Community Celebrates As Makiki Library Re-Dedicated

MAKIKI (KHNL) -- It's the little library that could.

The 30-year-old Makiki Community Library was re-dedicated Wednesday, capping years of repair work. Members of the community fought long and hard for their library's survival.

Maria Farrington can't contain herself, as the city prepares to unveil its renovations to Makiki Community Library. It's where her children developed their love for reading.

"I have a hearing-impaired son. Now he's 27, and he's the first deaf Realtor here in Hawaii," Farrington said. "And he came here as a child, and he loved it."

Known as the People's Library and operated by volunteers, the facility shut its doors to undergo a one-year facelift back in 2005. The city says unforeseen structural problems added to the cost, and delayed the completion.

"My son is, he says, "Mom, what's going on? Why is there a library no more in our community?'" Farrington said.

The nearly $2 million refurbishment includes electrical and plumbing improvements, new windows, construction of an elevator and a stairway, and new fire sprinklers.

"I am so happy 'cause I know that other children are going to be as happy as my children were," Farrington said.

The Mayor hands the keys to the Friends of Makiki Library. With the untying of the Maile lei, the building is returned to the people.

"This community needs a library, especially one that gears to young children," Farrington said.

The Friends of Makiki Library must still get the facility ready for patrons. The group hopes to officially open the library in July.