Toy Library News

Toy Lending Library Encourages Inclusive Play with New Boxes

The South Dakota Toy Library is partnering with Sioux Empire United Way to meet the needs of their community and expand their impact.

Article on Toy Libraries, USATLA and toys

Like Kids with New Toys: A Closer Look at the USA Toy Library Association - ALSC Blog ( written by Maria Trivisonno, a blogger for ALSC and a colleague of USATLA's Board President, Sue Kirschner.

The South Dakota Toy Library is featured in a national periodical

The South Dakota Toy Library is featured in a full-page article in the January 2023 edition of Costco Connections magazine.

Article about the South Dakota Toy Library


















The ToyBook:

Toy Lending Library of South Dakota Announces Two New Locations
The Toy Lending Library of South Dakota is very happy to share that it is starting to have toy boxes available for check out in two new locations – Siouxland Libraries Humboldt Branch and Siouxland Libraries Hartford Branch. The process is the same as with the other Siouxland Libraries. With a library card the caregiver borrows a toy box, takes it home, plays, returns it and gets more. Once the boxes are returned they are cleaned and sanitized at our main location before going back to the branches. Two more locations means that more children will have the opportunity to play and learn.

About The Toy Lending Library of South Dakota The Toy Lending Library of South Dakota’s mission is to create opportunities for children zero to five years old to enhance their learning development through play. The Toy Lending Library has 556 FREE toy boxes in circulation at 11 locations throughout the Sioux Empire. Each box contains toys and a book to encourage children and families to engage in educational and imaginative play.

More information can be obtained on our web site:, by email: [email protected] or by phone (605)215-0575.

USATLA in the Media

O Magazine – The “High Five” section of the April 2020 issue highlights toy libraries and the USATLA.

Scripps TV, Inc. – Jan. 27, 2020 - the video interview at Northbrook Public Library included: Kelly Durov, Director of children’s department and the toy library; a mother and her three children; and, Judith Iacuzzi. The story ran online on Feb. 1, 2020. Here’s the link:

The Washington Post –  The article, "This Growing Trend Lets Kids Check Out Toys in a Toy Library," ran in the January 22, 2020, issue. Here's the link:

Ithaca College’s Ithaca Week ran a story focusing on the Finger Lakes Toy Library and the USATLA in their December 12, 2019 issue. Reporter: Nicole Pimental.

Enjoy listening to this enlightening and detailed interview with the director, Marcia Benitez, of the longest-running and most robust (50 sites) toy library program in the world, the Los Angeles County Toy Loan program. (Broadcast: November 2019)  iHeart Radio Interview with Marcia Benitez

How To Start a Toy Library Webinar Video:

Los Angeles County Toy Loan Program Video:

Special Needs Toys – Nisonger Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities:

American Libraries Magazine Article, "Toy Libraries: A Place to Play":

Video on Special Needs Toy Lending – Lekotek:

Video on Autism:

Jane Donelson “Player of the Year” Award

Each year a deserving USA-TLA member or member company is honored with the Jane Donelson Player of the Year award for outstanding contributions to toy libraries and early childhood development. Since the award’s inception in 1985 many renowned professionals concerned with ensuring that play is a centerpiece to a young child’s life and learning experience have won this award.

2022 – Anelis Coscioni, Director of the Toy Lending Library of South Dakota









2020 Award Winners

Headshot of Jenn KushJenn Kush
USATLA Social Media Advisor; Chicago, New Zealand, Portugal




Michele PoulosMichele Poulos
Teacher, Play Expert; Naples, Florida




Northbrook Public Library, Northbrook, IllinoisNorthbrook Public Library
Northbrook, Illinois



2019 Award Winners

Marcia Benitez Marcia Benitez
 L.A. County Department of Public Social Services




Rebecca Nutter, Minneapolis Toy Library

 Rebecca Nutter
Director, Minneapolis Toy Library









2018 Award Winners
(left to right)
  Donna Giantonnia, USATLA Board Member
  Celia Huffman,
Youth Education Coordinator, Cuyahoga County Public Library
  Tracy Strobel
, Deputy Director, Cuyahoga County Public Library
  Pam Jankowski, Literacy and Learning Director, Cuyahoga County Public Library





2017 Award Winners
Sarah Fitts-Romig with Player-of-the-Year AwardRochester Toy Library Accepting the award for the Rochester Toy Library was Sarah Fitts-Romig, currently toy librarian at the RTL and speaker at the recent Rochester-USA-TLA Conference.



Sarah Fitts-Romig with Player-of-the-Year AwardDeb Willsea with Player-of-the-Year Award

Deb Willsea with Player-of-the-Year Award

Deb Willsea Ms. Willsea gave singular support and inspiration to the Rochester Toy Library over the last 30 years as it took shape and gained a community foothold. She is now engaged in starting a toy library in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.



2015 Award Winner
Marieca Y. Anthony, Kaplan Early Learning Company, Medina Ohio

2014 Award Winner
Susan Kirschener, 2014 Player of the YearSusan Kirschner, Youth Literacy and Outreach Supervisor for Cuyahoga County Public Library




2013 Award Winners
Myron & Elaine Adler, 2013 Player-of-the-Year AwardElaine and Myron AdlerElaine and Myron Adler founded the Adler Toy Library at the Turrell Child Care & Early Learning Center, part of Children’s Aid and Family Services in Paramus, N.J. Children from preschool to kindergarten delight in its holdings.