Collection of Korean books donated to libraries

A trove of Korean books worth $52,500 will be divvied up among libraries around Orange County, thanks to a gift from the Orange County Korean Cultural Center, Irvine Mayor Steven Choi and the Irvine Korean Cultural Festival Committee.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors formally accepted the donation Tuesday.

"The gift of Korean books will certainly be well used at all of our libraries in Orange County," Supervisor Todd Spitzer said in a statement. His district includes Irvine, which is home to almost 20,000 Korean Americans, a news release said.

The 7,500 Korean language volumes will be distributed to Heritage Park, University Park and Katie Wheeler branch libraries in Irvine, as well as other library locations, according to the news release.

A group that aims to provide native Korean speakers living overseas with reading material first gave the books, which cover a range of fiction and nonfiction subjects for all ages, to the cultural center. There, a crew of more than 20 volunteers — most from UC Irvine — sorted and catalogued the books, making them ready for checkout at county public libraries.

"Many thanks to Mayor Steven Choi, who was instrumental in having the Orange County Korean Cultural Center donate these books to OC Public Libraries," the county librarian, Helen Fried, said in a statement. "Orange County is a rich and diverse community, and the donation of the Korean language material would be very much appreciated by our Korean-speaking community."

Choi said in the release that he hopes readers will be happy with the new options.

"I am so delighted that the OC Public Libraries [system] has accepted these books, " he said.

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