Masterton Community Toy Library is a not-for-profit, registered charity branching from TLFNZ (Toy Library Federation of New Zealand).

Toy library foundations were set in Los Angeles by two parents conversing about their children with disabilities in the summer of the great depression in 1934. Since then toy libraries have opened across the globe, from Sweden in 1963, the UK in 1967, Australia in 1971, and many more including New Zealand’s first toy library in 1974. Miss Gillian Gorick, a physiotherapist from Hamilton took up the idea of a Toy Library with the Crippled Children Society. Planning began, and Hamilton became the first center in New Zealand to have a Toy Library. Since then others have taken up the challenge, and there are now over 220 toy libraries spread between KeriKeri and Invercargill. In Masterton we are uncertain as to when we were first set up with the earliest notes we can find in our own records being 1989 but after speaking to previous members we are thinking it may have been as early at 1979.

Today Masterton Community Toy Library is home to over 1500 toys aimed at children 0-8 years, and operates much like a public library where members borrow toys for a fixed time - for us this is a two week period. We have other options too such as cake tin hire, and party packages where you can hire toys for your children’s party.

Our toy library is one that surrounds itself in community; in fact the machine behind the toy library here is a small committee with each member from all walks of life including an early childhood teacher, parents, a grandparent and so much more. We also couldn’t thank our sponsors enough for their assistance in what we do; they include NZCU, Oldfields, Trust House, Trust Lands Trust, Lottery Community, Thomas George McCarthy Trust, Masterton District Council, Prime Community Trust, Eastern & Central Community Trust, and COGS.

Also our community helps us decide on facebook etc... on toys that we should buy and hire out; we enjoy this because who knows your children better than you do.