Plans to move the Lahaina library from its prime downtown location to a planned school complex on upper Lahainaluna Rd. met protest from a group of citizens Friday.
The move-which could take from three to 10 years-was recently approved by the State Board of Education and the State Library Commission. The groups favor utilizing the relocated Lahaina library building as a combination school-community facility.
Strong complaints about the proposed move-which is now being studied by the County Master Plan Committee-were voiced by persons attending the Friday meeting in the conference room.
"I think is would be absolutely a near sighted mistake to move," said Dr. William Longyear, a Maui resident for the past six years.
"The location, and its grounds, is one of the greatest attractions of Lahaina Town, and a definite asset to the village," he said.
Relocation was projected in the County master plan for West Maui and it has been suggested that the present building be used as a visitor information center.
One of the reasons for moving the Lahaina library, according to Kiyoto Tsubaki of the State Board of Education, is that users are unable to find parking in the area, which is next to Pioneer Inn.
Librarian Oletha Williams, who attended the meeting as an interested party, said parking congestion in the 90-minute zone adjacent to the Lahaina library building has been alleviated since a policeman was assigned to tag overparked cars.
"There have been no parking complaints lately," she said.
Someone commented that meters could be put in the nine parking spaces alloted to the area.
"I would take that, rather than move this library. I'd stock up on dimes," avowed Mrs. Cymbre Ferguson.
Another official reason for moving to the school complex is that the State would save money by consolidating the public and school libraries.
"I'm all in favor of a school complex, but that shouldn't include a public library," Mrs. Ferguson said. "I just question the logic of moving from here to there-and I'd think twice before going up that hill (Lahainaluna Rd.)."
Mrs. Williams pointed out that library attendence rose 11 per cent during the last quarter.
A resolution was adopted at the close of the meeting and copies are to be sent to State and County offices involved and to the Friends of the Library organization.
The resolution voiced the group's opinion that:
"...the Lahaina branch of the Maui Public Library remain where it is for reasons of convenience.
"Also, that its present location is an important cultural asset to the town of Lahaina.
"It is further requested that before any action be taken relative to its relocation, that the undersigned committee be advised of the proposed action."
The petition was signed by Luis Paine, who was appointed chairman, Mrs. Paine, Dr. and Mrs. Longyear, Keith B Tester and Mrs. Ferguson.
Buck Quayle at the Maui Lahaina Sun bureau circa 1970
Reporter/Photographer Buck Quayle in 1971 in Maui with the Cartagenian in the background
Another Day At The Office Haleakala National Park