A Kula family is doing their part to spread the benefits of reading and love of books Upcountry. Gena Gallegos and her family have built a Little Free Library in Kula, across Morihara Store between Animal Wellness Center and Worcester Glassblowers.
There are more than 75,000 registered Little Free Library book exchanges in 88 countries worldwide. Tens of millions of books are exchanged each year through these Little Libraries.
Gallegos is a former response-to-intervention teacher of remedial reading at Kula Elementary and now does private reading tutoring. “Many of my students have no books at home and no easy access to a library, as even the bookmobile doesn’t come up to Kula or Keokea,” Gallegos said. “These little libraries are quite common on the Mainland and I have wanted to put one up in Kula for several years now and we finally did!”
The new book exchange was a joint family effort, with Gallegos’ husband, Loring Robbins, building it. After Gallegos painted it, her daughter, Sophia Gallegos, drew and painted all her favorite characters from children’s books. “Sophia just graduated from 8th grade at the Haleakala Waldorf School in June and now is a Freshman at Seabury,” Gallegos said.
“Many people in the community have been generously donating books for our little library,” she said. “It is a free library for everyone in the whole community to use, and we’ve been thrilled that so many people are excited about it!”
There are books for all ages at the Kula Little Library. “We filled the bottom shelf with books for kids and the top shelf with books for adults, but it doesn’t need to stay this way,” Gallegos said. “We hope everyone will feel free to take books, share books, leave books, pass books on and spread the word about the little library. In a world where every child has a screen, but not always a book, we wanted to build this little library to share our love of books with the community.”
To learn more about Little Free Libraries you can visit Littlefreelibrary.org.
Photos courtesy Gena Gallegos