Hawaii State Library


About Hawaii State Library


Next to the Iolani Palace is Honolulus main library, the Hawaii State Library, home to over half a million books. At the librarys entrance, you will find 20-foot high Tuscan columns, 18-foot arches, and a bust of Carnegie, who donated $100,000 to the buildings project.


Architect Henry D. Whitfield designed the building, and American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie helped fund its construction. Initial construction began with a groundbreaking in 1911, with construction completed in 1913. Some 65 years later, the Hawaii State Capitol was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Nearby is the Honolulu Hale, Kawaiahao Church, King Kamehameha the Great Statue, and the Hawaii State Capitol Building.

The beginnings of Hawaiis library system began in 1879 as a local Reading Room for sailors with a collection of about 5,000 volumes. In 1959, after Statehood, the Hawaii State Legislature created the Hawaii State Public Library System, which today includes nearly 50 branches and over 3 million books.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Oahu
  • Amenities: Nearly all types of media, from books to DVDs to microfilm to cassettes and much more. Bathrooms, drinking fountains, government documents center, reference desk, new library card applications.
  • Insider Tip: The library houses an extensive Hawaiiana section where you can find books on all corners of Hawaiian culture.
  • Fun Fact: Andrew Carnegie helped funding many public libraries across America.
  • What to Expect: Residents studying on their free time, perusing the aisles and aisles of books, or taking a nap. Tourists enjoying nearby landmarks like the Kamehameha Statue and Iolani Palace.
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