By Danielle Galvin
Bayside Toy Library was hit hard by the pandemic, as were its beloved members.
The toy library has been running for 30 years and offers a large variety of toys for borrowing, along with parent education and a sense of community.
So the committee got creative in the face of the global pandemic and have just launched a ‘Click and Collect service’.
“The introduction of Stage 3 restrictions meant that the much-loved Bayside Toy Library was forced to pause toy borrowing and temporarily close the doors,” Jacqui Warfe, the toy library’s president said.
“We knew our members missed us (they kept telling us!), especially at a time when most kids were home 24/7 and parents were running out of ideas on how to entertain them!
“So we started to think how would our “comeback” look like so that we could allow members to borrow toys safely.
“Upholding our purpose of supporting children’s play, the entire toy collection underwent a deep clean and plans were put in place to reopen with social distancing measures in place.
“Our library manager setup the ability to book a time slot, so that members could place toys on hold, but also select a time when they could come pick them up.”
As of Thursday, Bayside Toy Library has introduced a Click and Collect service to enable toy borrowing to continue during the pandemic.
“The Bayside Toy Library is keen to support our members big and little during this time by providing the ability to borrow a variety of toys and play equipment,” Ms Warfe said.
“By only accepting online bookings and ensuring everyone has a time slot, we are minimising crowd numbers and maximising social distancing (only 2 booking are accepted every 15 minutes).
“When toys are returned, we place them in a “quarantine rack” and leave them there for 7 days until they are put back in the system for borrowing.
“Also, for first time parents who are not so familiar with toys and usually spent time exploring the library, we have introduced an Infant Mystery Pack for babies aged 3-12months to help take the stress out of picking toys for our littlest members.”
The Click and Collect service at the Bayside Toy Library will continue for the duration of the pandemic.