Thousands of free books for Hawaii DOE teachers, librarians

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Books, books and more books.

Thousands of books are situated at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall, nearly from one wall to the other.

All books that were donated to the Department of Education (DOE) are being turned over to public school teachers and librarians.

To find out more about this really invaluable event, KHON2 met with the lady who put it all together, Lani Solomona.

What is taking place here?

“So, we received a very generous donation from the Kids In Need Foundation who contacted our local Scholastic books fair corporation and asked if the DOE wanted books,” said Solomona of DOE Community Relations.

How many books are here?

“Over 80,000,” Solomona said.

How valuable is this for a teacher or librarian?

“You know, at this time coming off of a year of distance learning and blended learning, this is invaluable for teachers to be able to start the new school year with brand new books for their students,” says Solomona. 

What is the value of all of the books that are here?

“It’s over $500,000,” Solomona said.

What do librarians and teachers who may be reading this need if they want to come down?

“They need to bring either their school ID or their employee ID and their negative COVID test result or their COVID vaccination card and we’ll let them in,” Solomona said.

So, they check, check, check all of that, what are the rules then for getting their books? How many books can they capture?

“No rules,” Solomona said.  “You come, you take out as many as you can.  We’ve had teachers come in three times so far today and are going home to come back again.”

How long will this be lasting for?

“Today [July 22], the event runs until 9 p.m. and tomorrow [July 23], we will be here from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.,” Solomona said.

KHON2 asked some teachers how much of their own money do they spend on their students, one teacher said about $500 every year. 

The number of books that she was taking out already surpassed that value. 

Come down and bring the big wagons because attendees can take as much as they can carry out.

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