising as much as possible through CrowdRise by April 12th before being considered for the grant. 

All donations big or small help us get closer to receiving the grant. 

Please donate today: CrowdRise Campaign Page Link

*The services we could offer in a larger location are endless and include a larger play space, a library of resources on play for caregivers and families, longer hours, the opportunity to rent the space for events, and a wider variety of toys. 

Your support ensures the future of the toy library - for our community, our environment, and our children! 

Welcome to our New Director of Operations, Emily Art

posted Sep 13, 2018, 10:50 AM by Debra Lewis   [ updated Sep 13, 2018, 10:51 AM ]

The Finger Lakes Toy Library is happy to announce the hiring of a new Director of Operations, Emily Art. Thank you to the Community Foundation’s Lane Family Fund and Tompkins Today and Tomorrow Fund for helping to fund this position. 

Prior to joining the Finger Lakes Toy Library, Emily was a teacher for Washington, DC Public Schools, working with students from pre-K through first grade.  Previously, she worked at a nonprofit organization, where she created programming on a variety of issues, including children’s mental health and healthy school food.

Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from SUNY Geneseo and a master’s degree in public health, with a focus on maternal and child health, from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. 

“The Finger Lakes Toy Library is a great example of why I feel lucky to live in this community,” Emily shares.  “It is an amazing resource for all members of the community and I am thrilled to become a part of the toy library team!”

Emily will be hosting open hours on Thursdays from 3-6pm starting September 20th. Come in and meet her!

Thank you to the Community Foundation's Lane Family Fund and Tompkins Today and Tomorrow Fund

posted Jun 25, 2018, 5:10 PM by Debra Lewis

We are so grateful to have received $2500 of grant funding this Spring from the Community Foundation’s Lane Family Fund and Tompkins Today and Tomorrow Fund! Thank you so much!

The grant money will be used to help us fund a part-time Director of Operations. 

The position is for 8 hours a week to start with an hourly rate of $15/hour. The Director of Operations will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the toy library (regular open hours and periodic events). This position will include managing volunteers and interns, ensuring the toy collection and the toy library itself stay organized and in good condition, performing outreach within the local community, communicating with members, and regularly communicating with the FLTL board, as well as attending board meetings. The FLTL Board is a working board and the Director of Operations will be strongly supported by it.

Our hope is that this position will grow as our fundraising efforts grow and that we will be able to offer more hours in the future. We are hoping to find someone who is committed to the toy library and who would be interested in growing with us. 

FLTL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2016, which opened its doors in June 2017 and has been entirely volunteer-led up until this point. FLTL operates a community toy lending library, currently lending over 800 toys to over 160 members. The mission of the Finger Lakes Toy Library is to improve quality of life by increasing access to toys, supporting play, and encouraging a culture of reuse and sharing.

Please email cover letter and resume by July 20 to FLTL Board President Debra Lewis at More information about FLTL can be found on our website at: 

Ithaca Journal Front Page Story

posted Apr 29, 2018, 7:54 PM by Debra Lewis   [ updated Apr 29, 2018, 7:55 PM ]

Thank you so much to Kate Collins from the Ithaca Journal for her fabulous story and photographs!

All Things Equal Interview

posted Apr 29, 2018, 7:53 PM by Debra Lewis

An Interview with our Operations Manager, Amber Smith:

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