By Moanike’ala Nabarro | NANAKULI, Hawaii –
After waiting decades, Nanakuli residents will welcome the area’s first public library.
Its design was modeled after ancient Hawaiian hale that once stood in the area. The energy- efficient facility utilizes the power of the sun.
Inside: high ceilings that provide natural light.
Among the thousands of books and various collections in the 18,000 square foot space, you’ll find rare access to services linked to native Hawaiian genealogy.
“We feel that there is a need being here in Nanakuli to provide your ancestry… Showing people electronic resources and where to find your ancestors, birth certificates. That kind of thing,” Kelsey Fardineh, branch manager, Nanakuli Public Library said.
Signs around the library are posted in Hawaiian and English. It’s a new element starting in Nanakuli but will soon be rolling out to public libraries across the state. The state library system wanted to recognize both of Hawaii’s official languages.
Residents rallied around the idea of a sound booth–the room will be used to document stories from kupuna in the area
“Kind of like what it it’s like when Tutu first got to Nanakuli. When there was no water things like that in this valley when people first moved here there was no water people had to go to the beach,” Fardineh said.
Staff say attracting people to come in to the library can be a challenge these days. They want to remind users about how they can benefit.
“The librarian can be a sort of a guide that can navigate people through resources in the world of fake news, that’s especially important to help route people realize what’s reliable and credible these days,” Fardineh said.
The $14.8 million library also features meeting rooms the community can use and an outdoor performing arts venue meant to host plays and concerts.
Opening ceremonies are set for 10:00 a.m. Saturday.