The International Toy Library Association was created in 1990 in Torino during the 5th International Conference of Toy Libraries. It was formed to provide a permanent international link structure for toy libraries.
Toy libraries provide resources for play, trained staff and dedicated space. Play, toys and games are at the centre of activities. Generally, a toy library is a community resource that serves people without regard to language, national origin, race, age, sex, handicap or religion.
The decision to form ITLA was taken on May 28th, 1987 at the 4th International Conference of Toy Librarie in Toronto. ITLA is registered under Belgian law as a non-profit-making international organisation whose membership is comprised of national toy library associations, individual toy libraries throughout the world and organisations or individuals that support the aims of the Association.
The Board of Directors of the Association is elected during the General Assembly that takes place every 3 years at International Toy Library Conferences. Board members must be members of ITLA and generally reflect the geographic distribution of members of the Association.
ITLA BOARD 2017-2019
Mónica Juárez Soria / Mexico
Born in Morelia Michoacán, Mexico, married with two children.
Profession: Consultant and trainer in toy librarianship.
Professional qualifications: Economist from National University of México.
3 Diplomas in Play and childhood, Directing and operating a Non Governmental Organization, The International rights of girls, boys and adolescents, with studies in Houston Texas, United States of America about Montessori Method. Trained as toy librarian in the University of Mexico, Metropolitan University of México and by the ATZAR Association in Spain, Brazilian Toy Library Association.
Previous experience: toy librarian since 1996, owner of a private toy library for 13 years, President of the Mexican Association of toy libraries for 6 years, toy librarian since 1996, Founder and President of the Mexican Toy Library Association for 6 years. Assessor and supervise about toy libraries in the Mexican Republic, lecturer in the three National Congress that the University of Mexico, National Teachers School, and thesis . Assessor of the University of Veracruz, the government of Mexico City, the 8 years being Mexican link from the International Toy Library Association, lecturer in the South Africa Conference and in the Korean Conference. Train more than 300 Mexican and south American toy librarians, settle down more than 152 Toy libraries by the Management Consultancy “Play is to Growth”, Founder and President of Mexico Plays Foundation, Secretary for 3 years of ITLA.
Interest in toy libraries: Spread the toy library concept and the importance of play in all México and in the world, trainned toy librarians because of its importance in having professional with core competences and qualities toy libraries to rescue the play in society so can have better and happy human beings.
Currently: Director of the consulting toy library office Jugar es Crecer, assessor of all kinds of toy libraries. Trainer of toy librarians. President of a not-for-profit foundation Mexico Plays that helps toy libraries.
Assessor for the Mexican City Government in the Toy libraries projects, University thesis, particular toy libraries, non profit Organizations, and toy librarians
President for ITLA during 2011-2014; reelected 2017 – 2019 (South africa Korean and Leiden).
Michel Van Langendonckt / Europe – Belgium
1989: Founded “Alpa-Ludismes” a Toy Library dedicated to adults in Brussels (Ixelles district)
1990: Master of Economics (Université Libre de Bruxelles –ULB)
1993: Master of Politics (ULB) and Postgraduate in Sociology
1994-2006: Give History, Geography, Economics and social sciences lessons in High Schools in Brussels… with toy library activities for students at noon
1996 In Zürich, “jeux demain, jeux pas vilains” first communication in ITLA conference
Since 1999 President of LUDO asbl, the association of French speaking Belgian toy library and toy librarians.
Since 2004 Member of French game jurys (International game design competition in Paris- Boulogne-Billancourt; As d’or game of the year in France in Cannes)
Since 2006: Lecturer in Social Sciences and Sociology of Education in a pedagogical college for teachers and educators (Haute Ecole de Bruxelles – HEB)
Since 2008: Lecturer in Ludology in a social college for social workers and librarians (HE Spaak)
Since 2009: Responsible for the “Ludivine & Lucifer Toy library and documentation center” (and official address of ITLA… HEB, 62 Defre avenue at 1180 Brussels.T el: +32 2733.71.10)
Since 2010: French speaking Belgian representative in the European Toy Library (ETL) group of ITLA
Since 2013: Responsible for the HEB-HE Spaak “Sciences and technics of play and games” degree in Brussels
Through I’m deeply conviced of the importance of play and games to build human beings and, who knows, a better world, I will do my best to promote and develop a large toy library network all over the world but also to spread information about research, documentation and trainings about toy libraries, play and games. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I will not have so much time to be efficient. As my wife says already for a too long time, “my work is my family”.
Monica Stach / South Africa
Holds a Masters degree in Early Childhood Intervention. She joined Cotlands in 2007 with her role being to find innovative ways to stimulate children’s development. Toy libraries and early learning play group models has emerged under her leadership as the chief operations officer at Cotlands. In May 2013 the first ever play conference was held and countries from Southern Africa attended the conference. Her passion for creating early learning opportunities for young children through toy libraries has inspired her to enrol for her doctorate degree so that she can add to the evidence base of toy libraries and playgroups. She believes that toy libraries are a cost effective model which gives vulnerable children access to early learning play opportunities and she therefore strives to advocate for play and to ensure that there is a toy library within reach for every child in South Africa. It is her mission to take toy libraries into Africa during the next 3 years.
