Public libraries in Hawaii

On the island of Maui alone there are six public libraries and a mobile library. Borrowing is free if you have a library card. Visit the Hawaii Library website for more information.

img_0971For Hawaiian residents (with the production of a Hawaiian state identification card or driver’s license) and US military personnel and their dependents, a library card is free of charge. Everyone else pays $25 for a library card that’s valid for 5 years. This card allows you to borrow items  and use the Internet at all libraries in the state of Hawaii —- for free.

With a library card, you can also log into the Hawaii public library online. There you can manage your account: change your password (pin), change your address, reserve and hold books, renew books, and also access a huge database of newspapers, academic journals, and health information (among others). You can even download e-books to read on your computer!

You can reserve any book that’s available in the public libraries located in any of the Hawaiian islands. You can do this by phone, at the library, or online. When it’s ready, you can pick it up at the library location of your choice.

You can return books at any public library. It’s not necessarily one to one. For example, I may borrow books in Wailuku and return them in Kihei. I can also renew books at any location or via the telephone (at any branch). Renewing by telephone is allowed if no one else has reserved the book.

When I searched the Hawaii Library catalogue for Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, I was surprised to find versions in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and English. The multi-lingual and multi-ethnic population of the Hawaiian islands means that there are many interesting things to find at the libraries, including TV series from “home.”

Note: Why is “free” such a big deal?

In the Netherlands, public libraries are not “free.” You have to pay an annual subscription to get a card that allows you to borrow books, sheet music, CDs, DVDs, etc. But each item requires a separate payment — a rental fee. Of course, anyone is allowed to visit the public libraries but borrowing is not free.


About BLOGmaiden

As one of the earliest bloggers (since 1999), I enjoy meeting people who embrace "out-of-the-box" thinking and fear not the unknown. I believe in collaboration for sustainability because it increases stakeholder value.
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One Response to Public libraries in Hawaii

  1. Today I had to pay $1.50 in fines (that is 25 cents per work day late) to the Wailuku library for returning an overdue book that doesn’t qualify for renewal. The policy of the public libraries on Maui is that you can renew once (not twice). There has to be a 24-hour period before you can check out the book again, after you return it the second time. Each renewal is for 3 weeks. The sad thing is — I never had time to open the book that was overdue. I paid for what I didn’t get to enjoy! Had I returned it to the Kahului Library, which is closed today, it would have cost me 50 cents less in fines. Why? I’m dumbstruck. Moral of the story? Don’t be greedy just because you can borrow as many books at a time as you want. There is a limit to how much you can read, especially when the sun is shining and luring you to go outside and play.


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