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The shelves are full of toys at Paeroa Toy Library’s new home. Photo: ALICE PARMINTER

Tons of toys for tots in library’s new digs

The Paeroa Toy Library may have moved, but its philosophy remains the same – providing  quality resources for community kids to grow and learn through play.

In mid-August, the library relocated from its long-term home on Normanby Rd, to the ground floor of the former L&P bottling factory on the corners of Station Rd and Albert St. 

Although the move was made primarily because the library’s former landlords required the space, committee member Ann Te Whau said it had been a positive change.

“It’s actually been quite a successful move and I’m amazed at the amount of traffic going past,” she said. 

Foot traffic to the library has also increased, Ann said. 

Chairperson Winsome Ansty said the new location offered much better parking for visitors – a regular complaint on Normanby Rd when people would struggle to manage both small children and large toys, and were often unable to park directly outside the shop. 

Winsome was thrilled the new landlords, John and Mel Budge, had stepped up to offer the space to the library. 

“They were sympathetic to our needs and have been very helpful,” she said. 

“I think they didn’t want to see the toy library disappear.” 

In fact, the new location has been refitted especially for them, with John and his helpers installing new floors, painting, and setting up a storage space. 

The new shopfront is much smaller than the previous location, but Ann said they still had plenty of toys to entertain the children of Paeroa. 

“We have been selling off some of the pre-loved toys that were just past their use by dates for us,” she said, “and we will buy new things to replace them. We try to do that [often].” 

As well as volunteering at the toy library, Ann is also a regular user, as a grandparent to an 18-month old. 

“This is perfect for me, I don’t see him very often,” she said. 

“A lot of grandparents use us for that reason – so they don’t have to have toys at home, they can come and hire some and give them back and [when] the grandkids come back 6 months later … there’s something different.” 

Details: Paeroa Toy Library, cnr Station Rd and Albert St. Open 10am-12pm Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, and 3.30-5pm on Tuesdays. 

By ALICE PARMINTER, Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air