In The Press

Articles About FL-WR

August, 2015

Research has shown that reading aloud to children is the single most important thing you can do to prepare a child for reading and learning, and reading to infants contributes to the development of their growing brains and gives them a good start towards a lifelong love of reading and enjoyment of literature. Children whose parents read to them get a strong head start on the development of language skills and literacy. 

So Friends of the Library – Waikoloa Region (FL-WR) is pleased to announce that we are joining hands with the North Hawaii Community Hospital to provide new parents in the birthing center with a baby book called On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier in board book format that is easy for babies to hold and manipulate and stands up well to wear and tear.  We hope that both the parents and the babies enjoy it, and that it is just the start to enjoying children’s books in their homes.

Many thanks go to FL-WR Vice President of Programs and Activities, Amalia Mueller, for her creativity and persistence in organizing and putting this project into motion, as well to all our donors who help to sponsor such worthwhile literacy programs.

May, 2015

All 18 teams were seated quietly at their tables, along with a table judge, awaiting the first question from Ruth Bernstone, FL-WR President and Quizmaster for the 26th Newbery Quiz Bowl…and so the competition began.  In our continuing efforts to promote literacy in our community, FL-WR is happy to sponsor this competition for students in grades 4 through 7, as well as our own team, each year.  But it was the first year that Waikoloa had two complete 5 student contingents, FL-WR team and Waikoloa School PTSA team, and each was provided with a Kindle e-reader by their sponsors.  The teams read 40 Newbery Award winning books during the year prior to the event, and prepared to answer 30 questions about the content, characters, titles and authors’ names – more than 30 if there’s a tie.

Prizes and medals were given out for the team placing first through fifth this year.  Many prizes were also given during a drawing and at the game tables following lunch.  The Waikoloa teams didn’t place in the top five, but all enjoyed reading the books and competing in the Quiz Bowl and games.  We congratulate them for a fine effort and their interest in wonderful children’s literature.

Our bookmobile is a donation-based book exchange with wi-fi for your free use and is located at the WVA tennis/pool complex. Visit us in person or contact us at

April 24, 2015

By Megan Moseley
West Hawaii Today

Eighteen teams of young, Big Island book enthusiasts gathered at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel ballroom Thursday morning for the 26th annual Newbery Quiz Bowl.

The event attracted an audience of parents, teachers, librarians and reading advocates alike and started at about 9 a.m., lasting into the afternoon.

The teams ranged in age from fourth- to seventh-graders, who started the day relatively quiet, whispering answers back in forth. But as the final hour approached, chatter escalated and many youngsters were sitting on the edge of their seats.

The winners were announced following a tie-breaker and after a few hours of questions.

Hawaii Classical Christian Academy took first place, Hilo Public Library took second place, Lighthouse HICHE took third place, Kealakehe Elementary took fourth place and Konawaena Elementary took fifth place overall.

Throughout the day, the bright young minds were quizzed on questions coming from various Newbery Medal award-winning books.

David Griff, a librarian at Hawaii Preparatory Academy lower school, said he was pleased to see so many students participate.

“It’s really amazing to see the excitement of the students, like you see right now,” he said pointing toward a group of children running.

Jahnea Ordona, a fourth-grader at Kealakehe Elementary, said she was nervous at first, but once she heard the team won she yelled in excitement.

The Newbery Quiz Bowl on the Big Island is the only one in the state. It was started by Julia Tao, former librarian of Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate School. Master of ceremonies this year was retired librarian Paula Kamiya.

She said students read and study certain Newbery Medal books all year and then are selected to compete in the bowl. The competition consists of multiple questions on content, theme, setting, author or book title.

Kamiya said the competition has certainly grown during the years — from nine to 10 teams to 18 this year.

“It’s definitely gotten bigger,” she said.

The event is volunteer-based and winners receive various prizes donated from several Big Island businesses.

According to the Association for Library Service to Children, the Newbery Medal was named after 18th century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the ALSC, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

The oldest book tested was a 1922 book titled “Story of Mankind,” by Hendrik Willem van Loon. It was the first book to be awarded the Newbery Medal.

This year’s Newbery Medal winner went to the book “The Crossover,” written by Kwame Alexander.

