I’m in Hawaii visiting family. Yesterday, I stopped by the Kailua Library and signed up for a visitor’s card: $25 gets you a card you can keep and use for 5 years! That’s a bargain! (Actually, I was comped, as a former resident and libary employee. Mahalo! The Aloha spirit still lives!) I borrowed a book on Hawaii wayside plants and a trashy novel.
Beautifulcataya’s photo used with permission.
This is the library where I got my start. It’s just around the corner from our house, a 5 minute walk, and sits adjacent to the fire station, police station, community center and Kailua Elementary School. I worked here as a Student Helper (shelver) while in college, and as a Library Technician and Library Assistant (yes, in that order) beginning in 1976, 4 years after earning my MLIS. There was a hiring freeze at that time, too. My first professional position didn’t come until 1981, 9 years after earning my degree!
Libraries in Hawaii are currently in as dire straits as are libraries elsewhere in the country – flat budgets are being cut even further this year, leading to the real possibility that public service hours may be cut. Although all branches offer free Internet access, funding for wi-fi must come from each branch’s resources, such as from their local Friends group. Therefore, only two of the 50+ branches currently offer wi-fi Internet access.
Another day this week, I plan to visit the Main Library downtown and chat a little more about the state of library services in this fair state.