All in the ʻOhana

Open six days a week, the library and its resources are free to all.

Open six days a week, the library and its resources are free to all.

From a weekend filled with music and movies, to the year-round offerings at the library, there’s always something for everyone in the family in Kapolei.

Booking it!

As we watched all the outlets for books and movies in the islands shutter one by one, you could only assume that the libraries were soon to follow.

But there you would be wrong. For unlike their for-profit compatriots, the Hawai‘i State Public Library System has embraced the computer age and used it to expand their influence, not send it the way of the Betamax, brontosaurus and now, Barnes & Noble.

The KAPOLEI LIBRARY is both the literal and poetic heart of its city. Nestled between the James Campbell Building and Kapolei Regional Park this two-story edifice is a burgeoning resource for ages 2 to 92.

They boast more than 40 computers that are available to anyone for everything from writing a book report to filing your taxes. The desktops are “checked out” in hour blocks, but as long as no one is waiting to use the terminal the sessions can be renewed indefinitely.

As if access to computers was not sufficient, they will also teach you how to use them for free. Tech Tuesdays happens each week and one only needs to make an appointment with the Adult Services Librarian Sheryl Lynch to receive a one-on-one tutorial on how to use your device.

“We used to do a group session, but then we had seven people with seven different devices,” says Lynch with a chuckle.

One of the benefits that Lynch can teach you about is how to access the library’s OverDrive system that allows you to check out books, magazines and other publications electronically to your Kindle or iPad, thereby giving you the freedom of Amazon with none of the costs.

State Librarian Richard Burns, along with D.R. Horton-Schuler Division's Community Relations Director, Lee Tokuhara, and Sales Manager, B.J. Nagata, congratulate the lucky prize winners of the Children's Summer Reading Kick-Off Event. PHOTO: COURTESY PAUL H. MARK, HSPLS

State Librarian Richard Burns, along with D.R. Horton-Schuler Division’s Community Relations Director, Lee Tokuhara, and Sales Manager, B.J. Nagata, congratulate the lucky prize winners of the Children’s Summer Reading Kick-Off Event. PHOTO: COURTESY PAUL H. MARK, HSPLS

If you prefer the feel and smell of the 20th-century book, you can still enjoy the experience but without any of the Dewey Decimal hell you remember from childhood. Due to the state system being unified you can order a book from their website and if it is in any of the 50 libraries in the state, they will deliver it to Kapolei for you.

For the keiki, there’s Storytime every Monday and Thursday at 10 a.m. The librarian plies the children with stories and songs and finally a make-and-take craſt. In addition, there are special events like the “It’s the Cat in the Hat’s Birthday Celebration” that drew nearly 100 kids on a Tuesday evening in early March.

Tired of the limited selection at Redbox? The library also offers an extensive collection of DVDs for just a dollar a week. Need to bump up your music mix? They loan their music CDs for free, just take some home and watch your playlist grow without those pesky $.99 charges per song.

Their newest service comes in the form of Netbooks, a small, fully functioning laptop that one can check out for three weeks at no charge. It comes with Word, Excel and PowerPoint and is equipped with broadband service.

To set up an appointment or borrow a Net-book, call Sheryl Lynch at 693-7050, or to access any of wealth of resources available, go to www.hawaii.sdp.sirsi.net.