Categorized | Education, News

State Librarian receives high marks from Board of Education


State Librarian Richard Burns received an “Exceptional” rating from the Board of Education (BOE), the highest rating possible, during his annual job performance evaluation at the Board’s General Business Meeting conducted at the Hawaii State Library July 16.

“I would like to thank the Board of Education for their confidence in me, their support of my leadership and especially for their consistent support of the Hawaii State Public Library System and our staff,” Burns said.

“Despite limited resources, our staff has achieved notable milestones over the past five years, improving and increasing the number of free public programs and services, continuing to develop traditional and print collections while moving forward into the wireless, e-book and other digital arenas and increasing the value the library system provides for our users across the state.

“Now more than ever before, the Hawaii State Public Library System is providing our patrons with the resources they need to achieve academically, build their futures in the world of technology, prepare themselves for employment in the modern workplace and lead engaged, fulfilling lives,” Burns said.

Over the past few years, the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) has concentrated on supporting student achievement and upgrading and improving its public access technology resources:

*       HSPLS is the only library system in the world to offer the Microsoft IT Academy, which provides free online digital literacy and advanced technology training

*       HSPLS provides free wireless Internet access in all 50 public libraries

*       Every public access computer in every library is new within the past two years

*       HSPLS libraries offer high speed Internet access. By next year will have fiber-optic connectivity in all our libraries

*       eBook and audiobook collections now include some 30,000 licensed items, as well as access to a similar number of free eBooks

*       The new Learn4Life program provides free instructor-led, lifelong-learning courses ranging from personal finance to digital photography to starting a business

*       Patrons have access to more than 80 online databases

*       Patrons can like HSPLS on Facebook and follow HSPLS on Twitter

HSPLS’s technology implementations, upgrades and enhancements led directly to the Library system earning the State of Hawaii’s first Excellence in Technology Award in October 2012.

HSPLS has achieved other notable milestones in Fiscal Year 2013 including:

*       The 2012 Summer Reading Programs (SRP) offered for Children, Teens and Adults, set records again with more than 29,000 readers of all ages reading over 302,000 books during the five-week program.

Between 2009 and 2012, participation in the SRP has grew by 41 percent.

*       In FY 2012, HSPLS circulated nearly 7 million items and conducted nearly 8,700 programs, author visits, storytimes, class visits, booktalks, workshops, and more with a total attendance of more than 222,000.

*       In FY 2013, the number of Internet sessions conducted via library computers increased by 11 percent, to nearly 670,000.

Board of Education Chairman Don Horner said, “Our Libraries play a vital role in providing access to educational and vocational information. Our State Librarian understands technology will provide libraries increased opportunities to offer the public improved access to information more effectively and efficiently.”


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