From left: Byrde Cestare, Susan Li, Senator Donna Mercado Kim, Rosemary Chong, Allene Suemori, and Governor Neil Abercrombie.
Photo courtesy of Paul Mark, Information Specialist III – HSPLS
On January 11, 2012, Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i announced and honored State Senator Donna Mercado Kim (District 14-Moanalua, Aiea, Fort Shafter, Kalihi Valley, Halawa Valley) as the 2011 Legislator of the Year. Senator Kim was presented with the Mahalo Award at a Legislative Breakfast for invited guests at Washington Place.
The Mahalo Award is presented to the State legislator who has demonstrated his or her support of Hawaii's public libraries during the past legislative session.
Senator Kim currently serves as Vice President of the State Senate, as well as chair of the Committee on Tourism and the Special Committee on Accountability. In addition, she serves as a member of the Committee on Ways and Means. Senator Kim chaired the Task Force on Reinventing Government which searched for ways to eliminate government waste and save money without cutting core services.
Senator Kim, as a member of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, was instrumental in keeping the Hawaii State Public Library System's budget intact and helped minimize reductions over the past few years. This translated into fewer days when our libraries were closed to our patrons, and fewer furlough days for our employees than the rest of the State.
Senator Kim is an advocate of literacy and life-long learning and continues to be a very strong supporter of the Friends of the Library of Hawaii. In the tradition of Mahalo Award recipients, Senator Kim donated a copy of one of her favorite books – "Personal Coaching for Results" by Lou Tice – to her local library, the Salt Lake-Moanalua Public Library. In addition, a second copy was donated to the Hawai‘i State Library.
The Legislative Breakfast provides a unique opportunity for members of the Friends of the Library of Hawaii and Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) staff members to discuss mutual concerns about Hawaii's public libraries with their legislators and thank them for their support. The event also featured an "HSPLS Year in Review" slide presentation.