Schools representing West Hawaii included Hawaii Preparatory Academy lower school, Hawaii Preparatory Academy middle school, Holualoa, Kahakai, Kealakehe Elementary, Kealakehe Intermediate, Kohala Elementary, Konawaena Elementary and Waikoloa schools.

April, 2015

We are very excited that Waikoloa has two teams with 10 students in grades 4-7 competing in the 25th Newbery Quiz Bowl this year – one sponsored by FL-WR and the other by the Waikoloa School PTSA. The event will take place at the Hapuna Prince Hotel ballroom on April 23rd and our own President Ruth Bernstone will be the Quizmaster. Anyone who would like to volunteer to help that day, please call Ruth at (808) 883-3809 or email us at

Keep in mind two easy ways you can help FL-WR raise fund. When taking your HI-5 items to a transfer station, tell the cashier the money should be donated to Friends of the Library Waikoloa Region and get a receipt. And, when purchasing items from, designate Friends of the Library Hawaii – Waikoloa as your support organization, and a contribution will be made to us. See our website at for more information. Every little bit helps!

Your continuing support of our efforts to encourage literacy and to ultimately bring a library facility to the Waikoloa Region is appreciated.

Our bookmobile is a donation-based book exchange with Wi-Fi for your free use and is located at the WVA tennis/pool complex. Visit us in person or contact us at

March, 2015

Calling All Kealakehe Seniors!

Friends of the Library – Waikoloa Region (FL-WR), with a generous contribution from the Spadaro family, is again providing Joseph E. Spadaro Memorial Scholarships to sponsor one or more Kealakehe High School graduating seniors who plan to register as full time students following graduation in the Hawaii Community College’s Transportation and Applied Technology Department for either a Certificate of Achievement or an Associate in Applied Science degree. This year, the scholarships will be available to all Kealakehe H.S. students with preference given to students from the Waikoloa Region. The scholarship will cover tuition, fees, required books and supplies. Interested seniors should contact Mrs. Hartney, Counselor at Kealakehe High School, for a complete description of the Joseph E. Spadaro Memorial Scholarship. Applications are due to Mrs. Hartney by April 3, 2015.

Joseph Spadaro and his wife Luella lived in Waikoloa Village for many years. Joe was an automotive mechanics educator and dedicated problem solver. He converted Aloha Airline’s fleet of equipment to propane while working at the Honolulu Gas Co., and later repaired the hydraulic systems on minesweepers.

Ruth Bernstone, FL-WR President

The bookmobile is a donation based book exchange for your use and is located at the WVA Tennis/Pool complex – visit us in person or at

February, 2015

Thank you to all who came to our annual general meeting in January, our 5 year anniversary! We elected our Board of Directors, most of whom are continuing on from previous years, and introduced our new Executive Director Lynn McClaren.

President Ruth Bernstone reviewed in words and pictures the many and varied activities in support of literacy over the last five years. A recognition of achievement certificate was presented to our outgoing VP of Fundraising and Grants, Vivian Green, from the Hawaii House of Representatives, signed by Cindy Evans and many other Representatives.

Representative Cindy Evans reported that we are now number one on the list of libraries to be built, following the Nanakuli, library which is to be built in 2015. She reported that this year the Waikoloa Village Association will be dealing with State and County bureaucracies in preparation for subdividing, getting a special use permit and then transferring WVA land to the State for the future library, so we’ll have to be patient!

Friends of the Library Hawaii is having an Affiliates Conference in Honolulu this month. As an affiliate – we are the only one without a library – FL-WR is sending two representatives to Honolulu to attend this event, make valuable contacts, report back to us about what other affiliates are up to and collect other information we need.

Please support us when using by choosing Friends of the Library Hawaii – Waikoloa as your charity.

January, 2015

Come join us for our 5th Annual General Meeting on Friday, January 16th, at 7 PM at the WVA Community Room. We will be celebrating our accomplishments of the past five years and looking forward to the successes of the upcoming year.

