Friday, October 9, 2015         


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City reference center open to public by appointment

By June Watanabe


Question: The city's reference center next to Mission Auditorium has been closed to the public for some time. Will it reopen? What will happen to the materials and archives if it doesn't reopen? Where should the public go if they need access to these records?

Answer: The Municipal Reference Center and Bookstore closed at the end of last year because of "staffing issues and a major indexing project in progress," the city said.

However, all materials, archives and records can be accessed by making an appointment, said Gail Haraguchi, director of the city Department of Customer Services.

Call 768-3765 and leave contact information. Someone will call you back to verify your request and set up an appointment.

When we went to the building after receiving your query, the doors were locked, but there was no notice of closure.

Since then the sign on the door has been replaced and the city website updated, Haraguchi said.

Although the center is authorized to have five full-time equivalent positions, there is only one person working in the Records Management and Archives Center and one providing reader services for the Reference Center, by appointment only.

Haraguchi said, "Due to technology and our ongoing effort to improve efficiency," bookstore sales, news clippings and circulations have been eliminated.

However, her department is looking to hire someone to handle technical services, such as cataloging, indexing and classifying reference center materials.

While the bookstore has been eliminated, some municipal books that were previously sold there are now available for free online at

Haraguchi said that is "in keeping with the city's commitment to a green workplace."

She said the Reference Center was never a "library," in which materials are kept for public use.

Instead, as set forth in the City Charter, the Customer Services Department set up the reference center to "fulfill the research and information needs of the city, coordinate a city government records management program and supervise the city archive of documents and materials," Haraguchi said.

Q: About five or six street lights on Kalanianaole Highway and Keahole Street have been out for a month or two. When will they be fixed?

A: It's "anticipated" that the lights will back on by the end of November, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Power for the lights was lost after recent construction widening the westbound side of Kalanianaole Highway between Keahole Street and Hawaii Kai Drive, a spokesman said.

During electrical system modifications, power was transferred from an old electrical transformer to a new one. Because of "compatibility malfunctions," however, power was lost during the transfer, the spokesman said.

"DOT is currently working with (Hawaiian Electric Co.) to modify the new transformer to accept this circuit and to restore power to the lighting as soon as possible," he said.

The age of the street lights was not the problem as it was at the other end of Kalanianaole Highway, near Kalani High School, when the lights went out last year.


To the woman driving a Honda Pilot at 7:55 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Not only was she speeding down Beretania Street, she kept blasting her horn at a bicyclist in front of her who was riding his bike properly in the lane. She kept honking until she sped into the Olivet Baptist Church parking lot. She needs to learn to abide by the speed limit, as well as learn the laws on cycling. -- Former Roadie

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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