Mahalo Award - Legislator of the Year

2017 Legislator of the Year

 


 

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.  

 Senator Kidani has worked with a number of community organizations in both Mililani and Waipahu, including the Waipahu Community Association and for ten years as a member of the Mililani Neighborhood Board.  She is currently Vice President of the Board for Mililani Town Association.  As a State Senator, she is also active in several policy groups at the regional and national level.

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.

2016 Legislator of the Year

Back Row: Alan Yamamoto, FLH Board of Directors, Kathy Fay, FLH Board of Directors, Jane Dickson, FLH Board of Directors, Marlene Booth, FLH Board of Directors, Stephanie Rezents, FLH Legislative Committee, Nainoa Mau FLH Executive Director 

Front Row: Dawn Amano-Ige, First Lady of the State of Hawai‘i, Stacey Aldrich, State Librarian, Representative Della Au Belatti, State Representative and FLH Legsilator of the Year 2016, Wendy Maxwell, Makiki Community Library Board President, Susan Li, FLH Board of Directors, Rebecca Nadler, FLH Board of Directors

Photo courtesy of Paul Mark, Information Specialist III - HSPLS


 

The Friends of the Library of Hawai'i (FLH) has awarded Representative Della Au Belatti, who represents House District 24 (Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully, Pawaa, Manoa), with the Mahalo Award as the FLH 2016 Legislator of the Year. The award was presented at the FLH Legislative Breakfast held on January 10th at Washington Place in Honolulu.

First Lady Dawn Amano-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 President Lynnae Lee, State Librarian Stacey Aldrich, and Representative Della Au Belatti were the featured speakers, sharing successful library initiatives for 2016 and looking toward a bright future for library services in 2017.

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. Representative Belatti has been a staunch supporter of the only community-run library in the state: the Makiki Community Library at Makiki District Park. Representative Belatti and the Hawai‘i State Public Library System have worked closely in recent years to incorporate the Makiki Community Library into the state public library system. This effort is gaining momentum and we look forward to making the Makiki Public Library branch as the 52nd Hawai‘i public library.

The Makiki Community Library originally opened its doors in September of 1976 due in large part to the work of Mayor Frank F. Fasi.  Since that time, it has continued to be an asset to the community, providing not only books for adults and children, but adult computer classes and holiday activities as well.  Representative Belatti serves on the board of the Makiki Community Library and continues to work toward the now 40-plus year dream of having a state library within this urban community.  She follows in a long line of elected officials who have recognized the great need for a public library in one of the most densely populated areas in the state.

Representative Belatti was elected in 2007 and has served as the Chair of the House Committee on Health since 2012.  She is also a member of the Committee on Human Services and the Committee on the Judiciary.  She is a graduate of Princeton University and the William S. Richardson School of Law and is a full-time practicing attorney.

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.

2015 Legislator of the Year

From left: FLH President Lynnae Lee, FLH Executive Director Nainoa Mau, First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, Governor David Ige, Representative Cindy Evans, State Librarian Stacey Aldrich, FLH Director Susan Li, FLH Director Alan Yamamoto

Photo courtesy of Paul Mark, Information Specialist III - HSPLS


 

The Friends of the Library of Hawai'i (FLH) has awarded Representative Cindy Evans, representing House District 7, 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. Representative Evans has been an ardent supporter of libraries and literacy in her district and around the State. Rep. Evans successfully created and remains a member of a Friends group advocating for a Waikoloa Public Library. Due to the hard work for the Friends of the Library - Waikoloa Region and the strong support of Rep. Evans in the legislature, a Waikoloa Public Library is now in the planning stages.

Throughout her 7 terms in office, Evans has remained a staunch advocate for the extension of library services throughout her community. She is continually in communication with HSPLS administration and staff on the issues and problems facing all of our libraries including homlessness, collections, operations, services, etc. With her wide network of public and private contacts, she provides HSPLS with many different but effective means of supporting all our public libraries. 

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.

2014 Legislator of the Year

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.

2011 Legislator of the Year

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.                              

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