Borrowing Guidelines


  • Anyone in the Finger Lakes region may borrow toys so long as they are willing to come to our Ithaca location to check them out and return them on time and in good condition.

  • Members may borrow four toys at a time per membership (three toys, one game/puzzle), or one per child, whichever is greater.

  • Toys may be borrowed for a period of up to four weeks. Please return toys on time. Toys may be renewed after the initial four week period for one additional loan period.

  • Toys will only be lent after the Waiver of Liability is signed for each child in the family.). Responsibility lies solely in the hands of the caregiver to provide safety in play.

How Do I Get My Toys?

All toys will be picked up inside our new location at The Shops at Ithaca Mall. You may choose to browse when you arrive or browse & reserve from home for a quick and simple checkout at the Library.

If browsing from home you should:

  • Reserve toys online at

  • Wait for an email notification that toys are ready for pick up.

  • Pick up your toys within 7 days of notification.

  • Upon arrival please come to Suite D07 (the old Cornell Store between Regal Cinemas and Target). Your toys will be held at the circulation desk for quick checkout.

If browsing in the library:

  • Remember to stay home if sick.

  • Bring your mask; all staff, volunteers and patrons over the age of 2 are required to wear masks within our suite.

  • Sanitize your hands at the entrance.

  • Please sign in with staff (list time of entry, name and preferred contact method).

  • Limit browsing time to 20 minutes if there is a wait to enter the library. Current capacity limits are 21 individuals, including staff and not including any babies being carried.

  • No eating or drinking in the library.

  • If your child places a toy in their mouth, please place it in the designated bin and alert staff on duty.

Returns & Renewals

  • All toys should be returned at the toy library on or before their due date

  • Should you need to renew your toys, please email Unless there is a reservation waiting for the toy, you may renew for one additional 4-week period

How To Care For Toys At Home

  • Please designate a special place in your home where toy library toys will live while they are not being played with. This would ideally be a place separate from where toys you own are kept.

  • Please keep track of toy parts and pieces while playing and make sure all parts are accounted for when putting the toy away. You can view the components of each of the toys you borrow in your Lend Engine account online.

  • Please keep toy library toys away from food and beverages.

  • Please take good care of toys while they are in your care so that all children in our community may continue to enjoy them.

  • Members are asked to not clean toys in their own homes (to prevent damage to the toys), simply return the toy and we will take care of the rest!

  • Because our toys are circulated around the community they will need extra care and cleaning. We will use environmentally-friendly methods to clean all of our toys.

  • If a toy in your care is exposed to a biohazard (blood, feces, vomit) please seal it in a plastic bag and inform the librarian when you return it so proper precautions can be taken.

Late Fees, Missing Parts, & Broken Toys

  • Following the lead of many libraries around the country, including the wonderful Tompkins County Public Library, we're going fine free! This will provide more flexibility for our members, streamline our check in process, and relieve the burden on our volunteers to collect fees. All this said, we do still want our items back! You will continue to receive regular reminders and overdue notices from us. In lieu of late fees, toy library accounts with items more than 30 days overdue will be frozen until the overdue items are returned. At this time, the member will receive an email notice. If items are still not returned, the member will be asked to pay for a replacement item.

  • Potential fees for missing parts and broken toys will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Information About Play Areas

  • Currently the Toy Library has tables designated for puzzle and game play as well as a rugged/matted area for toddler play.

  • The play area has designated toys and is intended for children approximately 7 and under. Adults and children should remove shoes before entering.

  • Each child should remove one puzzle or game at a time to be used at the tables or play area. If the child will not be checking out the toy, it should be left with the staff member at the circulation desk before departure.

  • Adults are responsible for the safety and care of their children at all times. The Toy Library is not a drop off location.