On the march


POSTED: Sunday, August 02, 2009

Nearly 150 people helped prepare a new home for the Manoa Public Library yesterday by participating in a “;book brigade,”; carrying books from the old building to an interim site across the street at Noelani Elementary school.

The interim library opens tomorrow and will serve as the temporary location while the existing building will be torn down and rebuilt over the next two years in a $10.3 million reconstruction project.

“;We've been struggling to do this for a long time,”; said Sen. Brian Taniguchi, who represents the Manoa-Moiliili district.

Taniguchi said the community has been hoping for a new library for 30 years.

Manoa Public Library branch manager Christel Collins said that the new library will be double the current size.

“;When the library was built in 1966, it was the appropriate size for the community,”; Collins said. “;However, like the rest of Honolulu, the population density exploded, so the library just became too small to hold all the materials that people were asking for.”;

But while the money to build the library has been allocated, another $1 million is needed to stock the new shelves with books—a difficult task in the current economy.





        The interim Manoa Public Library will be open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It will be closed on Friday and Sunday.


Check donations to buy new books can be sent to the Friends of Manoa Library at 2716 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822.


Collins said that the Manoa Public Library is planning to collect donations over the next two years. Collins said whatever happens with the fundraising effort, the new library will open in two years with its current stock of books.

Noelani Elementary School Principal Rochelle Mahoe said the partnership between the campus and the public library is a “;win-win situation,”; since the campus will be able to keep the two portable classrooms housing the temporary library.

“;We are very pleased to be a part in helping the community, and also thankful that we are gaining new facilities,”; Mahoe said.

Among the participants were scouts from Boy Scout Troop 35, whose former members helped dedicate the old library when it opened in 1966. Scoutmaster Garrett Ogawa remembers going to the library to do his homework and also the librarian, who helped him get his first job which was at the library.

“;A lot of people have memories of this place,”; Ogawa said. “;I shed a tear thinking about my first job and the librarian who was there.”;

Manoa resident Ryan Kunihisa, an 11-year-old scout from Troop 35, said that he “;goes there quite often”; with his family.

“;I hope that they will add more books so that kids will have more of a decision,”; Kunihisa said, “;because I really like to read different kinds of books.”;