The Friends of the Library of Hawaii (FLH) has awarded Senator Michelle Kidani the Mahalo Award as the FLH 2017 Legislator of the Year. She represents Senate District 18 – Mililani Town, a portion of Waipio Gentry, and the communities of Waikele, Village Park and Royal Kunia. The award was presented at the FLH Legislative Breakfast held January 23rd at Washington Place.
Governor and Mrs. David Ige welcomed 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. FLH Vice-President Maia Rosen, Public Libraries Branch Director Stacie Kaneshige, Governor Ige, and Senator Kidani were the featured speakers, sharing successful library initiatives for 2017 and looking toward a bright future for library services in 2018.
Senator Kidani was first elected to the Hawai‘i State Senate in 2008 and has been a member of the Senate Committee on Education for much of that time. Senator Kidani then became the Chair of the Education Committee that oversees the state’s public libraries. Senator Kidani has supported efforts to improve library services at the Mililani Public Library through a $1.26 million renovation project to repair and improve the roof, upgrade support systems, and to convert an under-used atrium into a multi-use study and research room, adding almost 900 square feet to the library. The addition of the new space has also allowed for another area in the library to be repurposed into a much-needed program and meeting room, a commodity in short supply in Mililani. These additions to one of the state’s busiest libraries directly support not only the library patrons and residents in Mililani, but the many diverse information needs of residents throughout Central Oahu and beyond.
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 Kidani has been a steady supporter of library services in her community of Mililani and has been strong advocate for library services across the State in her position on the Senate education committee.