FAQ

Where is the Toy Library?
The Toy Library is at the Devonport Community House, 12 Clarence St, Devonport. We're just around the corner from the New World supermarket. Walk in through the front doors of the Community House and then straight ahead to the hall at the back. There's usually plenty of parking right outside the library.

When is the library open?
We have one session per week on a  Saturday from 9am to 11.30am. We are open from the first week of February until the week before Christmas when we take a Summer break. We are open during the school holidays but do close for public holidays if they fall on a Saturday.

How much does it cost?
It costs $100 per year for a Duty Member and $180 for a Non-Duty Member. There is a one-off joining fee of $25. There are no lending fees - all toys are free to lend. We do charge fees for reservations, late returns and breakages. Over the summer break we hire out the bigger toys for the a small fee - mostly between $2 and $10 per toy. It's pretty good value to have a toy for the whole holidays.

How do I join the library?
You can join now - there is no waiting list. You can do it  online or you can download a paper form and either mail it to the library or just pop into the library when it's open. Our membership person will contact to arrange payment and talk to arrange an induction - a 15 minute session where we explain how the library works.

What is the difference between a Duty and Non Duty Member
Duty members help out at the library in exchange for a reduced subscription. At each session, we have between one and three members helping our paid librarians. As a duty member you are required to do four duties per year, one per school term. If you fall behind in your duties you will be asked to catch up or pay the difference between the Duty and Non Duty subscription. All members are expected to help out with at least one fund raising activity per year.
 
What do you have to do for duty?
You help check in the toys - counting the pieces with the member returning the toys to check they're all there. You help with issuing the toys - counting the toys with the member taking out the toy. If it's a quiet session you might be asked to replace bags and labels or photograph new toys. You can bring your children to duty - babies and older children are usually OK but you might find toddlers struggle to keep themselves occupied for a couple of hours.

Who runs the library?
The library is run by the members. We are not a council or government organisation or a private company - we are a group of parents working together to benefit our children. Each year, the members elect a committee to look after the day-to-day running of the library. The library also employs two paid librarians to help during the library sessions.

How does it work?
It works just like a regular book library except you borrow toys instead of books. Once a fortnight you head down to the library, choose some toys and get them issued by the librarian. Your kids play with them for a fortnight and then you return them to the library and borrow some more. Just as you need to take a bit of extra care with books you've borrowed from the library you need to look after the toys: Make sure you keep track of all the pieces, don't leave toys outside in the rain or where they might be stolen, ensure your children don't misuse or break the toys and finally clean and dry the toys before you return them.

What toys do the library have?
The library has about 750 toys. You can see most of the toys we have in our online catalogue. We have ride on's and trikes, Lego and Duplo, Thomas train sets, board games and jigsaws, fancy dress costumes, trucks and cars, dolls houses and role playing toys like kitchens, sporting equipment, musical instruments, baby toys, water play toys 

How many toys can I borrow?
You can borrow 5 items - a good combination is 3 toys and the other 2 made up of a combination of games, puzzles, dress-ups or musical instruments.

How can I pay my subscription
The best way is to use internet banking.

Our bank account details are:
Kiwibank
Play-A-While Toy Library Inc
38-9015-0689577-00

Alternatively, you can pay the librarian by cheque or cash at a library session. Sorry no eftpos or credit cards.

I'm having a birthday party - can I reserve some toys?
Yes, you can reserve toys for a birthday party or even just to get hold of one of the really popular toys. There is a $2 reservation fee per toy.

I've changed my address, name or email address. Who do I tell?
Please ask the librarian to update your details when you're at the library. Alternatively, please email committee@playawhile.org

I put my name down for a duty but now I can't make it. What do I do?
Think carefully and check your diary before putting your name down on the roster - not turning up for duty is one of the biggest ways to loose friends at the library. If your date is more than two weeks away then simply cross your name off the roster. If the date is two weeks or less away then you need to find someone else to do the duty. Get the phone numbers off the roster of people down for the weeks before or after you and see if they can swap.