Three state libraries removed from closure list - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Three state libraries removed from closure list

Senator Will Espero Senator Will Espero

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The Department of Education has to find a way to come up with nearly a half billion dollars in mandated budget cuts.

The latest proposal? Closing five school libraries: Holualoa Public Library, Pahala Public and School Library, Kealakekua Public Library, Ewa Beach Public and School Library, and Hana Public and School Library.

The good news? On Thursday night, the board decided to take Ewa Beach, Pahala and Hana off the list.

Earlier in the day, armed with their homemade signs, library supporters came ready for action.

Through public testimony, they urged the school board to find some other way to save.

Whether sharing the budget burden on all of the state's 50 libraries by cutting hours across the board, or convincing the board to defer its decision, residents hoped that this wasn't the final chapter for 5 of Hawaii's libraries.

"We should look at ways to keep them all open, even if it means distributing cost-saving ways throughout the library system," said Senator Will Espero.

Residents say the decision was made in haste and that communities needed to be a part of the process.

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