Maui News

USE IT OR LOSE IT: HANA LIBRARY GETS REPRIEVE

July 17, 2009, 7:38 AM HST
* Updated July 17, 8:02 AM
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The State Board of Education voted to remove Hana Library from a list of proposed closures.

State Sen. J. Kalani English. Photo by Wendy Osher.

State Sen. J. Kalani English. Photo by Wendy Osher.

State Senator J. Kalani English responded to the news after attending last night’s meeting in Honolulu saying, “I’m very pleased with the results tonight.”  English credited his colleague Rep. Mele Carroll, also of East Maui, and BOE Maui Representative Mary Cochran, with working as a team to garner the backing needed to save the facility from closure.

“We also managed to get all five libraries off the list and ask the librarian to reconsider how they’re going to look at saving the money.  One of the big issues of course is that there is very little money, and the librarian is really in a hard place,” said English.

The state library system will now consider other ways of cutting costs to come up with the $20,100 that would have been saved from the Maui closure and the combined $85,100 that would have been saved from the other libraries included on the list.

The state librarian came up with the initial list after analysis of factors that included staff vacancies, low circulation/usage, geographic proximity to neighboring libraries, repair and maintenance costs, and rising operating costs.

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“So we have to increase the usage of Hana Library–that’s the message out to East Maui-Use the Library.  The old adage, use it or lose it, really applies here.  They’re looking at the statistics and we have to bump those numbers up,” said English.

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The projected deficit for the State Library System in FY2010 is in excess of $3.6 million.  The department is also considering $2.2 million in savings through vacancies, and $1.3 million through a personnel reduction plan.

“So again, I’m very pleased with the outcome tonight, and the library will remain open,” said English.

(By Wendy Osher © 2009)

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