Donations sought to keep libraries open
LAHAINA — Lahaina Public Library will shut down from Sept. 12-21, due to staffing and funding shortages, the Hawaii State Public Library System reported.
The library is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at noon.
Paul H. Mark, information specialist with the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS), explained that libraries statewide are dealing with fragile staffing situations as a result of a prolonged hiring freeze, more than 70 vacant positions and retirements.
Mandated budget reductions for all state departments have left HSPLS with insufficient funding to continue paying for temporary hires, leaving library administrators with no recourse but to close Lahaina’s library temporarily.
The book drop will also be closed. Patrons may return library materials to other Maui public libraries during the closure. To renew library materials, call any branch in the HSPLS or 1-800-820-7368.
Patrons may also visit www.librarieshawaii.org to browse the HSPLS Catalog for book titles, eBooks, digital audio books and a wide variety of online databases that provide full-text materials from magazines, newspapers, journals and other publications.
In related news, HSPLS and the Friends of the Library of Hawaii (FLH) teamed up to kick off the 2009 “Keep Your Library Open!” and “Keep the Doors Open!” fund-raising campaigns.
“The Hawaii State Public Library System does not often ask for monetary support from the community,” said Garrett Toguchi, Board of Education chair. “However, Hawaii’s public libraries are faced with extraordinary circumstances, and I would like to encourage everyone to support these fund-raisers during these difficult economic times.”
HSPLS noted that Hawaii’s public libraries are community cultural centers that support learners of all ages, and the facilities help residents cope with the declining economy.
“Libraries provide outstanding value at bargain prices, offering statewide access to more than 3.5 million items; Internet access; electronic books and databases; business, health and e-government services; assistance with job searches; educational support for students of all ages; and allowing residents and visitors to keep in touch with family and friends on the Mainland and abroad,” said State Librarian Richard Burns.
Patrons are invited to make a monetary donation to their local library through the campaign. Tax-deductible
contributions will be used to support the operations of the HSPLS, such as purchasing library materials and providing funds for core services, programs and other operational expenses.
Only checks will be accepted. Make checks payable to Hawaii State Public Library System, write the name of the designated library on the check memo line and mail to: Office of the State Librarian, Administrative Services Branch, 44 Merchant St., Honolulu, HI 96813.
The goal FLH’s “Keep the Doors Open!” fund-raiser is keep open all 51 Hawaii public libraries.
“The Friends of the Library of Hawaii are inviting everyone across the state — past, current or future library patrons — to donate $3 for this worthy cause,” said Susan Li, FLH President.
“Although we believe that many patrons will choose to give more, the campaign is designed so that everyone will feel that this small amount is something that they can contribute and
be a part of this grassroots effort.”
FLH has formed a partnership with Bank of Hawaii and established a special account; all donations will be applied toward HSPLS’ mounting operational costs.
Send cash or a check payable to Friends of the Library of Hawaii and mail to: Friends of the Library of Hawaii, 690 Pohukaina St., Honolulu, HI 96813. Write “Keep the Doors Open!” in the check’s memo line.
Library supporters can also visit www.friendsofthelibraryofhawaii.org to donate online by using a credit card; call the FLH office at (808) 536-4174 and use a credit card over the phone; or visit any Bank of Hawaii branch.