Omaha Public Library staff are constantly assessing the needs of Douglas County residents and seeking solutions. Developing literacy and learning skills for OPL’s youngest patrons is a priority, and part of that learning experience for children includes toys. Yet, not every family in our community has access to toys due to economic or special needs.
When the funding for a toy library became available through donations to the Omaha Public Library Foundation from The Sherwood Foundation and the Adah and Leon Millard Foundation, OPL knew it would be an asset to many families with young children in our service area.“Toys are a terrific way to teach children and develop literacy skills,” OPL Executive Director Laura Marlane said. “OPL’s staff worked to create a collection of toys that will inspire imagination, learning and fun.”
Starting June 1, patrons can peruse over 250 toys listed in OPL’s online catalog and or browse through a printed list available at each of OPL’s neighborhood branches. Patrons will find everything from American Girl dolls to board games, building blocks, musical instruments and more! Items can be requested to be sent to any location, and are subject to similar lending terms as checking out a book. This new collection is a valuable extension of special collections that OPL has made available, such as science kits, Storybook Buddies Bags, and preschool busy boxes that librarians curate with educational activities. These new learning tools are one way that OPL strives to provide materials and services that promote literacy and contribute to the well-being of all Douglas County residents.