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Tuesday, September 26, 2000

propose public
Internet kiosks

The terminals would be fully
equipped and serve areas with
little access to state libraries

By Leila Fujimori

The state public libraries are proposing four or five Internet kiosks to serve outlying areas with little access to libraries.

Library patrons like those in Kalaupapa would be able to borrow, reserve or renew books online, do research and more at these kiosks, state librarian Virginia Lowell told the Board of Education Libraries Committee yesterday.

The stand-alone units contain a computer, printer, fax machine, phone line and Internet connectivity.

As for getting the actual books, Lowell said books have always been mailed to people without access to libraries.

The kiosks are part of the libraries' proposed budget. Lowell says she needs an additional $13.08 million for fiscal 2001 to 2003 on top of the $21.4 million operating budget now used to run the libraries.

The 2000 state Legislature set aside $250,000 to the libraries to expand access to government information and online services. An additional $225,000 from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has also been allotted for eHawaiiGov access.

Some 215 read-only Internet appliances at $350 apiece were also proposed to allow access to the Net by library patrons.

Lowell says the library system needs $3.5 million to operate the as-yet unbuilt Kapolei library if it is to open as scheduled in mid-2002. The money would cover salaries, equipment, overhead costs and $1.6 million in library materials.

An additional $1 million in capital improvement projects funds was also requested for furniture and equipment in Kapolei. "Unless we get the furniture and equipment, it's going to be a building without library services," Lowell said. To complete the construction, $11 million in CIP funds was also requested.

The Board of Education's Libraries Committee approved the proposals.

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