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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Hawaii public libraries aim to welcome browsers by November

Question: When will the Hawaii public libraries reopen? The newest four-tier reopening schedule for Oahu does not list the libraries. During troubled times, books are a source of information, comfort and entertainment.

Answer: The short answer is that by November, the libraries hope to welcome a few patrons at a time for browsing. We’ve had so many readers asking that we sought an update from Hawaii State Public Library System spokeswoman Mallory Fujitani about what library services are available now, and what’s to come. Here’s her response:

“We appreciate that people are so anxious to return to our public libraries! As you can imagine, we have been navigating the COVID-19 local, state, and federal guidance as it relates to re-opening our services to support public health. We currently offer Library Take Out (books may be selected by telephone or online and picked up by appointment), Computer Time (computer access by walk-up or appointment), and free WiFi Zones outside of each of our libraries, so that patrons can bring their own devices and connect.

“We are getting ready to start Wiki Visits, which will allow small numbers of patrons to come into the library for short visits to browse shelves and borrow their selections. Staff are busily preparing our libraries for these visits, which require the reconfiguration of most library spaces and adoption of new processes. New COVID-19 protocols require us to quarantine all library books and materials to ensure that they can be safely handled by patrons and staff. This new service will be available by early November.

“In the meantime, we have continued to purchase more digital books (ebooks, audio books), launched a new Scholastic Teachables resource for families with children, and unveiled new services and programs (streaming movies, virtual classes and programs) to supplement all of the other free services we provide, including access to the New York Times and thousands of other newspapers and magazines.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience during these uncertain times, and are working diligently to safely re-open services in all 51 public libraries statewide.”

For more information,

​Q: Did you get the information about the unemployment lawsuit ( 104kline)? I’m not on Facebook.

A: Yes. “The form declaration is now available through DocuSign at hawaiiclass,” said Blaine Rogers, a lawyer at the Dentons law firm who has asked Hawaii’s Supreme Court to order the state to promptly process and pay jobless claims. On the website, click on the link to the declaration form for “Unemployment/PUA Class Petition.”

Q: The Better Business Bureau used to have an annual “Secure Your ID” paper-shredding event in October. Are they having one this year? Since we’ve been staying at home we have been cleaning the house. We’d like to have our old papers shredded. It used to be a drive-thru event but I haven’t seen anything in the paper.

A: No, the BBB isn’t holding the event this year, because of the pandemic.

Q: Regarding the pre-travel COVID-19 test, will the state only accept results from a Trusted Partner? The language the state uses seems to be evolving. Previously, you could use a Trusted Partner or have a negative result from a NAAT test administered by a CLIA lab. I am traveling to my Hawaii home on the 15th and will need to be tested by the 13th.

A: Yes. Hawaii’s Department of Health changed its website on Friday to emphasize that only results from “Trusted Testing and Travel Partners” will be accepted in the state’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program, as Gov. David Ige announced on Wednesday. That group includes AFC Urgent Care, Carbon Health, CityHealth Urgent Care, Color, CVS Health, Discovery Health MD, Kaiser Permanente, Quest Diagnostics, Vault Health and Walgreens, according to the DOH website. See details at FAQs.

Ige’s news release on Wednesday listed those 10 providers, and named Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines as Trusted Testing and Travel Partners that are facilitating testing for their passengers. Read details at igenr.

As you recalled, the state had previously said that incoming passengers could be tested at a site of their choosing, as long as the state’s requirements were met. That is no longer the case — it must be with a TTTP.

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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