Categorized | Education, Entertainment, Featured

Thelma Parker Memorial Public & School Library celebrates 40th anniversary in November


Thelma Parker Memorial Public Library

Thelma Parker Memorial Public Library

WAIMEA, Island of Hawaii—Thelma Parker Memorial Public & School Library of the Hawaii State Public Library System is marking its 40th anniversary with a family-friendly celebration and community bazaar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 17. The event is free and open to the public.

The event will feature games and prizes, crafts, and homemade confections, along with light refreshments provided by the Friends of Thelma Parker Library.

“We want to thank the community for their 40 years of support and patronage with a fun time for the whole family,” said branch manager Pamela Akao.

Thelma Parker Memorial Public & School Library, designed by Team Pacific, Inc., opened in its current location on October 26, 1978. At the library’s groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 7, 1977, Herbert Watanabe, district office representative from the Dept. of Education described the facility as “…the only library in the State of Hawaii that will have parking for buses, cars, bicycles, and hitching posts. You are welcome to bring your horse, if you clean up the mess.”

Today, the library boasts total holdings of 43,697 and 13,169 card holders, who can access a wealth of resources from any of the 51 public libraries statewide, including more than 65 online databases, full-text magazine articles and reference resources, free WiFi, ebooks, audio books, music, newspapers, magazines, computers with Internet access, and more. Many of these items can be accessed online.

“We’re really a one-stop shop for information and entertainment,” said Akao, who notes that movie rental, library card, meeting room fees and overdue fines go right back to supporting the library’s purchase of new materials.

Five full-time employees and one part-time employee keep the place humming. The library hosts a variety of free weekly, monthly, and special events, performances, and activities in the library, and/or in the library’s air-conditioned 810-square-foot meeting room, which also is available to the community for a nominal fee.

Recent events include a performance by hip-hop musician and educator Mr. Kneel, Marvel Movie Marathon, a hula performance by Michael Pili Pang’s Muolaulani, a class on how to use the Internet, Obake & Other Ghostly Tales with Hawaii storyteller Dann Seki, and a self-publishing workshop. Weekly events include college counseling with Nancy Honda, after-school movies (for ages 5+), and Magic card game gatherings on Wednesdays and preschool story and craft hour on Thursdays. A monthly movie (rated PG-13+, R) is offered on the second Wednesday of each month. All events are free and open to the public.

Thelma Parker Memorial Public and School Library is proud to be one of 75 public libraries (and the only library in the state of Hawaii) chosen to be part of the NASA@My Library program to engage public audiences nationwide in informal and lifelong learning with the excitement of NASA exploration and discovery. Since 2017, the library has offered a series of NASA@My Library programs, including Jump to Jupiter, Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures , Wooly Mammoth, and A Perfect Day for an Albatross (presented by the Waimea Ocean Film Festival), an Engineering Bash, Science Saturdays, and Astrobash. NASA@My Library programming will continue through 2020.

“As our community has evolved, the library has evolved,” said Akao. “We’re always looking for new ways to better serve the community and we’re always open to suggestions. We invite everyone to visit the library, and of course, celebrate this milestone with us!”

For more information, call 887-6067. The Thelma Parker Memorial Public and School library, located at 67-1209 Mamalahoa Highway, is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

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