Toy Library at the Lincoln Branch Library

Toy-Library-logo Toy Library Hours of Operation
Monday    10:00 AM – 5:00 PMTuesday    10:00 AM – 5:00 PMWednesday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PMThursday  ClosedFriday        ClosedSaturday   Noon – 4:00 PMSunday      Closed     

If you are familiar with Rochester’s libraries, you probably know about the “Secret Room” at Central. But did you know there is another magical room for children and families at the Lincoln Branch Library? It is called the Toy Library, and it has been supporting the community at the corner of Joseph Ave. and Ave D for 16 years. It isn’t a secret, but it has been referred to as a “hidden gem”. The Toy Library is a year-round indoor play space and a lending library for toys and educational materials.

Children and families can enjoy playing together at the Toy Library. There is a play kitchen, wooden trains, musical instruments, riding toys, board games, puzzles, dress-up clothes, dolls, marble runs and much, much more. In addition to being a wonderful place to spend time with your child, adults with a valid library card can borrow toys just like you would DVDs or books.

What is the Toy Library's mission? 
The Toy Library promotes the value of play as being essential to the healthy development of young children. The 2500 sq. ft. playroom is a wonderful destination for families with young children. It is a welcoming place where play is celebrated and valued. By making toys available to families at no cost, the Toy Library promotes play for families at all income levels.


How is the Toy Library organized? What kinds of toys can be borrowed?
The Toy Library’s collection is sorted into color-coded areas. Here's a sampling of what each area offers for loan:
• Infant Toddler: shape sorters, busy boxes, walk behind toys, stacking blocks
• Sensory: puzzles, musical instruments, marble runs, pegboards
• Physical Active: riding toys, slides, bowling sets, scooters, jump ropes, hoola hoops
• Creative: K’nex, Lincoln Logs, Legos, Wedgits, Duplo, wooden blocks, foam blocks
• Pretend: vehicles, train sets, dinosaurs, farm sets, doll houses, pretend food, pretend tools
• Games: Connect Four, Clue, Chess, Checkers, Don’t Spill the Beans, Twister, Mastermind
• School: pattern blocks, counting bears, story sets, science experiment sets, balance scales
• Play and Read to Learn Backpack Sets: 30 different themed backpack sets that include toys and books

How many toys can be borrowed?
Patrons are limited to nine items at a time for a period of three weeks. Toys can be renewed online for an additional three weeks.

How does the Toy Library support educators?
Teachers, daycares and therapists can borrow toys and educational materials for use with their students. In fact, there are now ‘Travel Kits’ designed especially for classroom use. The kits have enough of one toy for 4-5 children to play with together. Travel Kits include: Legos, Duplos, Potato Heads, Marble Runs, K’nex, Lincoln Logs, Wooden Trains and Waffle Blocks, to name a few. The Toy Library’s resources can be borrowed at no cost, saving teachers and therapists out of pocket spending. At the same time, children enjoy a variety of toys rotated into their learning environment.

How is the collection managed?
Upon return, toys are checked, parts are counted and everything is sanitized. If a part is missing, the patron is called and asked to look for the missing piece. Toys determined to be incomplete are removed from the collection, but oftentimes a replacement part can be found in the Toy Library’s collection of spare parts. Patrons are fined for lost and damaged toys as they would be for a lost or damaged book.

What are some of the creative ways the Toy Library's materials have been utilized?
Toy Library patrons include savvy grandparents who borrow toys when their grandchildren are visiting. Rather than purchasing toys and cluttering up their house year round, they borrow toys just for the period of time when their family is in town. Toys have also been borrowed to create wonderful birthday parties and neighborhood carnivals.

Can classes visit the Toy Library?
Yes, classes can arrange field trips to the Toy Library. Call (585) 428-8210, and ask to be connected to the  Toy Library staff. 

Is the Toy Library's collection online?
A portion of the Toy Library’s collection is now online. Go to the MCLS website at and type Toy Library into the search bar. Next, filter by "toy" on the left side of the screen. Browse through hundreds of toys, and select a toy to be routed to your local branch for pick-up. Toys can be returned to any library within the Monroe County Library System.