When James visits the Naalehu library, he is where he belongs.
“It’s very heartening in an age where libraries at times are ignored to see such a robust, technologically current, and overall friendly/accessible/generous library system!”
I retired to Ocean View on the Big Island in June of 2016 after teaching for nearly 20 years at a small private university in Rhode Island. I thought our Rhode Island state library system was good but it can’t hold a candle to the Hawaii State Public Library System. I went to the Naalehu branch (where the librarian was fantastic) to look for Hawaiiana as part of learning about the Big Island, its cultural history, and the Hawaiian language. I was astounded at the range of books there and even more amazed when I went online and saw the Overdrive.com system and began borrowing e-books and using other resources. It’s very heartening in an age where libraries at times are ignored to see such a robust, technologically current, and overall friendly/accessible/generous library system. Truly the aloha of libraries, if such a thing can be said.
As small as it is, Naalehu Public Library is nicely stocked, meticulously maintained, and well-staffed and deserves good publicity. I’ve been back there a few times and it’s always been a joy, and I always find more to borrow. I also went to the Kailua-Kona branch a couple of weeks ago for an excellent workshop on Medicare 101 and the facility again was very impressive. And I also started the Mango Hawaiian language course online–a wonderful resource but a tough language for someone used only to romance languages. In any case, Mahalo and thanks for a great library system!