The Bendigo Toy Library is growing. Members say it's mainly by word of mouth, as families hear about the thousands of toys packed into the space.
The library even has a new campus. After 30 years in Spring Gully alone the Bendigo Community Toy Library took on running of Long Gully's toy library last year.
Committee president Esther Kerr said a toy library could take financial pressure off a household, and avoid the problem of toys languishing in corners, rejected by kids.
The library has about 130 active member families.
"You don't have to be having hundreds of dollars outlay for toys just to figure out that your kids don't actually like playing with it anyway," Mrs Kerr said.
"We have a lot of mums that come in that pick the lovely looking fancy toys and they get them home and the kids are like, 'I don't want this'.
"Just in terms of what mums pick, or dads pick, and kids pick, and what they enjoy playing with, it's difficult to find that balance."
The committee took over the running of Long Gully's toy library to keep the service in both parts of town, making it accessible to more people.
There are about 2000 toys across both libraries. Most popular is a giant ride on tractor, which is always borrowed the instant it's returned.
But any vehicle is a big winner with the kids. The library has all types of toys though, imaginative, dress-ups, puzzles, STEM toys.
Mrs Kerr said the toy library was invaluable for her own family, showing her kids a whole range of toys available.
"My kids love it, whenever they come here they try to convince me to take more toys than we're allowed," she said.
"$45 can buy you one toy from Kmart or Big W, but spend it here and you can have a whole year's worth."
And while kids love the toys, parents love the company. Mrs Kerry finds she often sees the same faces when she volunteers on a Tuesday.
"Sometimes being a mum can be quite isolating and to head out for an outing can be a big deal," Mrs Kerr said.
The Bendigo Community Toy Library has run a nappy drive over the past few weeks, collecting unused nappies to give to families struggling to afford them, or forgoing other things to pay for them.
It might be a small percentage of families experiencing "nappy stress", but it can have a big effect on their lives , Mrs Kerr said.
Donated nappies go to the Nappy Collective, to pass on to charity partners.
Drop your nappies at the toy library by the end of May to help out.
More information at: bendigotoylibrary.org.au/
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