The Nominations Committe will be presenting the following slate of officers:

  • President: Ruth Bernstone
  • Executive V.P. Lynne McLaren
  • V.P. Information Tech: Sandra Martin
  • V.P. Activities & Programs: Amalia Mueller
  • V.P. Public Relations: Alexandra Bernstein
  • V.P. Finance: Cathi Keene
  • Secretary: Kathleen McCann
  • V.P. Membership: Stephanie Stearns
  • Past-President: Bette Green

Nominations will also be taken from the floor. We are still looking for a Vice President of Fundraising. Anyone who is interested or who would like more information, please contact me at

December was a busy month for the volunteers of FL-WR. In addition to our red truck and white convertible additions to the Christmas parade, where we handed out our Bookmobile bookmarks, we had a lot of fun decorating a tree for the Mauna Lani Charity Trees program. Our theme this year was Nene books. Our thanks go to our volunteers and everyone who voted with their pocketbooks and helped us win first prize!

Ruth Bernstone, President

November 9, 2014

By J.R. De Groote West Hawaii Today

Waikoloa Village was bustling with action Saturday morning as dozens of runners took to the streets for the fifth annual Friends of the Library-Waikoloa Region Walk/Run for Literacy.

“It is our major fundraiser for us,” said FL-WR Past President Bette Green. “It is not so much that the race earns money, but it keeps us in the forefront of the community’s mind as a reminder of why we are here and how important books and literacy are.”

FL-WR is a nonprofit organization that was formed in 2010 with the primary goal of bringing a Hawaii state library to the Waikoloa region.

Many strides have been made toward that goal. A piece of land by the Waikoloa Stables has been secured as the land for the library, community support and government backing have been garnered, and the state has released funds for the design of the library building.

While the group is well on its way to seeing its dream achieved, a beautifully decorated bookmobile has filled the void in the meantime.

“Our mission is to provide a learning resource center and intergenerational gathering place via the traditional bookmobile until a permanent library facility can be built,” said Green.

The bookmobile, filled with donated books, is in operation 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week thanks to a committed group of volunteers.

“We have volunteers in the bookmobile every day and it is a very enjoyable way for us who read books a lot to give back,” said Derry Morris, the group’s volunteer coordinator. “Even with the potential library being built in the future, people are asking us that we keep the bookmobile going because they enjoy it so much.

“A lot of people appreciate having these books here. They will come and get a big handful, read them, bring them back and sometimes add some of their own as donations.”

Green can recall her first memories at a library. Those came back in Annapolis, Md., at the historic Reynolds Tavern. There she developed not only her joy for reading, but also learned things like how to arrange flowers, and properly set a table.

“Those are great things that can be offered when you have a facility of bricks and mortar,” said Green. “You can change a kid’s lifestyle by presenting those types of opportunities to learn, not just by reading it in a book or seeing it on the Internet.”

The reach of the group extends beyond the goal of building a library.

For the past four years, FL-WR has sponsored the islandwide Newbery Quiz Bowl academic literacy challenge for third- through seventh-grade students. The group has also have purchased and donated Kindle electronic readers loaded with e-books for use by Waikoloa School students through their library.

This year, FL-WR assisted with establishing a scholarship in honor of a former Waikoloa Village resident Joseph E. Spadaro. Kealakehe High School’s Joel Duhaylongsod was the first recipient of the scholarship, which is awarded to students commitment to enroll in a Transportation and Applied Technology Department course in the Hawaii Community College system on Hawaii Island.

September, 2014

“Give Aloha” in September for Matching Donations from Foodland

September brings us a great opportunity to help Friends of the Library – Waikoloa Region. When you purchase at any Foodland, use your Maika’i Card and Foodland will match any donation up to $249. Just tell the cashier how much you want to donate, give them the code 78656 or our name (Bookmobile) and that amount will be added to your purchase total. 

If you don’t have a Maika’i Card, you can sign up for one at the same time you donate. Remember to keep the receipt for taxes.

Last year your donations through Foodland were amazing. They helped FL-WR to send children to the Waikoloa School summer program, others to participate in the Newbery Quiz Bowl competition, and to provide a scholarship for a Waikoloa graduate to attend community college.

Our bookmobile is a donation-based book exchange for your free use and is located at the WVA tennis/pool complex. Visit us in person or contact us at

June, 2014

Congratulations, Joel!

Friends of the Library – Waikoloa Region (FL-WR) is proud to announce that Joel Duhaylongsod is the first recipient of the Joseph E. Spadaro Memorial Scholarship, which covers tuition, fees, books and supplies for a two year program in the Transportation and Applied Technology Department at Hawaii Community College.  Joel has participated in the Kealakehe H.S. Career and Technology Education program, has a passion for cars, and plans to enroll in the Automechanics program in Hilo in the fall.  We are confident the Joel will make the most of this opportunity.

