Do you ever just want to “get away?” Just remove yourself from this crazy world of ours and find a place to explore and lose yourself–free and off the beaten path? Well, the Waikoloa Bookmobile may be the perfect destination both physically and figuratively to visit, if you haven’t already. Need a quiet spot? Super cheap? Here’s your answer.
The Waikoloa Bookmobile is located in Waikoloa Village, north of the airport and above the resorts on the picturesque Big Island of Hawai’i. If driving from Queen K (as some locals call Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway), one would go east or mauka (toward the mountain) on Waikoloa Road. The Blue Hawaiian helipad is located on the corner of Queen K and Waikoloa Road. Follow the road until you see the sign for Waikoloa Village. Turn left onto Paniolo Ave. At the first street, Lua Kula, make a left.
Proceed past the Elima Lani condos, which are on both sides of the street, and make a left at the corner of Lua Kula and Melia Street. The golf course will be on your left. Follow the road around to a roundabout and park in the parking lot next to the golf course and tennis courts. Get out of your car and head towards the Waikoloa community pool that has been recently updated. The Bookmobile will be on your left, next to some picnic tables.
Rules and Times
Masks are currently optional, but “signing in” is highly encouraged. Hand sanitizer is available if you need some. Donated and returned books are left in the donation’s box underneath the counter. The volunteers will re-shelve the books, so you don’t even have to worry about where they belong. Did you forget your book while on vacation? Simply stop by and find a new one. It’s that simple. They keep it so well organized, it’s easy to find books by your favorite author. Children must be accompanied by an adult and they request one family inside at a time during COVID, for extra safety.
Currently the bookmobile is more of a book exchange rather than a library. People can donate a book or take a book. It can hold up to 3,000 books and the selections cover a wide range of interests and reading levels from current fiction to classic literature, Hawaiiana, biographies, travel guides, cookbooks, young adult and children’s books. There are bestsellers featured up front, some large-print books on one side and frequently a cache of music and movies on DVD.
Friends of the Library Waikoloa Region graciously accept donations of new or gently used books, monetary donations and other appropriate material that can enrich the cultural opportunities to the people of Hawai’i. DVDs, CDs and audiobooks are accepted as well. Please no textbooks, magazines or books older than 10 years. FL-WR also supports various programs and events that enhance literacy in the Village. If you would like to learn more about them, volunteer or donate, please visit the Friends of the Library – Waikoloa Region website.
A Little History
The story of this little bookmobile began with 26 dedicated volunteers who had a vision to bring a library to Waikoloa. The first meeting took place back in 2010 with the help of Rep. Cindy Evans. With countless hours and meetings, the group set up all of the requirements to establish FL-WR as an 501(c) 3 non profit organization with bylaws and officers, initially taking the first steps of bringing a library to Waikoloa. The bylaws were amended and approved, along with 5 elected officers. Did you know the first president in 2010 was Bette Green and she is still an active member in this endeavor some 12 years later?
The Ultimate Goal
One goal of FL-WR is for the bookmobile to one day be replaced by a fully functioning library. According to State Librarian Stacey Aldrich, the progress is still moving forward. The Board of Land and Natural Resources BLNR approved the request for authorization into a ground lease with the County of Hawai’i for the purpose of building a new library. The possible new location is Kamakoa Drive near the Kamakoa Nui Skate Park. Once completed the Friends of Library Waikoloa Region will assist in maintaining the Regional Library and increase the library’s holdings by securing materials beyond the scope of the library’s budget through fundraising, donations and events. Some folks would like to see the bookmobile incorporated into the new library as well.
But until then,……….. The Waikoloa Bookmobile will be my inflation getaway.
I hope you will consider visiting my inflation getaway with a good book in your hand and a journey in your heart. If you have any questions about Waikoloa or the surrounding areas, please reach out to me.