Question: Do you know when the libraries will open? Many of us don’t have a computer or Wi-Fi at home and rely on the computers at the library.
Answer: There’s no word yet on when Hawaii’s public libraries will reopen, but most are providing limited services now, including free access to internet-connected computers by appointment.
Computer use by patrons inside the library resumed last week at 48 of 51 public branches statewide, under strict conditions, according to the Hawaii State Public Library System.
A patron must have a library card to use this service, which involves using only the computers and printers — not browsing among the stacks.
Here’s how it works, according to the library system’s website:
>> Make a reservation online or by phone. To make a reservation online, go to 808ne.ws/comptime and follow the directions; you’ll need your library card number and password. Or call your preferred branch for help making an appointment. A list of Hawaii’s public libraries and their phone numbers is found at 808ne.ws/branches.
>> Computer reservations are available Mondays through Fridays during the library’s regular open hours; no weekend hours.
>> You can make one 60-minute reservation per day. If you need more time, check with library staff to see whether the computer is available, and add an hour if approved. Each person is limited to a maximum of two sessions a day.
>> Arrive at least 10 minutes before your computer reservation to check in. Wear a facial covering and practice social distancing. The face mask must cover your mouth and nose for the duration of your time at the library. Library staff will be wearing personal protective equipment.
>> Computer equipment and high-touch areas will be cleaned between each session.
>> You’ll be allowed to enter the library only to use the computer; no general browsing. With few exceptions, the computer user should work alone. Exceptions include a youth who needs to use the computer with supervision, or another person who needs ongoing assistance during the session.
>> A limited number of walk-ins may be accepted depending on space available at a particular branch, but it’s best to make an appointment to ensure access. Walk-ins are allowed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The library system hopes that patrons will use the computers for important tasks such as “job searching, filling out the Census, filing for unemployment benefits, maintaining email contact with friends and family, business needs, etc.”
As mentioned, this service is being offered at all but three public libraries: Hawaii State Library, Liliha and McCully-Moiliili locations are excluded.
For information about other library services available during the pandemic, see www.librarieshawaii.org.
His name is Jordan — a kind and respectful young man who helped this kupuna, who was having a problem using the self-service parcel postage kiosk at the Makiki post office. As my frustration with my credit card mounted, this kindly young man offered his help; I gratefully accepted. He went to his car, came back with his own credit card and promptly accessed the machine, paying for the parcel’s postage. Just like that! He also refused to accept the little cash I had to offer as reimbursement, with the guarantee to pay the rest later. … I am sending this very grateful mahalo to you, Jordan, for lending a hand to a senior who was about to give up and maybe give that machine a black eye. I will pay forward the kindness you bestowed upon me. God bless you, Jordan, and your parents, who did a wonderful job raising you. — Grateful kupuna
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.