Hawaii Public Libraries were among the first state agencies to physically reopen to the public after pandemic restrictions eased.
By Lee Cataluna, January 23, 2022 · 6 min read
If public libraries had been struggling for relevance in the digital age, they may have found it during the pandemic.
Libraries are often thought of as “the community living rooms” where one can browse bookshelves next to strangers, share computers and attend classes or discussions. But that function as a public gathering place became a liability with Covid-19.
“From the beginning of the lockdown, we knew we had to find ways to continue to serve,” said Stacey Aldrich, Hawaii state librarian since 2015.
One of the first things the Hawaii State Library System did was to beef up Wi-Fi service at neighborhood branches so that people could still access the internet outside the closed library buildings.