X MARKS THE SPOT
Aiea library limited by a tight location
The Aiea Public Library, visible to most as a circular roof nestled in a bend of Moanalua Road, was built in 1964, a simpler time and a somewhat smaller time. Fine for 1964, the library property was incapable of expansion, and so, the library is living on borrowed time.
Some property acquired by the state at the old Aiea Sugar Mill location might become the home of a new Aiea Library, but don't hold your breath. Apparently there are still ground contamination clean-up issues to be addressed.
Aiea has begun to bustle again, and the need for a new library has never been greater. But where? Aiea residents have also complained about schoolchildren having to cross busy Moanalua Road to visit the library.
In the meantime, the old library does the best it can, and continues to hold interesting seminars, such as a recent one featuring mystery writer Lee Goldberg.
Hawaii's libraries lag far behind in basic maintenance. The state library system requested $3.5 million for repair and disability construction for 2004 and 2005, but the Legislature appropriated only $1 million for 2004 and zero dollars for 2005. The Aiea Library might be in its current location for a while longer.
"X Marks the Spot"
is a weekly feature documenting historic monuments and sites around Oahu. Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org