After 55 years, front door open at Lahaina Public Library
LAHAINA — Lahaina Public Library this month opened its main entryway for patrons on Front Street for the first time in 55 years.
Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the North Beach West Maui Benefit Fund for a new security system, library visitors can now enter from the Front Street side as well as the old main entrance facing Lahaina Harbor.
According to Librarian Madeleine Buchanan, the library never used the front door entrance, fearing people would walk away with books without checking them out.
The North Beach group brought in two people to electronically tag 35,000 books, audio and videotapes and CDs. Any book that passes the doors without being checked out will set off an alarm.
The entrance facing the harbor, which once fronted Wharf Street, will remain open. The library still has a Wharf Street address, Buchanan noted, because the street in front of Pioneer Inn once looped around the library to connect to Front Street close to where Lappert’s Ice Cream parlor now stands.
Opening the front door is expected to increase the number of tourists and part-time residents who already visit the library in large numbers.
The new system, plus the replacement of ten-year-old computers by the state, gets a Lahaina Public Library modernization plan developed for the Rotary Club of Lahaina off to a good start, President Eric Van Ketel said.
The club is still adding up fund-raising results from its successful July 14 “Savor the Sunset” library benefit, with the funds to be used for an extensive renovation scheduled for next year.
Rotary hopes to raise $70,000 in cash and secure well over $100,000 in donated contracting services and materials to reconfigure the library’s interior, replace the circulation desk and add new bookshelves.
Residents and visitors interested in supporting the renovation can send checks marked “MFOL for Lahaina Library” to Maui Friends of the Library, P.O. Box 1071, Wailuku, HI 96793, or call Renovation Chair Sara Foley at 667-0589.