16th International Toy Library Conference -



European toy libraries Group

The Group of European Toy Libraries (ETL) was founded in 1996 during the 7th International Conference on Toy Libraries in Zurich (Switzerland)


  • 1996 Zurich (Switzerland)
  • 1998 Paris (France)
  • 1999 Lisbon (Portugal)
  • 2000 London (United Kingdom)
  • 2001 Florence (Italy)
  • 2002 Lisbon (Portugal)
  • 2003 Graz (Austria)
  • 2004 Brasov (Romania)
  • 2005 Lisbon (Portugal)
  • 2006 Athens (Greece)
  • 2008 Noordwijk (Netherlands)
  • 2007 Barcelona (Spain)
  • 2009 Winterthur (Switzerland)
  • 2010 Lisbon (Portugal)
  • 2011 Brussels (Belgium)
  • 2016 Bruges (Belgium)
  • 2017 Leiden (Holland)
  • 2018 Edinburgh ( Scotland)
  • 2019 Lisbon (Portugal)

The European Group is an informal group.

The European Group is committed to the beliefs that play, playthings and playful interaction are essential to optimal educational, physical, psychological, social and cultural development. Who Should Join National Toy/Leisure Library Associations, Toy Libraries, play professionals, individuals interested in promoting play.

The next ETL meeting will take place during the ITLA Conference in May 2017 in Leiden, Netherlands.

Definition of a Toy Library

Toy libraries provide resources for play, including toys, games, trained staff and dedicated space. European Toy Libraries are open to everybody: children and adults, able bodied and disabled persons, institutions and organizations A toy library is a service that provides to members the opportunity for shared play and/or the loan of toys and games. A toy library can be operated by individuals, charitable organizations, local, regional or national governments or any other such agency or group. Toy libraries, as often as possible, are to serve as a community resource, offering information, guidance and support to members in addition to the loan of toys and games. Toy libraries serve people without regard of race, sex, handicap, religion, language or national origin.

There are 5500 toy libraries in the different countries of Europe.

Purpose of ETL

The purposes of the ETL are:

  • To disseminate the concept of toy libraries as a means for bringing play and play materials to people.
  • To serve as a link between national toy library organizations, providing opportunity for international exchange of ideas and materials.
  • To maintain a liaison with other organizations and associations pertaining to developmental and social issues, health, education and play.
  • To organize common presentations at international events such as International Conferences organized by ITLA
  • To cooperate with organizations with similar goals.

ITLA International

The Group of European Toy libraries is a section of ITLA (International Toy Library Association) and has a close cooperation with ITLA. ITLA is a non-profit-making international organization comprising of national toy library associations, institutions and direct international members. One of the main goals of ITLA is the cooperation between the different national organisations. To strengthen this cooperation ITLA organises an International Conference every three years. Another service is the ITLA Documentation Centre at the Centro Internazionale Ludoteche office in Florence, Italy.

ETL Members

European Countries regularly present at the different meetings:

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Rumania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

ETL News Letter

Contact Us

This documentation has been elaborated by the members of ETL (Group of European Toy Libraries).
And the members of ETL hope that this documentation will be helpful to toy libraries all over the world.

For further information please contact:
Renate Fuchs, European coordinator
Link to website

Documentation for Toy Libraries (2014)Survey About Training Made Among Different Countries in Europe (2007)Questionnaire About Training for Toy Librarians in Europe

Includes: definition of toy libraries, toy libraries in europe, also a brief history of the Group of European Toy Libraries (ETL) its members and purpose, working standars and quality charts of european toy libraries, training and world play day strategies.

These texts had been prepared by ETL for people who wish to consult reference documents about toy libraries

Click on link to view the full report.
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18 countries out of 22 countries surveyed, answered. 15 of the 18 who replied have special training for toy librarians.”

Thus concluding that people are aware that a special training for toy librarians is important.

Click on link to view the full report.
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If there are any changes to the information you submitted previously or you would like to add your information to the Training Database for European countries, please download the Questionnaire, fill out the form and submit it to

Click on link to view Questionnaire.
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