HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the warehouse it leases in Halawa Valley, Friends of the Library of Hawaii stores and sorts donated items that it sells.
The proceeds help the State Library provide community programs at its 51 branches.
“Over the last 140 years we’ve contributed millions of dollars to the library system,” said Nainoa Mau, Friends of the Library of Hawaii executive director.
The non-profit takes in a mind-blowing average of 750,000 donated items annually.
On Thursday, Mau estimated the 8,000 square-foot warehouse held 150,000 books, 50,000 record albums, and 20,000 CDs and DVDs.
They were stacked onto shelves, or packed in boxes and stacked on pallets ready for transport.
It's a tight squeeze.
"We definitely cannot handle all of that in the warehouse," Mau said. "We're constantly moving it, trying to re-donate it or put it away for sales."
State Librarian Stacey Aldrich said at times the warehouse is too full.
“They do hit capacity,” she said. “There are people who’d like to donate really nice books and CDs and art that other people might want or treasure that they can’t take because the space is small.”
The lease on the warehouse expires in June. So Friends of the Library is trying to buy a 13,000 square-foot space to stabilize its organization and avoid rising rents.
The non-profit has raised $1.5 million through grants and other fundraising but it needs to raise more money.
"We still need about $1.5 million. We are going after a number of grants right now," Mau said.
Friends launched a campaign to raise capital from the general public. Donations can be made by clicking here.
"Any amount will help. It all adds up," Mau said.
The organization is also accepting checks mailed to its office at 99-1132 Iwaena Street.
Friends of the Library of Hawaii is constantly collecting donated items. A music sale this month will clear some space, but it will fill up fast.