Libraries Need Friends

Wednesday - November 02, 2011 Share

By Byrde Cestare, Executive Director,
Friends of the Library of Hawaii

Can you imagine a community without a library? Recognized by our founding fathers as an essential part of a democracy, public libraries today provide communities with free resources for entertainment, career development, skills training, database information and Internet connection. Friends of the Library of Hawaii (FLH), founded in 1879, promotes and supports Hawaii’s 50 public libraries. With more than 30 affiliates, we have a strong network of support and advocacy that work to maintain and improve library services.

Our signature fundraisers are the annual Book Sale and Links to Literacy. This year’s 18th annual Links to Literacy Golf Tournament, held Sept. 23 at Ko Olina Golf Club, included a banquet and silent auction at JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa and netted $150,000. Businesses including Marriott Resorts Hawaii, Ko Olina Resort & Marina, HMS Host, Meadow Gold Dairies, Hansen Distribution Group, Armstrong Produce, DFS Hawaii, Roberts Hawaii and Toshiba Business Solutions support FLH because they recognize the important role that public libraries play in creating a vibrant, productive community. Over the years, the golf tournament has raised approximately $1.45 million.

Pictured (from left) Alan Yamamoto, Brenda Tome, Ken Williams, Mike Nelson, Richard Burns, Byrde Cestare and Chris Tatum raise money for libraries

Public libraries are experiencing even greater use during these difficult economic times. Providing increased access and service while suffering budget cuts is extremely challenging. FLH provides funding for items beyond the regular state budget, including programs that draw the community into the library. A record-setting 25,000 adults and children took part in the 2011 Summer Reading Program, with more than 285,000 books read.

Libraries continue to offer services even after regular business hours. With your Hawaii State Public Library card, you can access e-books, digital audio books and online databases. Want to learn a new language? Ten languages in a self-paced course are available in Powerspeak. All are free with your library card 24/7.

You can help Hawaii’s libraries continue to provide this valuable breadth of services by becoming a member of FLH, making a donation or volunteering. To learn more about our organization and how you can get involved, visit, call 536-4174 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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