Equity and Inclusion
The Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library is committed to pursuing equity, justice, and inclusion. All families belong at the PTLL, and our space must demonstrate this by enthusiastically and explicitly welcoming all families -- especially BIPOC families, low-income families, families that include LGBTQIA+ members, families that include disabled members, and other families who may be excluded, overtly or implicitly, from some places and communities.
We recognize that we do not always live up to our ideals of equity and inclusion. We recognize that not all families have felt welcome in our space or in our community, and we are constantly striving to change that.
We realize, too, that our organization would benefit enormously from greater diversity among our Board of Directors, especially racial diversity. Because the PTLL is a self-sustaining organization that is operated entirely through volunteer labor, we do not have the ability to pay people to do equity-related work, and we cannot expect folks who are already overburdened to do this work for free.
We are usually in search of board members, and we encourage anyone who has the time and energy to join us either as full board members, friends of the board, or in whatever other capacity makes sense for you. We especially encourage anyone who feels as though they are not represented by our current Board to join us.
But we also must not accept an organization where the only voices heard belong to folks with the resources of extra time and energy to give. We must find ways to include all voices. We want to hear the perspectives of our members, of our visitors who have never been members, of our former members who left for a reason, of those who have not felt welcome to visit us in the first place, and of our entire Pittsburgh community.
There are several options to share your voice, and if you can think of other methods that would allow more people to contribute, please let us know! Note that these methods can all be used to share ideas about anything related to the PTLL, it does not have to be specifically related to equity and inclusion
Regardless of the method by which you choose to communicate, please know that we are appreciative of any and all input. Although we may sometimes refer to these channels as a "suggestion box," we don't expect that you'll always have a suggested solution at the ready. Problem identification is important too, and we especially hope that you will feel comfortable sharing your thoughts, emotions, and concerns.
Share publicly but anonymously. We have created a Google Jamboard that you can use to post comments. Use the left-side menu to add a sticky note or text box and write your comment to us. You can also read other people's comments.
We ask that you not reply to other comments directly, but we encourage you to agree or to share a different perspective in a new comment.
Your comments are anonymous! Even if you are logged in to your Google account, Google will show you as an anonymous user.
Share privately and anonymously. We have a form that is intended to act as a suggestion box for those who would like anonymity but prefer that their comment is not publicly visible.
The form has lines for your name and your email address. These are not required. They are only there to use if you would like us to follow up with you directly.
Similarly, the form asks questions about your membership status. Please know that these answers are not required, and your responses will in no way affect the amount of consideration that we give to your comment!
Share privately but non-anonymously. PTLL members, visitors, and the wider community are always invited to contact our Board of Directors with questions, concerns, ideas, suggestions, thoughts, feelings, or anything else you'd like to share.
If you'd rather not contact the Board as a whole, you can also contact individual board members.
If you prefer to use a contact form, the suggestion box above will have similar results if you include a name/email address for us to get back to you.
You are more than welcome here. You are wanted, and you are valued.
The toy library belongs to all of us, and you belong here.
When you decide to become a member, or just to come for a visit, know that it doesn't matter what level of energy and effort you have to give. Your family's very presence makes the PTLL a better place.