Controversial Location Opens

9 years 7 months 18 hours ago August 21, 2007 Aug 21, 2007 Tuesday, August 21 2007 Tuesday, August 21, 2007 9:15:36 PM CDT in News

Controversy aside, parents and kids showed up Tuesday, and didn't seem too concerned about the new location.

Lend and Learn is a toy and equipment lending library for families in Boone County. Kids can play in the playroom, do arts and crafts activities, or they can check out toys to go home.

"It's a great place to bring your kids, and I think it's great that they have a place like this in Columbia. Let them play and stuff. The kids really enjoy it," said parent Kathy Kait.

Kait wasn't the only one excited for opening day. Her son Jesse couldn't wait either.

"All morning he said, 'I want to go to the new Lend and Learn.' So it was exciting just to see what it was going to look like," she said.

The new location is on the corner of Wilkes and Fay in central Columbia right across from the adult video store. The only thing separating the adult video store and Lend and Learn is a street. But that doesn't seem to bother workers.

"I feel very safe in this location and I've not had any problems," said Tammy Byington, Lend and Learn worker.

Byington says Lend and Learn previously shared a location in the Parkade Center with the University Behavioral Health. Byington thinks it was a smart move.

"Well I think one of the reasons I do feel safer here and I do feel more at ease is there's quite a bit of traffic on the street in front of us," she added.

Byington says rent became too expensive and the Center wanted to find a location more accessible for parents. And it's a nice perk the center is close to an elementary school as well as a park.

The Lend and Learn sponsoring agency might lose some outside funding because of the move to this controversial location.

The toy library has operated in Columbia for seven years.

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