County council recognizes state’s top librarian

LIHU‘E — Karen Ikemoto, branch manager of the Hanapepe Public Library and the state’s 2011 Librarian of the Year, on Wednesday was presented a special certificate by the Kaua‘i County Council to honor her work.

“Karen is the first Kaua‘i librarian to win this distinguished award,” said County Council Vice Chair JoAnn Yukimura, who presented the certificate to the 35-year veteran of the state public library system.

“This is such a privilege to be here with all of you today,” Ikemoto told council members.

On Feb. 23, the Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i selected Ikemoto as the state’s 2011 Librarian of the Year. A few weeks later, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. declared March 22 as Karen Ikemoto Day.

“Throughout her career, she has sustained and enhanced library services wherever she has been,” Yukimura said.

Prior to becoming branch manager at the Hanapepe library, Ikemoto worked at public libraries in Lihu‘e and Koloa.

“I know you don’t remember me, but I remember you,” said Councilman Mel Rapozo, explaining that as a child he used to frequent the Lihu‘e Library when Ikemoto was branch manager.

Ikemoto, accompanied by several members of the Friends of Hanapepe Public Library, thanked the council for recognizing her achievement.

“I love being a librarian,” she said. “I love serving the community.”

• Léo Azambuja, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or lazambuja@ thegardenisland.com.

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