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Rotary Club of Honolulu and Palama Settlement Create ‘Giving’ Library

Reading is cool! That’s why 48 Honolulu Club Rotarians spent their Saturday (January 24) constructing bookshelves and sorting thousands of books recently donated to the Palama Settlement-7,000 to date.

“These books will soon be off the floors, out of boxes and onto shelves ready for kids to browse and read,” said Rotarian Kirk Hovious, coordinator of the construction project for the Rotary Club of Honolulu.

Everything about this hands-on Rotary Cares project is unique.


It’s the first library–and a dream come true–for Palama Settlement, a century-old community organization serving individuals and families in the Palama, Kalihi and Liliha neighborhoods of Oahu.

It’s “non-traditional”-books will be conveniently located throughout the Palama campus-children’s books on shelves near the preschool area, teen reads at the activity center for youth and literature of all sorts at the adult education center. And, it will be a “giving” library-you can keep the book if you want it.

The message is one of literacy.

“By spreading books out in different locations, we encourage people to take and use them and share them with others,” said Jan Harada, Palama Settlement executive director, who worked with Rotarians on the concept. “It just seemed more practical.”

The project is also a double win for Honolulu Club Rotarians. By doing the work themselves, the club qualifies for a $10,000 grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. This year the funds will go to Catholic Charities Hawaii for its senior citizens transportation program.