Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the toy library?

We are situated in the school hall in Burnside Primary School, 96 Memorial Ave. Easily accessible via the main school car park. A map of our location can be seen here:

What is the phone number?

We have a mobile phone 022 451 7886. You may call and leave a message or send a text message.

How much does it cost?

Membership is $80 for a calendar year. We operate a rolling membership system which means that your membership expires 1 calendar year from the date of joining the toy library. The majority of the toys are free, with a $2 charge for larger, expensive toys (red spots).

Do you offer a Community Services Card discount?

Yes we do. Holders of a current Community Services Card receive a 25% discount off the membership fee. This amounts to a $60 membership fee for a calendar year.

Do you offer a non-duty membership?

Yes, for our members who may be a little time-poor and unable to volunteer their time for rostered duties, but still want the benefits of toy library toys, we have a non-duty membership at $160 per year.

Do you offer short-term or temporary memberships?

Yes. We have a casual membership for people who are only staying a short time, or those who do not have children but have friends and family staying over for the holidays. Casual members put down a refundable $50 security bond and pay $5 for each toy borrowed.

When is the toy library open?

The toy library is open from February until early December, including school holidays. We are open for two sessions:

Thursday                 7.00pm – 8.30pm*

Saturday                 9.30am – 11.30am*

* We close the door for returns 15 minutes before the actual closing time. This allows time for your returned toys to be counted and for new toys to be issued before the final closing time, allowing those on duty to get away on time.

Do you have a Social Media?

Yes, we have both Facebook and Instagram.

Will I have to do duties?

All members are required to complete duties. Members can log in via a members portal through MiBase, our toy library’s database, and from there they are able to choose which sessions suit them best for a rostered duty.

How many duties will I do?

Expect to be rostered on between 4 and 6 times per year, depending on the number of members in the toy library.

You need to arrive for your duty 15 minutes before your session is due to commence.

Do committee members do duty?

No, committee members are not required to be on the roster for duty. The main task for committee members is to help run the library behind the scenes doing jobs outside of library house, like packing toys, grant applications and fundraisers.  However, they are often asked at very short notice to cover for sick duty members and the occasional member who fails to show up for their rostered session.

What does being on duty entail?

Being on duty means helping run the toy library during the session time.

In the returns area you count in each toy against its packaging and return the toys from the member’s file using the returns computer – a click of a button.

Duties can be fun. You meet people with children of similar ages and stages, and you have the chance to choose from the great toys being returned while you’re doing it!

What if I can’t do duty on the day I am rostered?

If the day you are rostered is unsuitable, you will need to exchange duties with another member, or send along a replacement. If you change your duty, or use a duty member for hire, you need to contact the toy library on 022 451 7886 (please txt) or email [email protected] so the main roster can be altered.

We have a list in the toy library of duty members for hire. These members will do your duty for $30. You make the arrangements directly with them.

If in the case of a last minute emergency you cannot attend, please contact the librarian as soon as possible.

Failure to meet your rostered duty obligation will result in a $30.00 fine for every duty you miss.

What if I’m pregnant?

Families expecting a baby are extended the courtesy of a three month hiatus from the roster around the due date of the baby. The committee should be informed by the family of the pregnancy at least four months before the baby is due so this can be taken into account when preparing the next roster. The best way to do this is to e-mail the library at [email protected].

How many toys can I have out?

The allocation for the beginning of the year is 8 toys with a maximum of 4 red spot toys. This may change during the year depending on the number of toys and members in the toy library.

How long can I keep the toys?

Toys are issued for a fortnight but you may return them earlier if you wish. Toys may be renewed once for a further fortnight by ringing the library. Leave a message with your name, phone number, toy numbers and due dates. If you have any red spot toys, the $2 hire per toy will be charged for the renewal period.

Where do I return toys?

Toys are returned to the desk as you come in the door. Most toys are packaged either into bags or boxes. Please return all the packaging with the toy.

If you are returning a toy and you know it has missing pieces please mention this to the person on duty who is counting your toys. This saves time for everyone.

