From left: FLH Director Sam Callejo, FLH Executive Director Nainoa Mau, FLH Director Susan Li, Governor David Ige, Senator Russell Ruderman, FLH President Marlene Booth, FLH Director Lynnae Lee, FLH Director Alan Yamamoto
Photo courtesy of Paul Mark, Information Specialist III – HSPLS
The Friends of the Library of Hawai'i (FLH) has awarded Senator Russell Ruderman, representing legislative District 2, with the Mahalo Award as the FLH Legislator of the Year. The award was presented at the FLH Legislative Breakfast held January 14th at Washington Place in Honolulu.
Governor David Ige was the featured speaker with First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige welcoming invited guests from the Hawai’i State Legislature, Board of Education, Hawai’i State Public Library System, and Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i Affiliates and volunteers.
The Mahalo Award is presented annually to a State legislator who has demonstrated exemplary support of Hawai‘i’s public libraries during the prior legislative session. Senator Ruderman continues to advocate for a regional library in his Puna district of the Big Island of Hawai’i and his office has worked closely with library staff.
In the past year, Senator Ruderman’s office has worked tirelessly with many agencies, including the Hawai‘i State Public Library System, to ensure the continuation of service for his area in the midst of a number of natural events including Hurricane Iselle and the Kilauea lava flows. Library services were expanded to include 24/7 wireless-internet access during hurricane clean-up and extending through today at the Pahoa Public Library for residents effected by the lava flow.
Elected in 2012, Senator Ruderman serves on the Agriculture, Health, Water and Land, as well as the Ways and Means committees.
The Legislative Breakfast provides a unique opportunity for supporters of the Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i State Public Library staff to discuss the needs and concerns of Hawai’i’s public libraries with their legislators and to thank them for their support.