First jigsaw puzzle exchange a huge success

Published on 30 August 2023

Picture of people attending the Jigsaw Puzzle Exhange at Whangārei Central Library in August 2023.

Northland’s first ever Jigsaw Puzzle Exchange held at Whangārei Central Library on Sunday 20 August 2023, was a great success on and looks set to become a regular bi-annual event. The aim of the event is to provide a forum for people to swap jigsaw puzzles that they have already done. 

The exchange was a partnership between librarian Vicki Cooney, who manages the jigsaw puzzle collection at Whangarei District Libraries and former Auckland City councillor Dr Cathy Casey and her partner Dr Kees Lodder who are both avid puzzlers.

Over thirty puzzlers attended and more than 100 jigsaw puzzles swapped in the two hours the event was open.

Vicki says "It is a really cheap and easy way for people to recycle their puzzles.  It was wonderful how many people brought puzzles to swap and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  We had people of all ages including families with tiny tots clutching their 30-piece puzzles."

"It was especially heartening that as the doors opened a group of seniors arrived with a trolley of 26 puzzles.  They had driven in from a retirement village in Ruakaka in their van. They enjoyed the coffee, the chat and the swap and went away very happy indeed with their 26 new jigsaws."

As puzzle enthusiasts, Cathy and her partner Kees enjoyed not just swapping their puzzles but swapping puzzle stories. “It was great to have a chat and a coffee with people who also enjoy the meditative qualities of a good jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle conversations were priceless. Who would have thought that some people do the same puzzle over and over? We do our puzzles once and move on!” Cathy said.

Whangarei District Libraries is planning a second Jigsaw Puzzle Exchange in early December 2023. Make sure you get along and refresh your jigsaw collection in time for Christmas and the summer holidays.  

Group of people who attended the Jigsaw Puzzle Exhange at Whangārei Central Library on 20 August 2023.   Young boy with his puzzle at the Jigsaw Puzzle Exhange at Whangārei Central Library on 20 August 2023.


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