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Forward of Letter from a patron in Hawaii, sent  to Patricia Wallace, Chair,
Hawaii Working Group (ALA Social Responsibility Round Table /
Alternatives in Print Division).  Emphasis added.

Chris Eubanks
c/o Kealoha
Honolulu, HI 96819
Postmarked Jan. 23, 1997

Aloha Ms. Wallace:

        The Hawaii State Library System is a disgrace.  I don't  know
where  to start.

        The head of the library system, Bart Kane, has never run a public
library--he was a children's librarian who was elevated to his present
position by politics.

        When a state position opened to be Bart Kane's Assistant, our
professional librarians were ecstatic--some professional would be
selected to guide the libraries--someone who would know what  was
involved.  Early on, Bart Kane was incompetent -- at least to the
professionals and the public who know libraries (more than 60% of
our state population have library cards).

        The person chosen for this position was a former University of
Hawaii basketball player who had no library credentials, but was
politically connected because the basketball team he played on in
the l970's (yes, 1970's) had been successful.

        So now we have two who have no clue about public libraries.
All the professional librarians who direct our many public libraries
(23 on Oahu Island alone) have been in a state of shock ever since.
And the libraries have been  going  down the toilet ever since.

        In 1994, Kane sent out a survey to the public in which he asked
intrusive personal questions that most patrons were outraged to receive--
Not only were the personal questions outrageous.  We who received the
survey were told that if we didn't fill out and return the survey, our
cards would be cancelled.

        Last November, 1995, Kane put his new scheme to work re:
Baker & Taylor.  Until July, 1996, the entire Hawaii State Library System
had no new books.  About July, 1996, because of the outcry of patrons,
Kane authorized spending $25,000 to purchase books at the Barnes &
Noble Bookstore at a local shopping mall.

        While the libraries were being stripped of any new books, Kane
also slashed magazine subscriptions.  He touted that we all could read the
magazines off the computer.  Now "everyone" is printing articles off the
computer since one is only allowed 10 minutes at the computer....Now, the
library system has asked us, the public, to pay 10c per page of what we,
in essence, have to print.

        Regarding Baker & Taylor selecting  Hawaii's books from North
Carolina, it is a disaster.  They have sent tons of Children's paperbacks
(lucky if they last through 5 checkouts) and  a lot of other childrens'
none with library reinforced bindings.

        They have sent tons of bestsellers--way too many copies for our
needs.  They have sent every barbecue cook book published in the last
year because I assume Baker & Taylor thinks we cook outside for every
meal.  They have also sent any anthology of Chinese, Japanese or Korean
short stories, cookbooks, history, you name it.  Every book published on
golf in the last year has also been sent.  B&T doesn't seem to realize
that golfers golf.  They don't come to the library to read about it.

        Our professional librarians have been threatened that if they speak
out,   they will be fired or [subject to]  other sanctions.  The public here
outraged at the destruction of our libraries,  but Kane does what he wants
because he is politically connected.  In Hawaii, it doesn't matter if you
are qualified or not.  It's who you know or what you know to keep everyone
silent about your incompetence or peccadilloes.

        Meanwhile, our state library system, which  5 short years ago had a
super nationwide reputation, is now the laughing stock of the country.

        We do have some brave librarians who will speak out.  Ms. Sylvia
Mitchell of Liliha Public Library is one of those few.  She and her friends
demanded an audit by the State Legislature and the Legislature has
granted her request.

        Meanwhile, we here in Hawaii sit on the pile of crap that B&T ships.
They have even sent critic proofs that are not for sale or for
distribution to the public at $20.94 per copy.  I've counted at
least 25 of these.  Profit to B&T:  $532.50.

        There have been trade paperbacks on the shelf since
October.  No one has checked them out.  These are also @
$20.94 per copy.

        We in Hawaii continually ask how someone in North
Carolina can choose books for us?  They can't and our tax
money is wasted.

                                Chris Eubanks


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