Navy veteran opens Little Free Library in Hemet

Photo by Kyle Selby/The Valley Chronicle
Delesia Silva debuts her Little Free Library Saturday afternoon, Oct. 28, with a ceremonious ribbon cutting.

■ By Kyle Selby / Reporter

Delesia Silva is opening her “Little Free Library” up to the community, and invites the children of Hemet to freely take a book, or leave a book.
“What I wanted to do was bring these books to the community for the other kids,” said Silva, whose library was unveiled Saturday, Oct. 28 at 1457 Lucerne Drive, which is near San Jacinto Street and Whittier Avenue. “Coming from San Diego to Hemet, you can clearly see the difference and the need as far as education in this community [goes]. So I just wanted for a kid to be able to stop by, grab a book, and disappear into another world.”
Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that allows kids all around the world to exchange millions of books each year by providing easy, free access to books that they might not be able to acquire otherwise. There are more than 60,000 Little Free Libraries worldwide.
Starting a free library is as easy as either building one or purchasing one from the online catalog at LittleFreeLibrary.org. Then applicants register their library by purchasing a charter number.
A handful of Little Free Libraries already exist in the San Jacinto Valley, however, the one in Silva’s front yard, Charter #55227, is the latest, and she hopes the community shares her love of literature.
“I have always been in love with books since ‘Reading Rainbow,’” said Silva, who grew up in North Carolina, where their town library was restricted to minimum hours. Silva’s little library now is open 24/7. “[Books] will take you anywhere,” she said.

Photo by Kyle Selby/The Valley Chronicle
Delesia Silva and her family welcome the children of the community to her Little Free Library at 1457 Lucerne Drive in Hemet.

Silva, a U. S. Navy veteran and now a stay-at-home mom, is currently working on her master’s degree in organizational management. Her 2-year-old son can already count to 30 in English and Spanish; he knows the entire alphabet and even all of the planets in the solar system.
“I’ve always been an advocate for education and children,” she explained. “Start with the kids. Start early and they will be the change that we seek.”

Although she is currently networking exposure to the library, one of the next things Silva plans to do is repaint it, so that it draws more attention. Currently, her library’s target age range is 0-6, however she eventually plans to stock it for kids all the way through high school.
“I’m going to gauge the community to see what books they take or leave, and that’s how I’m going to do it,” she explained. She is already prepared with dozens of overstock books in her inventory.
Silva’s library, Charter #55227, can be found at 1457 Lucerne Drive in Hemet. Other Little Free Libraries in town can be found at the following locations: Charter #14275, 1400 E. Oakland Ave.; Charter #31098, 327 S. Taylor St.; Charter #50979, 43900 Mayberry Ave.

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