Toy library finds a home

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The North Otago Toy Library has found a new home.
It is expected the toy library will be reopened, after a two-month hiatus, before the end of August at 109 Thames St, the former Natural Health premises, two doors down from the Brydone Hotel.
The site is owned by the Oamaru Licensing Trust, which offered the building to the toy library after its previous tenant moved to other premises in lower Thames St.
The lease on the toy library’s former home, in Arundel St, expired at the end of June with no option to renew, after the privately-owned building was sold a week after the toy library had reopened after the Christmas break.
Its new owner honoured the toy library’s lease with the former owner, which allowed the organisation to stay there until June 31, although there was no legal obligation to do so.
The toy library officially closed on June 21.
North Otago Toy Library president Tara Arbuckle, who was elected at the organisation’s recent annual meeting, said she was delighted a new home had been found for the more than 600 toys it lends to its 70 members.
“When we put it out there that it was closing, a lot of people came forward saying they would like to help.
“We are extremely lucky to be offered this building at a reasonable price by the Oamaru Licensing Trust. When trust committee members read about our need for a new building they discussed options they had and approached us with this building. Along with the trust we were approached by many members
of the public and other organisations with offers of support. The toy library is extremely grateful for all of the support and kind words.”
Mrs Arbuckle was concerned the toy library might have been mothballed for “quite some time” if the licensing trust had not helped out.
While the new premises were smaller, she was confident there was sufficient space.
“We did talk about it a little bit that we might have to put some toys out and some in storage and do a bit of rotating, but we’ve got some new shelves so we hope we can get everything out –┬áthat would be wonderful.”
Toys are presently being stored in a container at the Kiwirail yards.
Mrs Arbuckle was also excited about the central location, which she hoped would help attract new members.
“It will give us a really good street view as well, so we hope it will bring in more people. It’s going to help us out a lot.”
Oamaru Licensing Trust president Ali Brosnan said the trust was happy it could help out an “organisation in need”.
The North Otago Toy Library was established in 1988.