Library remains open: Despite part-time status of librarian post, Konawaena High facility still in use
Rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, the Konawaena High School library’s doors remain open.
Despite a reduction in the librarian position to part time, the facility is open to students during lunch and recess and to groups of students under the supervision of teachers during class times, Principal Shawn Suzuki said. The library also is used for after-school tutoring, he said.
Library access has been a center of contention for some parents and students who opposed Suzuki’s decision last school year to cut the librarian post to half-time. Rumors have circulated that the facility has been shuttered, but Department of Education officials say that’s not the case.
The school’s full-time librarian, Woody Plaut, left the position in response to the cutback and took up work as a library media specialist at nearby Konawaena Middle School. Suzuki declined to say whether the part-time position left by Plaut had been filled, citing the privacy of personnel issues.
The reduction of the librarian position was at the center of student protests in January, and unhappiness about the situation lingers.
“My husband and I are deeply disappointed in Konawaena’s decision to cut the funding for their librarian,” said Kelli Totten, the parent of four children who have attended the high school, in an email. “The library served as a hub of information for the entire school.”
Besides its collection of literature, the library houses a 65-computer lab and the Konawaena Virtual Library. DOE officials last year said the reduction was prompted by budget constraints similar to those that have caused other schools to shed library staff or cut hours.
The school funding formula allows principals the flexibility to put money where they think it is most needed, West Hawaii Complex Area Superintendent Art Souza said.
“The downside is that, if you don’t have enough money, you have to make hard decisions,” Souza said.
“You can’t cut classroom positions.”
Email Bret Yager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.