Kapaa Library celebrates 60th anniversary

KAPAA — Lani Kawahara remembers going to the library on Wednesdays when she attended Kapaa Elementary and Kapaa High schools.

“Wednesdays were early days,” the librarian at the Kapaa Public Library said. “I remember walking down here. I think I read all of the Nancy Drew books in the library. We would be here until my dad, Delano, would come pick us up after his meetings.”

The Kapaa Public Library is celebrating its 60th anniversary on Tuesday starting at 1 p.m. with cake, refreshments and entertainment by the Kapaa Senior Center Ukulele Band.

“A lot of the performers are library patrons,” Kawahara said. “In fact, Mrs. Takeko Yamane was one of the workers when the library opened 60 years ago. She’ll be playing with the Kapaa seniors.”

The anniversary celebration is being held in conjunction with National Library Month. The library will feature programs throughout April to celebrate both its anniversary and the Library Month observance, Kawahara said.

Following the ukulele performance, young people are invited to participate in springtime crafts from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Kawahara said coming back to work at the Kapaa Public Library is a dream come true.

“When I worked with Mrs. Priscilla Leong at the Kapaa Elementary School library, that was probably when I became interested in becoming a librarian because she was so cool,” Kawahara said. “Mrs. Leong and Thelma Hadley helped open this Kapaa Public Library. To be able to come home to manage and work at this library is beyond words.”

Kawahara said the experience of working at the library is enhanced by the fact that her workers — Greg Nitta, Mark Baldibado and Seth Yamamoto — are all Kapaa people.

“Greg said he never came to this library until he started working here,” Kawahara said. “He lived in Kilauea and the bus just brought him to school and back home. To have these Kapaa people be able to work and give back to the community is so special.”

Activities continue on April 14 when Dr. Gareth Wynn-Williams of the University of Hawaii Institute of Astronomy speaks on “The Antikythera Mechanism: 2,000-year-old computer.”

Wynn-Williams will speak on the ancient analog computer which was designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendrical and astrological purposes during the family-friendly 45-minute presentation.

On April 19, the Friends of the Kapaa Public Library will host a triple feature adventure movie from 1 to 5:30 p.m. The movie features a librarian who protects a secret collection of artifacts, including a spear, a chalice and other magical items.

The month-long celebration wraps up April 21 when Judge Bill Fernandez will present “Rainbows Over Kapaa: History of Kapaa Town” from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m.

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