Lending library debuts at community center

A new youth lending library will debut at the Hanalei Community Center during an open house to be held tomorrow from noon to 4 p.m.

The lending program is a part of an outreach program sponsored by members of the Friends of the North Shore Library and members of Hale Halawai ‘Ohana ‘O Hanalei, and comes in response to the popularity of the outreach program’s youth book-swap boxes, which will continue to be available as well, center officials said in a press release.

“If they can’t get to the library, they can still access good books (at the center),” said Hale Halawai Executive Director Johanna Gomez. “These are good-quality books, the classics everyone should read.”

The lending library will offer children access to a hand-picked selection of great books across all skill levels.

The books are brand-new and well-built, intended to withstand years of enjoyment by young readers. Children will sign out books using a supervised honor system that emphasizes the best books are meant to be shared.

The book swap is accomplished via a dedicated box where children can recycle books they have outgrown, and take other, more well-used books home, to keep or return later.

Princeville Public Library librarian Jennifer Relacion said, “the outreach program is a great opportunity for children of all ages to read. More importantly, having access to various books will help develop their individual interests, and encourage them to seek new and exciting means of learning.

“The outreach program will help create an avenue for children and their families to visit their local libraries, another useful tool in their educational environment,” Relacion added.

Being part of a community is another important message.

“As a community family center, we are trying to increase resources and activities the whole family can enjoy,” Gomez said.

“With this generous addition from the Friends of the North Shore Library to our youth book outreach, children visiting the facility will have an opportunity to not just enjoy good books, but also learn how they can give back by both returning the library books and sharing their own books with others who come here,” said Gomez.

Members of Friends of the North Shore Library and Hale Halawai are actively involved in bringing new resources, speakers and special programs to the community, and are pleased at the potential of their new partnership to provide yet another way to get good books in the hands of North Shore youth, they said.

The focus of the community center’s open house is to share program planning and get feedback about what services and activities are of interest to residents, they added.

Those who visit the community center can sign up to use the free computer lab, learn more about other activities, and find out how to reserve time at the center’s main building, Hale Pohai Aloha.

There will be free shave ice and a tour of the facilities that will include the sharing of information on both the center’s current and upcoming programs.

The youth recreation center, Uncle Jack’s Place, located on the grounds of the community center, will also be open during the open house.

The building is primarily used as a safe recreation zone for North Shore teens and pre-teens. It offers a full-sized pool table, ping pong, air hockey, foosball, and other games.

Currently open three days a week for free play, the building also shows free movies, all rated G or PG, for the youth, on Friday nights, and is used by members of three youth clubs on other days.

For more information about Hale Halawai ‘Ohana ‘O Hanalei, call 826-1011, or visit the Web site at www.halehalawai.org.

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