The beginnings of the Honolulu Library and Reading Room, 1879.

Library and Reading Room.

We are pleased to see that this institution which is designed to meet a real need in this community, is exhibiting a very commendable degree of enterprise in the line of its appointed work. At the last business meeting, a new Constitution and By Laws were adopted, of the most liberal and practical character. The membership is now open to all respectable persons of sixteen years old and upwards without qualification of race, creed, or any distinction whatever either natural or artificial. The rooms are open every week day from 10 a. m. to 10 p. m., and on Sundays, from 9 a. m. to 9 p. m. Books from the library may be drawn out and returned every day and evening except Sundays. By the last arrival from San Francisco an invoice of books was received embracing a number of the latest works of the most popular authors. These are now on the shelves and at the disposal of members. The library which already contains nearly nine hundred volumes and is constantly increasing, comprises a very good and diversified collection of reading, calculated to suit a variety of tastes. The supply of papers and periodicals regularly supplied to the reading room is for a town of this size exceedingly liberal. Some of these are subscribed for by the association and others are furnished through the liberality of friends. The following can be found on the tables at all times.

 San Francisco Bulletin, Chronicle, Alta, Post, Call, News Letter, Sacramento Union, New York Tribune Herald, Ledger, Spirit of the Times, Independent, Boston Journal and Pilot, Philadelphia Progress, Army and navy Journal, Scientific American, American Agriculturist, Detroit Free Press, Engineer, Manufacturer and Builder, Australasian, London Illustrated News and Punch, American Punch, Harper’s Weekly, Frank Leslies Illustrated and Popular Monthly, London Saturday Review, Lloyd’s Weekly, Weekly Times, Dublin Nation, Jewish Messenger, Harper’s Monthly, Scribner’s Monthly, Atlantic Monthly, North American Review, Popular Science Monthly, Appleton’s Journal, American Journal Arts and Sciences, Eclectic Magazine, London Quarterly, Edinburgh Quarterly, N. British Quarterly, Westminster Review, Chamber’s Journal, Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Hawaiian Gazette.

It is furthermore the desire and intention of the officers of the association to provide not only a reading room and library but also a convenient place of pleasant resort, open at all reasonable hours, where persons so disposed can spend their leisure time agreeably as well as profitably. With this idea they have provided checker and chess boards, dominos &c. which the members are free to use at all times except Sundays, the only restriction placed upon the use of games being that there shall be no gambling—that is to say no playing for stakes.

A separate room is provided for conversation, games &c. so that those who desire to spend their leisure time in a more sociable manner can do so without in any way interfering with the quiet necessary to be preserved in a reading room proper. The association have just secured a five year lease of the entire upper part of the building where they are now located and will thus be enabled to enlarge their accommodations and provide additional facilities for mental culture and rational enjoyment as the needs of the public and the income of the organization may from time to time warrant. The sum required from each individual member is quite small; viz one dollar initiation fee and fifty cents per month dues. No formality is required in becoming a member except to sign the roll and pay the prescribed dues when called for by the Treasurer. A careful estimate shows that at the above rate, a membership will be sufficient to pay all current expenses, keep the reading room liberally supplied with newspapers and current periodical literature and leave a surplus each year to be applied to the purchase of books of permanent value for the library. There ought in our opinion to be no question about securing the necessary support for an institution so well started, so intelligently organized, so liberally conducted and so much needed as this is.

(Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 8/30/1879, p. 2)

Library and Reading Room.

The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Volume XXIV, Number 9, Page 2. August 30, 1879.

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