Hawaii Library Association


The Hawaii Library Association (HLA) was founded in 1922 with 20 members, and became a chapter of the American Library Association in March 1924. In those days, the meetings were scheduled to coincide with the arrivals of the inter-island boats. During the first decade, the Association presented such speakers as Padraic Colum (1923), John Marquand (1932), and Christopher Morley (1933) to its members. By March 1941 there were 69 members and by Ocotber 1943, there were 87 members and three honorary members.

The Hawaii Library Association is incorporated and its records are in the Preservation Department, Hamilton Library, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Concern was constantly felt by the organization for the setting and maintaining of standards of adequate professional training. In 1937, the Association requested the regents of the University of Hawaii to require each graduating teacher to take six credits of library work. In November 1944, HLA recommended the appointment by the Department of Public Instruction of a School Library Supervisor, to be a graduate of an accredited library school with school library experience. Such a position was created in 1959 and a qualified librarian was appointed. Further influence of HLA was felt when Hawaii attained statehood and the state library system was organized, for the Association advised, recommended and sometimes protested until a workable system was evolved. Then in 1962, Hawaii became the few states to have TWO State Library Supervisors.

In 1939 members of the HLA organized interest groups within the parent association. These groups included, at that time, the Children's Section, the Junior and Senior High School Section, and the Hawaiian Document Checklist Section. In May 1944 this last section became the Hawaiiana Section and in the same year the Reference and Special Section was formed. In 1951 a separate High School section was formed, but in 1960 the organization of the Hawaii School Librarians Association caused the dissolution of both the Junior and Senior High School Sections of HLA. Later a Children and Youth Section was formed. The Armed Forces Librarians Section was started in 1954, the College and University Section in 1969, the Technical and General Services Section in 1973, and athe Media Section in 1989.

Periodicals published by the Association included the News Bulletin, first published in 1943 and later titled HLA Newsletter, The Hawaii Library Association Journal, and Current Hawaiiana. The Hawaii Library Association Journal started publication in 1944 as a quarterly, containing articles of professional interest by members and guests, and became a semi-annual in 1951. In 1966, arrangements were made with University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan, to reproduce the Journal, thus back issues are now available on microfilem. Current Hawaiiana was started by the Hawaiiana Section as a quarterly booklist of Hawaiiana. It later developed into a periodical bibliography on Hawaiiana issued by the University of Hawaii Library. All of these publications cover the world.

Other publications of the Association included Index to Thrum's Annual (1925); List of Hawaiian Statute Laws in Hawaiian and English, 1839-1939 (1951); Union List of Serials in Libraries of Honolulu (1950), fist supplement (1951), third edition (1965); Index to Names in Thrum's Annual (1955); Directory of Special Libraries in Honolulu (1958); List of Hawaiian Children's Books (1959); and Official Publications of the Terriotory of Hawaii, 1900-1959 (1962). Each of the above publications was prepared by one of the Sections of HLA.

The Hawaii Library Association, in cooperation with the Hawaii Association of School Librarians, has since 1964, presented the Nene Award. This annual award is given to the author of the book which the children of Hawaii vote as their favorite, and it has gained national recognition since its inception.

Membership in the Hawaii Library Association is open to any person, library or institution interested in library work.


HLA is an official chapter of the American Library Association (Article II, Section 1). As an official chapter, the ALA Councilor serves as the chapter liaison.

Chapter dues should be paid in December before the new year. HLA's President represents the Association at the ALA Convention, usually held in the summer on the Mainland.


The Mission of the Hawaii Library Association is to promote library service and librarianship in Hawaii in cooperation and affiliation with the American Library Association and other groups having allied objectives.


1. To promote library service and librarianship in Hawaii

2. To cooperate in the promotion of general and joint related enterprises with the Amerian Library Association and other groups.

3. To carry out the above objectives, HLA may affiliate with any other society having allied objectives. (Article III, Section 1&2)

4. Since HLA has in its membership all phases of librarianship represented, it should not favor one area over another but strive for equal representation within the profession.