Members of the Rolleston Toy Library Committee Fiona Morland, Joanna Hunter, Hannah Jozco and Amy Pailthorpe

Rolleston Toy Library open

by Ann van Engelen

After nearly two years of planning, New Zealand’s newest toy library at Rolleston held its inaugural toy collection day last Sunday at the Rolleston Community Centre.

“With more than 200 toy libraries in communities across New Zealand, Rolleston’s is the first to operate entirely online. We had around eight new members braving the heat to come and pick up the toys they had reserved,” says publicity and promotions officer Michelle Sim.

“Getting the toy library off the ground has required an enormous amount of effort by the small group of dedicated volunteers. From searching for premises, applying for grants and organising fundraisers, to purchasing new toys, cataloguing, packaging and labelling them. It has been a true labour of love for all of us.

“It is an innovation born of necessity because after months of searching, the project drivers, a team of passionate local mums, were unable to find a suitable physical space to operate from. Chris and Ayyam O’Brien of Storage King Rolleston came to the rescue by generously donating the use of two storage units and a delivery truck.

“That provided us the opportunity to think outside the box.

“Inspired by online shopping, the web-based system allows members to browse and book toys online, then collect them from the central pickup and drop off point at the Rolleston Community Centre, between 3pm–4pm on Sundays.”

The Rolleston Toy Library caters for ages 0–6 and has a growing collection of more 250 toys available for hire, a large percentage of which are brand new. From large ride-on toys and outdoor play equipment to games, puzzles and dress-ups, with everything in between.

“To be fully operational and see the dream finally become a reality is a massive achievement, which we are all incredibly proud of. We can’t wait to see Rolleston families enjoying the use of these fabulous toys. For more information on the toy library’s membership structure and pricing, visit or chat to the staff on duty during the weekly pickup and drop off sessions.