Before returning toys, please clean and dry them thoroughly. Cleaning materials are held at the toy library. You will be asked to clean your toys at the toy library if they are dirty and are therefore unable to be re-shelved. Keeping toys clean ensures longevity of the toys, and good health for our children.


Some of our toys require batteries. We try to clearly label which toys require batteries so you can choose whether to take that type of toy or not.

What happens if my toys are overdue?

Members are given one sessions grace to return a toy before a charge is imposed. For example, if the toy is due on Thursday, and is returned on Saturday there will be no charge. A charge is made on an overdue toy of $1 per toy per session. Overdue red spots incur a fine of $2.00 per toy per session.

How can I pay for my toys?

We have EftPos available but do not accept credit cards or cash.

How do I know what pieces my toy should have?

Each toy comes packaged with a list of pieces. We recommend you carefully check every toy and its packaging against the list once you have it home.

If there is a problem (e.g. missing pieces or incorrect pieces), please contact the toy library via email within 48 hours of hiring the toy. Leaving a message ensures you are not liable for any incorrect or missing pieces.

You may chose to keep small pieces from toys in the container rather than giving them to your child. This can save the stress of trying to find a small piece just before coming to the toy library!

What happens if I lose or break a piece?

If a toy or its packaging is damaged during your hire, please phone us. There may be a charge made to help cover the cost of replacing the item.

If part of a toy gets lost we suggest you renew the toy for a further fortnight to enable you to find the piece. If the piece is “gone for good”, a $2-$10 (depending on how essential the missing piece is to the toy) fine is charged and a missing piece form is completed. If you return the piece within a month, you will receive a partial refund. We always welcome the return of pieces, even if they have been missing for a long time!

If a piece is missing or damaged, rendering the toy unusable, you may be requested to pay a portion of the replacement cost and have the option of purchasing the toy.

What if I break or lose the packaging box/bag?

The plastic containers and bags are counted as part of the toy and cost the toy library to replace. There will be a charge made if the box/bag is broken while you have the toy or if you misplace an accessory bag.

My friend wants to join the library. How can they do that?

New membership enquiries are directed to the toy librarian via e-mail at [email protected]. New members are always welcome.

Alternatively new members can join during a session time providing they come with the membership fee (either cash, cheque or EftPos – not credit card).

Will I need to do any fundraising?

Your membership fee is primarily used to pay for ongoing operating costs. Sometimes this is not enough. We may still undertake some fundraising (a sausage sizzle, raffle or bake sale) between 2 to 4 times a year to keep these costs manageable. If you choose to volunteer your time please do let us know. If you have been selected to help with fundraising, you will not be rostered on to do toy library duty for that roster cycle. If you have a good fundraising idea, your input is always welcome.

How can I resign my membership?

If you need to resign your membership for any reason, you will need to do so in writing our email address: [email protected]. Two weeks notice is required which ensures the committee has time to replace you on the roster if necessary. You will still be required to cover any of your rostered duties until such time as the resignation period has expired. Please note there is no refund on any unused portion of your membership.

Why does the library close over the Christmas period? Can I still hire toys during this time?

The toy library closes over the Christmas period to allow the committee to do routine maintenance on the toys. It also gives everyone a much deserved holiday from duties.

Christmas toys are issued during the last two weeks of opening only. If you are a current financial member you can hire toys for the Christmas period at a charge of $5 per toy (bookable toys, such as the roller coasters, do not go out over Christmas).

I want to suggest a toy for the library. How can I do this?

The committee purchases toys using catalogues from Teacher Direct, Play and Learn and Modern Brands. We also are guided by Toy Express, the toy buying arm of the Toy Library Federation of New Zealand. We take pride in providing toys which you may not have seen in stores.

If you have a suggestion for a toy please put your idea on the suggestion board which is situated by the front door. All suggestions are taken to the committee for discussion. We welcome your ideas and feedback at any time.

How can I tell when new toys are in the library?

New toys arrive throughout the year. They are photographed and put on our Facebook & Instagram pages.

Once in a while it is a good idea to vary the time or day you come to select toys so you get a different selection to choose from. You will surprised by the number of different toys you’ll see just by changing the day of the week you visit or coming on the alternate fortnight.