The very first public library in the Kingdom of Tonga. Since then, it has been packed with books donated from Auckland Libraries. Now that they are well-stocked for books, Kahoa would love to have more volunteers to help at the library, offering free accommodation near the library for people able to stay for several months or longer.
Volunteering includes cataloguing and shelving books, running activities like reading programmes, and helping with registering new customers especially children, mothers and babies, people from all walks of life.
The idea was borne from the devastation of Cyclone Gita in 2018, when Kahoa and Brendan were in Kolovai, Kahoa's home village, and saw that local schools needed books. They began to collect and donate books to the schools and when they discovered an unused whare ( fale ) in the village of Kolovai, it sparked the idea to turn it into a library.
Kolovai library was officially opened in 2019 by the New Zealand Acting High Commissioner Peter Lund and Prince Ata, the youngest son of the current King of Tonga.
Kahoa visited the library just a couple of months ago, and it is 'really going well' and is a great source of books and community where people gather for tea and coffee, which provided at the library along with free WIFI.
The library has enough books and shelving in storage in Tonga to fill a second library, which they hope to build in the capital Nuku'alofa, on land next to the Tongan Royal Palace and offered by the Queen. Donations are being sought to build and furnish this second library.
Come and enjoy working in the friendly TONGAN LIBRARY. Help encourage children, youth and adults to join up and borrow books or try your hand at cataloguing. Organise reading programmes, and different activities eg. art day, weaving day, cooking, and crafts
Kolovai Library's Ben and Kahoa Corbett can offer you free accommodation, free WIFI and computers and 10 laptops already in the library, landline and mobile phone to use, free coffee and tea, lemon grass drink available fresh from the garden, lots of beaches and fresh fruit nearby and bicycles to use. It's 10-15 minutes biking to any of those beaches locally in Kolovai.
The library is very well secured and people of Kolovai and nearby villages are popping in and out to Kolovai Public Library Monday - Saturday.
"My experience working in the first Tongan library in Kolovai was extremely rewarding. I met some new friends and was able to contribute to this incredible initiative by Kahoa and Ben. I assisted categorising books ready to go on shelves and developed some signage for the new library. It was an interesting experience meeting other volunteers and locals. I look forward to helping out with the next Tongan library." Janine Gillions volunteer
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Register to be a member nor donate to Kolovai Public Library
- Support Kolovai Public Library by making a donation www.kolovailibrary.wordpress.com
- People can also donate towards the Tongan library projects via the library's Kiwibank account 38-9000-0114295-01
- find them on Facebook facebook.com/kolovailibrary
The Kolovai Library has been supported with donated goods and service from Auckland City Council, Auckland Libraries, Sky TV, Bunnings Mt Roskill, and Catalyst NZ. All of the books and equipment are shipped for free by Onehunga-based Freight Company CFR Line NZ.