In support of our mission to encourage literacy in our community, FL-WR is providing scholarships for the Waikoloa School summer camp, as well as a pilot e-reader project at the school library during the summer program.  If the pilot project proves successful, we hope to obtain grants to provide more e-readers for the school library in the fall.

Our May luncheon at Brown’s Beach House was a great success, thanks to the efforts of Vivian Green, our V.P. of Fundraising.  Speaker Janet Lam, Branch Manager of the North Kohala Library, spoke to us about the long 15 year process North Kohala went through before their beautiful library was finished in 2010, and how pleased she is that Waikoloa has been able to move forward towards our future library as quickly as we have.

March, 2014

Calling All Waikoloa Region CTE seniors!

Joseph Spadaro and his wife Luella lived in Waikoloa for several years. Joe was an automotive educator and dedicated problem solver. He converted Aloha Airlines fleet of equipment to propane while working at Honolulu Gas Co., and later repaired the hydraulic systems on minesweepers. After Joe died in 2013, his wife Lu and family made a generous donation to Friends of the Library – Waikoloa Region (FL-WR). We are very grateful for their support.

To honor Joe’s memory, and with the full support of his family, FL-WR is providing a scholarship to sponsor one or more graduating seniors from the Waikoloa region who have participated in the Kealakehe High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, and who plan to register as full time students following graduation in the Hawaii Community College’s Transportation and Applied Technology Department for either a Certificate of Achievement or an Associate in Applied Science degree. The scholarship will cover tuition, fees, required books and supplies. Interested seniors should contact Mrs. Hartney, Counselor at Kealakehe High School for a complete description of the Joseph E. Spadaro Memorial Scholarship. Applications are due to Mrs. Hartney by April 14, 2014.

Ruth Bernstone, FL-WR President

(The bookmobile is a donation based book exchange for your use and is located at the WVA Tennis/Pool complex – visit us in person or at

Jan. 21, 2014


Stephens Media Hawaii

Waikoloa Planning, Design Moves Forward

It’s been several years since a group of more than 20 Waikoloa residents gathered in the home of state Rep. Cindy Evans to ask for a library, but plans for the community’s first library are finally underway for 2014.

“We’re hoping to get the process of planning and design along with community input done by the end of 2014,” said Ruth Bernstone, executive vice president for the Friends of the Library-Waikoloa Region.

The state Legislature allocated $800,000 for the planning and design phase of the library, and, according to Bernstone, Gov. Neil Abercrombie released $275,000 of those funds.

Bernstone is one of several Waikoloa residents who have been sedulous in their pursuit for the area’s first library.

Evans, D-North Kona and Kohala, said when that group of residents gathered at her home, she gave them one piece of advice: get organized.

“I said, ‘If you really want to make things happen, I suggest you become an affiliate of Friends of the Library in Honolulu,’” Evans said.

Friends of the Library is a nonprofit that, according to its website, works “to maintain free public libraries in the State of Hawaii, to promote extension of library services throughout the State of Hawaii and to increase the facilities of the public library system in Hawaii by securing materials beyond the command of the ordinary library budget.”

Evans said the group of volunteers took her suggestions to heart and immediately began to work, collecting money through fundraising efforts, creating bylaws to meet the statewide organization’s requirements, and meeting with the state librarian until eventually they became an affiliated branch.

From there, the group pressed the state for a bookmobile, a process Evans said was anything but easy.

“I testified in front of the Board of Education about getting a bookmobile up and running in Waikoloa and they said to me, ‘Representative, you need to know one thing: We will never support a bookmobile,’” she said.

But eventually, the board did, and Evans said the state librarian worked with the Friends of the Library-Waikoloa Region branch to acquire a vehicle that was “sitting in Kona in a garage for several years.”

“The librarian just used it for storage,” Evans said.

The group cleared its first hurdle, but from there its members had to figure out how to move the vehicle from Kona to Waikoloa.

Bette Green, Waikoloa organization president, recalled the moment as if it were yesterday.

