Emma Bolger with her daughters Quinn (left) and one-year-old Grace purchase some goodies from Rolleston Toy Library committee members Ayyam O’Brien (back, left) and Robyn Mears at last Sunday’s community market

Toy library to open

by Mike Isle

Rolleston families will have a new facility at their fingertips when the Rolleston Toy Library officially opens from January 6 2020.

It is New Zealand’s first solely online-based toy library. Members will be able to reserve toys via a website from this date, with the first toy collection on February 2.

The announcement comes after 18 months of planning, fundraising and hard work from a small group of dedicated volunteers.

The reality of establishing a brand-new toy library was not always easy.

Locating a suitable space to operate from proved to be the biggest challenge. After months of searching, Storage King Rolleston came to the rescue, by generously donating the use of two storage units to help get the initiative off the ground.

Significant grants from Pub Charity Ltd and Rata Foundation provided a boost, enabling the group to purchase everything they needed to become operational — from toys and shelving to storage bags and boxes. The committee has also run their own fundraising campaigns to help meet costs.

“The team have been working incredibly hard over the past few months to source, catalogue and package some 250 toys,” said Rolleston Toy Library publicity and promotions officer, Michelle Sim.

“We can’t wait to share them with our local families.”

Information on the library’s membership structure and pricing can be found on the website rollestontoylibrary.co.nz.

Prospective members can join up now, and gift memberships are also available — just in time for Christmas.