Quotes from Community Members

Here is a sample of the excitement we’ve been hearing from the community:

"We are so grateful for the toy library. Our six-year-old has been discovering wonderful games here that have both helped him build skills and encouraged us to start a family game time after dinner almost every evening (and sometimes at breakfast)! It has also given us such an excellent example to share with him of sustainable practices and the joy of sharing with others.  Thank you, Finger Lakes Toy Library!"


"The toy library is such an amazing resource for this community. My kids love being able to come and pick out toys to borrow - sometimes they pick toys we have borrowed before, sometimes they find a new gem.  It is a nice place to go hang out for a little bit when you need to get out of the house in the cold winter months. It would be wonderful if there was more space to play and meet up with other families there, but we have made do, and the families we meet there are always very agreeable to kids being in each others space." 


"I love being able to borrow toys to try out without having to spend large sums of money and then having them just clutter up my house when the kids get bored with them. I also think it is wonderful that it is accessible to all families regardless of income!! I have talked to friends in other areas who have kids and they wish they had something like this in their area!"


"We love our toy Library! It's a lovely space our kids look forward to visiting. It also allows us to try out and play with a large variety of high-quality toys as our kids progress through different interests and developmental stages, without cluttering up our home or worrying about the environmental or budget impact of constantly acquiring new things. I'm especially happy that our kids learn early on to take good care of shared resources, and I appreciate that the toy library works hard to be accessible to everyone in the community."

- Olivia 

"Finding a place like the toy library is one of the reasons we love Ithaca.  We feel support and kindness from the community and families here.  We come over to play and borrow toys almost every week.  We love our toy library!" 

- Sue Ellen 

"Now that I am living in Ithaca, I am so happy to hear we will be getting a toy library here. Discovering the Rochester Toy Library when living there was a parental game changer. Our daughter always had something new to explore, to experience, and to master. Not only did the Toy Library provide toys, games, and play structures where our finances could not, it turned our small living space into a dynamic learning center that grew right along side our daughter. " 

- Annette Ernste, Volunteer, Former Children’s Librarian

“The founders of the Finger Lakes Toy Library are to be appreciated, applauded and supported, that they have chosen a commitment to equity and access to be a Toy Library that serves all of our community of children and families.” 

-Brigid Hubberman, Founder, Family Reading Partnership. 

“It fosters community and the sense of belonging. Reinforces the ideals that through cooperation everyone is able to have their needs meet. Helps develop a common schema for children in the community.” 

- Sara Nicole, Parent

"The prospect of Finger Lakes Toy Library securing a permanent space in our city is very exciting! We are certain that our children, families, and volunteers will greatly benefit from access to toys they otherwise cannot afford and a safe environment in which to learn, explore, and play. We look forward to partnering with the Toy Library on programs and projects in the near future." 

- Anna Adler, Community Outreach Specialist, One-to-One Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ithaca & Tompkins County

“I want my child to learn that they aren't defined by what stuff they own. A toy library would allow them to experience toys without the need to own them.” 

- Anise Hotchkiss, Parent

"It costs hardly any money, and that's good because then you have more money for the things you really need. Also, if you use toys over and over again, you don't have to make new ones to replace the old ones. That's good because gas is needed to run the machines in the factory and stuff like that. So if you're not making new toys you use less gas. And that's important because gas goes into the air and pollutes it." 

- Julia Kleinberg, Second Grader at Fall Creek Elementary

“We belonged to a toy library in Davis CA. It was great, not only did it give us an opportunity to play with new toys it gave me ideas of different kinds of playing to do with my kids because of the unique toy selection. Interestingly to me it also allowed us more time and space to play because there were less toys in our house at any one time, less clean-up everyday=more time to be together being imaginative with what we had.” 

- Patty Larkin Ristow, Parent

“There was a point in my daughter’s early childhood development when I realized we were not doing a good job making sure she had the right toys at the right time. I was not prepared for this aspect of parenting and was not sure how to keep up financially, taking the time to research/consider what she needed and then actually shop for good toys to meet her needs. I was astonished by my lack of foresight in planning for this more than others aspects of parenting. Right then I wished for a toy library.” 

- Trudy Pantalia, Volunteer

"As a local business owner and mother, I find FLTL to be an ideal way to engage the community and help children learn and grow through play. This library will be more than just a place to find toys, it will be a place where foundations are made no matter what socio-economic background children experience." 

- Darlynne Overbaugh, Volunteer

“Such a great idea for saving money, living a minimalist lifestyle and having the opportunity to expose your child to new ways to play.” 

- Jennifer Wills, Parent

"Toys are no longer a luxury, but a necessary advancement for complete development of children. If every family has access to a toy library for their children, it will meet a compelling need in the community." 

- Bhuvan Singla, Volunteer

“This is a GREAT idea. They have these in Australia and I was so taken with the concept. What an environmentally friendly way to provide new toys/experiences for our children without cluttering our homes up with things that our children have lost interest in and that might just end up in a landfill somewhere.” 

- Katie Feather, Parent

“It would be a wonderful opportunity for lower-income struggling families to be able to provide high-quality educational/creative toys for their children; toys not necessarily based on movie characters and other media, but open-ended discovery toys that encourage brain building and more satisfying, deep play.” 

- Amanda Pelletier, Parent 

“Like my daughter loves her book library she would also thrive at a toy library. It would build a sense of community and would have saved me 100’s of dollars over the last several years. I could have put that money into local businesses rather than Amazon or Target. I feel like my daughter grew out of her toys about every 3 to 6 months and needed something new. The toy library would be amazing!!!” 

- Kristina DeCicco, Parent

“Over the past few years, I've regularly thought how great it would be to set up some sort of organized toy trading system in town.  I'm excited to see the Finger Lakes Toy Library take the lead with this initiative.” 

- Nina Chaopricha, Parent

“There are so many different types of toys out there. Letting my toddler try things out to see which ones she has a real affinity for would help us to focus our purchases on toys that she will engage with. Also love the idea of having a way of sharing our less used toys with kids who might enjoy them more!” 

- Kelly Pitts, Parent 

“The building blocks for development, creativity, and connection should be available to all!” 

- Katrina Blomquist, Parent