The Voice Of Leeward Oahu

 

Nanakuli public library will be a welcome addition

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Posted October 11, 2013 by Pat in Community
Nanakuli Public Library Project Site

Too long have the people of Nanakuli been without a library. The idea of a public library was introduced by Governor Linda Lingle in July of 2006, and funds were released to develop a project report and master plan.  It is only this year the state has set the plan into motion. The proposed library will be located on Farrington Highway on property formerly known as Camp Andrews, a U.S. Army recreational facility. The library will use 3.7 acres of the 15-acres, presently owned by the state, and will be built on the makai side (ocean side) of Nanaikapono Elementary School. The building will be 18,000 square feet in size with a lobby and a program room for community events.  Surely, this addition to the community promises many avenues for education, recreation, and research. This rural town has had to rely on a monthly visit by the State Library Bookmobile which usually ran out of books and selection by the time it reached Nanakuli after its other stops along the leeward coast.  For decades residents have been disappointed by the lack of books and its limited selection of titles. After experiencing such an empty past, Nanakuli is ready to embrace a modern and fully-stocked library.

A public library can function as a bouncing board to success for many of the residents who need a place to learn and improve themselves in their pursuit of better jobs and a better lifestyle. As of 2010 there were approximately 1,800 elementary school students, 1,060 high school students, 530 college students, and 30 graduate school students.  These numbers indicate a need for a building where studying, reading, and research can take place. Moreover, this library can provide the people with information to improve job and career skills. The residents earn an average annual income of $16,000 while the average state per capita income is $28,800. In 2010 there were approximately 1,520 people at poverty level, and families in poverty numbered 320 out of a population of 12,666 people. Without a doubt, a library can help residents find the key to raise their economic level. Encouraging learning and self-improvement through books and knowledge makes a library a community necessity. Nanakuli will be proud to own a public library.


About the Author

Pat

Pat Pang (Nozaki) is a retired DOE secondary school teacher who taught school in Waianae for almost 40 years. She has served the community as a member of the Waianae Neighborhood Board and as a delegate to the 1978 Hawaii State Constitutional Convention. She was raised on the Nanakuli Hawaiian Homestead and resided in Waianae during her years as a teacher.

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