Poai Hong / Asia- Malaysia
Lawyer by profession but has been involved in the early childhood and education sector since 1989 as an Early Years Centre Director, Trainer, Supplier, and Consultant. She has been and continues to be a passionate advocate for the setting up of community based (for low income families) and corporate childcare centres, kindergartens, creative activity centres, toy libraries, sensorial wall murals as well as training related thereto
Mrs. PH Wong currently sits on the Steering Committee of Childline Malaysia, a non-profit national public safety project of the Malaysian Children TV Programme Foundation. She was the Project Director who pioneered the setting up and launching of 15999 Childline, a 24-hour national phone helpline for children under 18 years in Nov 2010 in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Family and Community Development.
Mrs PH Wong currently represents Malaysia as a speaker at Regional and International Consultations of Child Helpline International since 2011. Working with the corporate sector and government agencies she spearheaded a team for outreach to children for education and training in child protection in respect of various child related issues.
Wong is a strong advocate for child rights and child protection as a CRC and Child Protection Trainer since 1998 for SUHAKAM, the Department of Social Welfare, National Childcare Association, Sime Darby Berhad , and other organisations
She was a member of task forces involved in the development of the National Child Policy, the National Child Protection Policy, the National Plan of Action for Children, National Occupational Skills Standards for Childcare Industry, National Policy for Online Child Protection and National Family Policy
She currently represents Childline Malaysia on the Steering Committee of the Child Rights Coalition of Malaysia (CRCM) and acts as Joint Secreteriat lead for CRCM which is working on the CRC NGO Report to be submitted to the CRC Committee based in Geneva.
She also secured funding of RM60,000 from Unicef Malaysia to establish the first Child Rights Resource Centre for Children in Malaysia based at the MBPJ Community Library
Current President of the Association of Registered Childcare Providers Malaysia, better known as Persatuan Pengasuh Berdaftar Malaysia (PPBM) for 2013 -2015
She is also the Hon. Secretary General of the Corporate Responsibility to Employees (CRE) Committee of the ECCE Council. In 2004, she conceptualised and developed the setting up of “i-play” toy libraries which was packaged as a successful CSR Funding Project of Yayasan EMKAY for the setting up and operation of toy libraries for children in poor urban and rural communities, hospitals and shelters
She recently presented the Country Report at the Asia Pacific Toy Library Conference in Tokyo
Over 20 years of her work is primarily geared to making this world a better place for children in at risk and low income families.
Ana Lourenço / Portugal
Ana Lourenço, graduated in Applied Psychology and specialist in Clinical and Health Psychology by the Portuguese Psychologists Association. She has been working in the Play Activity Department of Child Support Institute (IAC) since 2008. She started by collaborating in several projects in the area of Health Education, with adults and children, but ended up discovering the enthusiasm of working in the area of Play as she had the happiness of finding “play enthusiasts”, such as Natália Pais, who showed her the importance of play activity in so many areas of our lives. She is involved in activities of supervision and technical support to Toy libraries and also carries out trainings with professionals from toy libraries in areas such as “Play Material and Its Potentialities”, “New technologies in play activity” and “Toys and Gender”. She was responsible for the study “Toy Libraries in Portugal”, concluded this year and presented internationally, and is part of the team who disseminates and works on World Play Day promotion in Portugal.
She has been representing IAC in the European Toy Libraries Group for several years now.
Maria Celia Rabello / Brazil
School Psychology and Human Development PHD. Graduated in Pedagogy with specialization in Psychopedagogy. Works with children with learning problems and/or developmental disturbs and in teachers training workshops focused on mediation abilities and the use of games in classroom. Researcher in the area of games, learning and development with articles and books chapters published in those themes. Has experience in organization of programs for Psychopedagogy courses, also in teaching and practice supervision. Member of the Brazilian Pshycopedagogy Association Counsel. Present president of Brazilian Toy Libraries Association – ABBri.
Jessica Simmons / Australia – Oceania
Is a qualified drama/history teacher who taught in schools for over seven years. Following a move into the museum sector she worked as a Program Developer in cultural engagement for over six years. She has had leadership positions in both the education and museum sectors and has a particular interest in engaging community with arts and cultural experiences. As a mum to two children Jessica is passionate about play and the value of educational toys to support the development of growing minds. She serves as President of the Manningham Toy Library, in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs and is keen to see the continued engagement of families with the Toy Library service. Jessica’s other voluntary committment is as Secretary to the International Museum Theatre Alliance where she advocates for the development of theatre in a museum setting.
Click on the photos below for a complete view of all the board members