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Toy library’s new home

Volunteer Tia Mita is pleased with the toy library’s new digs. PHOTO/SOUMYA BHAMIDIPATI

Story by Soumya Bhamidipati

Masterton Toy Library moved into its new Queen St premises last Saturday, and it’s already starting to feel like home.

Chairwoman Jenny Barre said it was a relief to be offered the new location at 365 Queen St.

“I was ecstatic, I was so pleased. I envisioned us closing down and giving the toys to a daycare,” she said.

“We asked anywhere we could think of … REAP came to our rescue.

“We’re very pleased to have it.”

The Times-Age reported the library had six months to find a new home or shut down for good in November last year.

It had been run from its previous premises at the YMCA headquarters for 14 or so years, but was given notice to vacate in preparation for some major renovations to the building.

Now, the not-for-profit organisation was already welcoming new members who had become aware of it since the move.

“It’s more visible,” Barre said.

“We’ve had new members already. That’s very encouraging.

“It means we can keep on lending out the toys, we have new toys this year and we have more coming up.”

Volunteer Tia Mita said the library’s Facebook page had also experienced a surge in views.

“It’s a far better location in terms of advertising.”

Knowing the library had secured a new location had taken a weight off Barre’s shoulders, and she now planned to retire as chairwoman over the next couple of months.

She had been with the Masterton Toy Library for more than 10 years.

Barre planned to continue to help out as a relief volunteer and with occasional fundraising initiatives.

“I don’t think they’ll get rid of me entirely,” she said.

The Masterton Toy Library began in 1979 and was, at one stage, the largest toy library in New Zealand.

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