Reference assistance

If you are researching something and could use a hand, we’d be happy to help you in person, on the phone, or online.

Walk-in reference

Walk-in reference is available at any branch during business hours. Staff members may ask you a number of questions as part of the reference interview to make sure that they fully understand what you are looking for. It helps to be specific and to tell the staff member where you have already checked. If the material is not available at your specific branch, the staff will help you find out where copies are located via PAC and will place an online hold for you so that the material will be sent to your local library for pickup.

Telephone reference

The telephone reference unit of the Hawaii State Library can provide you with quick answers to questions which can be answered by using a dictionary, encyclopedia, or some other ready reference source.

If the unit does not have the reference sources to answer the question, staff will refer you to a subject section at the Hawaii State Library. Call the following numbers for telephone reference:

  • Oahu: (808) 586-3621
  • Neighbor Islands: 1 (800) 390-3611

Online reference

You may also use our ask a librarian e-reference service to get answers to your questions via e-mail. Go to our ask a librarian form and submit your question. A librarian will respond within two business days. This service is designed for quick answers to simple questions.

ALERT | Due to inclement weather, all Kauai libraries will be closed today, April 12, 2024.  

In State observance of the Memorial Day holiday, all public libraries will be closed from May 25 to 27, 2024.