Friends Groups Need Not Be Affiliated in Hawaii
There’s trouble in paradise… Hawaii is seeing controversy from an unlikely source: Friends of the Library organizations.
Over a year ago, State Librarian Richard Burns informed local Friends groups that they must become affiliates of the statewide Friends of the Library organization (also referred to as FLH or the “Big” Friends) or they would no longer be allowed to raise funds on state property, according to the Hawaii Reporter.
In response, the Friends of the Aina Haina Public Library, which does not want to join the statewide group, began a process which eventually led them to seek a change from the state legislature. The resulting bill, HB1054, passed both the Hawaii State Senate and the House on May 1, and will now go to the governor for signature.
If You Won’t Be Friends with the Big Friends, You Can’t Be Friends At All?
The source of the conflict is a 2010 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which grants the FLH exclusive rights to raise funds on state property (in a system that’s unique in the country, Hawaii’s libraries are all state-run.)