“We got two new batteries to get it started,” she said. “It was the best thing the way it happened. Bless its pointed little head. It started right up like it knew it was suppose to.”

Green said the Waikoloa Village Association provided a space to park the bookmobile, and from there it became a place to swap books, talk story and eventually connect to wireless Internet.

“But we are still the only Friends of the Library in the state without our own library,” she said.

Green said the bookmobile was a good first step, but in the end, the Waikoloa group wants what it came for.

“We are a rural area and definitely are not served when it comes to the state providing library services,” she said. “And this area is growing.”

According to U.S. Census data, the population of Waikoloa has grown by 1,556 from 2000-10, increasing from 4,806 to 6,362. With a steadily growing population, Green contends a library is and will become a necessity for the community.

“We as a village want a place where we can meet,” she said.

Bernstone said she wants the library to be a community center, as well.

“We see it as a place where we can record interesting people’s life history,” she said. “And a place that will provide reading programs for children, and where people can use the computer. Right now, we have Wi-Fi at the bookmobile but people have to bring their own computers.

“It’ll be a benefit for everybody in the community,” she said.

Now that the group is entering the design phase for the project, Green said she would like to see the new library be “totally green.”

“I want it as green as it can be, or as green as the state can make it,” she said.

The Friends of the Library-Waikoloa Region is also taking suggestions from the public Friday at the Waikoloa Village Association Community Room.

Evans said it’s been a long journey and she is looking forward to entering the next phase of the project.

“They’ve done it step by step by step,” she said. “They’ve never lost the desire for it. I think this community is so ready for a library.”

September, 2013

Give Aloha Program

FL-WR is participating in Give Aloha, Foodland’s Annual Community Matching Gifts Program. From September 1-30, Foodland, Sack N Save and Foodland Farms customers are invited to make donations up to $249 per organization, per person to participating Hawaii non-profit organizations at checkout. 

  • At checkout, present your Maika’i card (or your 10-digit number) tell the cashier that you want to make a donation to Bookmobile – Waikoloa Village or code 78656.  If you do not have a Maika’i account, you may establish one while there .
  • Tell the cashier how much you would like to donate and that amount will be added to your grocery purchase total.    
  • Be sure the cashier reaffirms our organization’s name and amount of your donation.
  • The name of our organization and your donation amount will appear on your receipt.  If you would like us to acknowledge your donation send us a COPY of your receipt with a note to that effect. 

Give Aloha donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.  Save your store receipt for tax purposes – it will be the only record of your donation.  

Mahalo for your support.

May, 2013


June marks FL-WR’s third year of existence as well as the bookmobile’s presence in Waikoloa Village.

With your generous donations we are pleased to provide the best little book exchange on the Island.  FL-WR continues to work with State and local officials to bring a Public Library to our area. Most recently Governor Abercrombie honored us with an official proclamation making May 15, 2013 “Friends of the Library-Waikoloa Region Day”.

The work will continue throughout the summer and your participation is needed. A series of community meetings will be held requesting your ideas for library features and services. Please come to these meetings when they are announced and share your ideas. Visit the North Kohala Library it’s new, ‘green’ and may give you some ideas.

Splash into Reading with the Children’s Summer Reading Program sponsored by FL-WR at the Bookmobile for students entering grades 4, 5 and 6 this August.

Dates: June 9th to July 6th

Registration: June 7th from: 1:00 – 3:00 PM at the Bookmobile

Children entering grades 4, 5 and 6 are invited to “Splash into Reading” this summer by reading at least one chapter book per week and be rewarded with a reading incentive, while supplies last.

Friends of the Library contact Bette Green 883-0764

Jan. 8, 2013

West Hawaii Projects Funded

Two West Hawaii projects are benefiting from a recent funding release.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie released $1 million for a West Hawaii parks project and $275,000 to plan a Waikoloa library as part of a $70 million statewide capital improvements projects package last week. Rep. Cindy Evans, D-North Kohala, South Kohala and North Kona, praised the governor for the funding.

“It’s essential to our health to provide public access for recreational opportunities,” Evans said in a written statement Monday. “Park infrastructure is aging and our state parks need improvement.”

A legislative aide in Evans’ office said Department of Land and Natural Resources officials have only said the funds will be used to improve park facilities.

Evans said Waikoloa residents will be asked to participate in planning the new library.

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