Blogger Lisa Taylor

Stuffed animals in the library

Stuffed Animals DSCN0033 Stuffed animals in the children’s area:  Love ’em  or hate ’em?

Most libraries have at least a few stuffed animals. Perhaps you use one as a “stand-in” during lapsit storytime.  Perhaps you have a “character” stuffed animal that makes an appearance at storytime.

But what about those other stuffed animals? You know, the ones that just “hang out” in the children’s area?  Are they beloved initiators of imaginative play or are they germ-carrying, dust-collectors sparking possessorship wars?

Share your opinion in our one question poll:  Love ’em or hate ’em?

 [poll id=”9″]

The poll will be up all month. I’ll share the results, your comments (leave them below), and my own opinion, in June.

Please share with your colleagues.  I’d like a big sampling.




Image credit: MorgueFile


  1. Laura Bultman

    Is there meant to be a poll to click on? I got a “sorry, there are no polls available at the moment” where I thought there would be something to click on. Maybe it’s my computer?

    At any rate, I have a big bear in my library and the kids LOVE it. He’s a good reading buddy and gets so much love. I have to replace him often enough that he doesn’t get too germy.

    1. Mary Voors

      Oops! The poll should be appearing now. (Sorry about that!)

  2. Carol

    I think this depends on your community setting. A large urban library dealing with bedbugs and lice might want to limit the stuffed animal contact with the public. Small rural or even large suburban libraries may find that there is no problem as long as these items get washed once in a while.

    I personally always used puppets in storytime and shared with the children no matter what community I was serving. I was able to monitor when and how they were used and there is an abundance of imaginative play that resulted.

  3. Kelly Doolittle

    Having only the Love ’em or Hate ’em options is not quite fair! Very little is black and white in this life 🙂 I picked Love ’em because of the positive aspects of puppet play for children, but of course, there IS the negative side. Sounds a bit like life, doesn’t it?

    I do think taking a critical look at our own library’s background and community issues can play a big part in whether you keep or get rid of those fuzzies and fluffies in the public play area. I still use puppets in my programming, but we had a bedbug scare (which turned out to be nothing) in our library, so the basket of puppets (which our young patrons adored!) went out the window! Proverbially speaking. Sigh. That’s life 🙂

    1. Lisa

      Yes, I know I limited the options 🙂 , but I was trying to get to the heart of the question. Does the benefit outweigh the risk? Tough call for sure!

  4. Laura

    We are part of the Family Place Libraries so within the past year we have incorporated stuffed animals, toys, and dolls into our children’s area and workshops. Kids loved them! Parents love them! So we are happy that more people are coming in before programs and even staying afterwards because the kids have more to do.

    As for the bed bug and lice we had a problem with bed bugs. Long story short a patron had a bed bug infestation at her house so they got into some of the books. So we had to buy a Bug Zapper machine to treat the books. We also used the machine to treat the stuffed animals we used for our Zombie Craft because I bought the stuffed animals from the Goodwill Store.

    As for all the toys in her our children’s area we clean daily. We also have “Yucky Buckets” so that parents can put dirty toys in there.

    1. Lisa

      I’m curious about how you clean the stuffed animals. The bed bug problem sounds like a nightmare!

  5. Travis Ann Sherman

    Yes to stuffed animals, but I weed them in the same way I do the books. When they’re worn and outdated, out they go. Mine are all donated, and as with books, I only keep the best and most relevant, esp. book characters. They’re useful too for displays. I keep a dinosaur on the dinosaur shelf, a shark with the sharks, a unicorn above the fairy tales. Some appear only for certain seasons. Just now Snoopy is lying underneath a large umbrella, relaxing for summer. He’ll be replaced in October when the owls and ravens come out. Fingers crossed, I’ll never have to deal with bed bugs.

    1. Lisa

      I like the animal weeding concept!

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