Big Isle library stays open as donations top $100,000


POSTED: Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fund-raising has helped keep Mountain View Public and School Library open on the Hawaii island, as statewide donations exceeded more than $100,000 since campaigns began Sept. 2.

The library was scheduled to close its doors from Friday to Oct. 22 because of staffing shortages brought on by the lack of state funding in a slow economy.

“;We are thrilled,”; said Byrde Cestare, executive director of the Friends of the Library of Hawaii. “;The public should know their money is having an impact, and we need to keep it going.”;

State library officials and volunteers with Friends of the Library of Hawaii began donation drives in hopes of keep libraries open statewide.

More than 500 people have made donations by credit card or check—one of the latest a $25,000 donation to the nonprofit Friends of the Library by entertainer Jack Johnson.

Johnson donated $10,000 each to the libraries at Kahuku and Waialua and $5,000 to the general library fund, according to group.

'Keep Your Library Open!'
        Make checks out to the Hawaii State Public Library System. A library branch may be specified on the memo line to receive the donation. Totals are posted at www.librarieshawaii.org:
        » In person: Donations accepted at all libraries
        » By mail: Office of the State Librarian, Administrative Services Branch, 44 Merchant St., Honolulu 96813; or Friends of the Library, 690 Pohukaina St., Honolulu 96813.
        » Online: Credit card donations are accepted at www.friendsofthelibraryofhawaii.org

The fund-raising follows state library officials' saying that with the elimination of most temporary hires to meet budget restrictions, about 28 branches faced reduced hours and intermittent closing.

Cestare said some people have donated $3, while many have given $20.

She said a senior line-dancing group sent a $170 donation and the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui started an employer-employee matching donation program. The luau business donated more than $9,600 for libraries in Lahaina and Hana.

Michael Moore, a founder of Old Lahaina Luau, said he hopes the donation would encourage other businesses to participate with similar programs. “;For me, the library was an important place to discover the world,”; Moore said.

In October, he said, the company will donate $1 toward the library for every Aloha Mixed Plate bought at Aloha Mixed Plate restaurant in Lahaina.

“;We are very grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support,”; state Librarian Richard Burns said yesterday.