LAHAINA - The long-awaited modernization of Lahaina Public Library got underway this week, as more than 20 volunteers packed 35,000 books and other materials for placement in storage before contracting work begins.
The book drop will be locked and not accessible throughout the project. During this time, the library's floor will be resurfaced, walls repainted, and new circulation desk and book shelves will be installed.
Leading players in the all-volunteer effort include Rick Cowan of Archipelago, facelift designer; Loren Osborn of Castaway Concrete and Restoration, who is in charge of contractors; Rotary Club of Lahaina's Sara Foley and Librarian Madeleine Buchanan, both of whom will be on-hand throughout the project.
Six contractor representatives supported by three other suppliers line up outside the Lahaina Public Library before beginning the Rotary Club of Lahaina facelift project. The community-minded contributors to the project include (from left): top row — Bryan Balinbin of West Maui Electric, Loren Osborn of Castaway Concrete & Restoration, Rick Cowan of Archipelago, Thomas Scott of Scott Brothers Pacific, Brian Manuel of Steamers Painting, Rich Richerson and Randy Sorois of RVS Construction; bottom row — Dorothy Tolliver of Maui Friends of the Library, Lahaina Public Library Librarian Madeleine Buchanan, John Miller of GC Pacific, Sara Foley of Maui Communicators, and Liz May of 5A Rent-A-Space. Photo by Norm Bezane.
"This is an all-island effort, with support also coming from a major contractor in Honolulu," said Foley, head of the Rotary committee that is spearheading the effort.
Contractors contributing $155,000 worth of labor and services are based everywhere, from Lahaina and Kahului to Kihei and even Haiku, she said.
Surfers and others who park in library parking spaces when the facility is closed will not be able to do so at any time during the project.
Library spaces will be reserved for contractor vehicles that will be onsite for extended times during daylight hours. Non-contractor vehicles may be subject to ticketing and towing.
Borrowers who have books on reserve can go online and switch the pickup location to another library, Buchanan noted.
During the closure, a library bookmobile will visit the location to serve library patrons. The Maui Bookmobile is scheduled to visit the library on the following Fridays from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.: Aug. 31; Sept. 14, 21 and 28; and Oct. 5.
In addition, patrons may log-on to the Hawaii State Public Library System's website at www.libraries-hawaii.org to browse the HSPLS catalog and get answers to brief informational reference questions by using the "Ask-A-Librarian" E-Reference service.
Rotary initiated the facelift project three years ago with a $5,000 contribution supplemented by the Maui Friends of the Library to purchase new furniture.
The nonprofit MFOL has joined the effort, contributing funds, advice and counsel, and banking and accounting support. Rotary raised an additional $25,000 in the last two "Savor the Sunset" benefits.
When completed, the 57-year-old library will get a new floor, modern circulation desk, new bookcases and a fresh paint job.
Contractors are expected to put in long days to complete the project in a timely manner in coordination with their other jobs.
Lahaina Public Library is tentatively scheduled to reopen in October.
Patrons may call the library's answering machine at 662-3950 for recorded updates on the project. An announcement will be made when the reopening date is confirmed.