Possibly Rent a Free American Girl Doll with the Lending Program at Your Library
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American Girl dolls are a timeless toy that many kids love and really enjoy playing with. Except, the cost alone can leave a lot of parents opting not to buy these dolls. Even with our tips to save on American Girl dolls and accessories and the occasional deals we share, these dolls can still be out of budget for so many.
The good news is that your local library may be participating in a lending program where you can bring one home for free!
Here’s how some libraries are able to participate in the American Girl Lending Program:
According to ABC News:
A 14-year-old Girl Scout named Olivia Reduto raised about $800 for a project which ended up landed her a Girl Scouts’ Silver Award. She then went on a shopping spree at the flagship American Girl doll store located in New York City and bought a bunch of dolls that she planned to donate to local libraries.
But she didn’t just buy any dolls.
Olivia really did her research on cultures and different ethnicities. She said her goal was to dig deep into the history and the surroundings of each library that she planned to donate to – that way each doll would be as relatable as possible to the kids who would eventually be renting them.
Here’s what American Girl had to say about the lending program:
“Children have been checking out American Girl books and reading about the adventures of their favorite characters from long ago and today for more than 30 years at their local libraries. It’s thrilling to see the growing number of libraries that are now adding American Girl dolls to their lending collections as well. Libraries encourage a lifelong love of reading, curiosity, and learning, so we’re proud that our American Girl dolls and books can be a part of these efforts.”
Key benefits to the American Girl Doll Lending Program:
1. Helps family’s who can’t afford one.
American girl dolls run well over $100, plus much more when you factor in the cost of accessories and clothes. With the chance to rent one for free, kids who aren’t able to have one of their own will be able to embrace the joy of having an American Girl doll, without the costs.
2. They encourage kids to read.
American Girl dolls have always been extra special because they come with a story and background which you read and learn about in their coordinating book. It’s way more than just a doll – their history, ethnicity, and culture make them relatable and fun for the kids who get to enjoy them.
3. It creates more sense of community.
Having a lending program that brings kids and families together is a key factor in creating a better community, whether in the city or the suburbs. This program offers many possibilities for helping children to learn and grow while engaging with peers and other families who have similar interests.
Here’s what one participating library had to say about the program:
“Play in childhood is an important building block to learning, and one of the many different ways that children come to understand the world around them. The books that we include with each doll also help teach lessons about important periods in American history. We also hope to put them in the hands of young people who may not be fortunate enough to own one themselves. So far, they have been very popular with our customers!”
– West Charleston Library | Las Vegas, NV
While each American Girl doll lending program can vary per library, here are some of the general rules & criteria to rent a doll:
The answers to these FAQ’s are gathered from the Zio-Benton Public Library and can vary per location. Please keep in mind that not all libraries participate in this program and American Girl does not currently participate in funding this lending program.
- What do I need to borrow a doll? A library card in good standing accompanied by an adult.
- How do I borrow a doll kit? You’ll fill out a sign-out form when the doll you want is available and a library employee will go over the instructions with you.
- How old do you have to be to check out a doll? The dolls are intended for children ages 6 and up.
- How long can you keep the doll for? You’ll get to enjoy the doll for two weeks.
- How do you return the doll? You’ll fill out a sign-in form and an employee will make sure everything has been returned in the condition it was borrowed.
- What if I lose the doll or an accessory? The cost of the doll, book, carrying case, clothes and accessories are all taken into account. To replace an entire set would run you over $200.
- Can you put a hold on a doll? Yes! You would do this just like a book and you’ll be notified when the doll is available.
Are you anxious to get your hands on an American Girl doll now?
To find out if your local library participates, all you have to do is call and ask!