|“KoreanAhl-li-mee” donated 500 Korean books and volunteered for English index work|
By Hyuncheon Kim
Translated SeungYeon Woo
The Korean literature bookshelf has been newly established in the Newton Free Library. From now on, not only Korean residents and students around Newton who want to read Korean books, but also Americans can experience Korean literature in the library.
The library held a special reception on Saturday, February 25 at 9:30 in the morning with the Korean Culture Volunteer Outreach, known as Ahl-li-mee in Korean, which belongs to the Korean Society of New England (KSNE). It was the first time for the KSNE to donate quite a large number of Korean books to a public library. They will eventually increase the supply of Korean books throughfuture donations.
The Korean bookshelf is located right next to the Japanese bookshelf. There are 500 Korean books, including some literature collections, historical literature for children, and books of various other genres. This was accomplished with a great effort byAhl-li-mee (director: Hye-sung Park).
The members of Ahl-li-mee have been collecting the books for the last 6 months. They also put information into a database, inserted Englishindexes in each Korean book manually, and allowed access to book information in the library system. Further donations will be made by future members of Ahl-li-mee.
According to the directior of Ahl-li-mee, Hye-sung Park, the Newton Free Library did not allow Korean books because there was not any library staff to translate Korean. In fact, Chinese and Russian bookshelves are located separately on quite a large scale.
Starting with the Newton Free Library, soon the Korean book collection will expand to the Brookline, Lexington and Boston public libraries and the library of Lexington High School. The volunteers are continuously keeping in contact with donors.
Director Park, who has been planning and working on the project since last May, said, “The directors of each library have said if the demandforKorean booksincreases, then they will be organizing each library’s budget to purchase Korean books. It depends on Korean readers to make Korean bookshelves stay in local libraries permanently.” Park wished Koreans would actively participate in reading and borrowing Korean books.
Liz Rowland from the Newton Free Library said, “The donation of Korean books in the library isgood news to many Korean Americans. The use of Korean books will help them to improve their command of both English and Korean.”
On the day of the special reception, the members of Ahl-li-mee explained to the staff members of the library and neighbors about their roles and what exactly they do. Gloria, one of the visitors, was positively interested inAhl-li-mee and their project. She said, “I want to applaud them for their dedication to volunteer work and introducing Korean culture.”
General Consul Kang-ho Park and the president of KSNE, Han-seonYoo, also attended the event and offered their congratulations.
General Consul Park highly appreciated the youth volunteer members of Ahl-li-mee. He wished “the group to grow actively to spread out Korean culture and to improve the impression of Korea.”
Other than the donated 500 books delivered through Ahl-li-mee, Chul-hee Lee, a consul of the Korean Consulate General in Boston, donated 600 additional books, including historical texts and children’s books. They will be displayed on the bookshelf right after the English indexesare completed.
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지