ʻOihana Hale Waihona Puke Aupuni o ka Mokuʻāina o Hawaiʻi
Public Library System
Where you belong
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!