Hawaii State Library: Hawaii State Public Library System

Would you like to apply for a U.S. passport and learn about traveling abroad and the countries you’re visiting? Are you an inventor researching patents? Are you also interested in foreign trade and marketing possibilities for your product? In Honolulu, Hawaii, you’re in luck; the Hawaii State Library (HSL) has a rich Federal depository collection and offers many additional services involving U.S. Government information. In addition to serving as a Federal depository library since 1929, spanning years as a U.S. territory and state, the library’s Federal Documents Section partners with other Federal agency programs for services that regularly attract new visitors and returning patrons alike. The knowledgeable and helpful staff express, “E Komo Mai” or “Welcome” to all. 

The Hawaii State Library is the main library of the Hawaii State Public Library System, which supports three Federal depositories within the state. When entering the library building, the Federal Documents Section is clearly identifiable with colorful Government posters. The unit has a historic Federal depository collection, public computers, staff-created resource guides, and much more. Federal Documents Section staff have proactively sought out opportunities that enhance access to the Federal depository collection and U.S. Government information in general, resulting in greater visibility for the depository collection and the library.

The Federal Documents Section is designated as an official Passport Acceptance Facility by the U.S. Department of State. HSL staff, specially trained and annually certified, execute applications for those citizens who must appear in person when applying for a passport. The service generates revenue which the library uses to purchase additional materials. It also attracts many new library visitors, thus providing an opportunity to promote library services and programs offered by HSL.

The Section serves as the sole official Patent and Trademark Resource Center for Hawaii and the Pacific area, meaning the library acquires a specialized collection of publications from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and staff receive specialized training to assist intellectual property researchers. One of the most unique patent resources is the color collection of plant patents, which is not available in any other formats or accessible through the Internet. Through their membership in the Patent and Trademark Resource Center Program, the library also has access to PubWEST, the public version of a robust patent search engine with additional search features not found in other no-cost patent resources.

In addition, the library is a participant in the U.S. Census Bureau’s State Data Center Program, acquiring and maintaining additional U.S. Census Bureau statistics for researchers interested in demographic and economic census data. Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism relies on the library’s service as a Hawaii State Data Center Affiliate.

In yet another Federal agency service partnership, the library participates in the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Tax Forms Outlet Program, acquiring and providing printed copies of major tax forms to patrons. The Federal Documents Section also offers electronic access to other tax forms and related IRS informational resources.

Considering all the services that the Federal Documents Section provides, the staff are known for their knowledge and customer service. To illustrate this, Stewart Chun, the head of the Federal Documents Section, received the 2011 Hawaii State Public Library System Employee of the Year award. He was honored for his dedication to the Hawaii State Library for spearheading the Federal service partnerships and for efforts enhancing access to the collections. The Federal Documents Section staff are also very involved within the library community. One of the activities they support is an internship for a University of Hawaii at Manoa Library and Information Science Program student. In addition, Mr. Chun recently presented about reference services using legal information at a Hawaii Library Association conference.

If you visit the Hawaii State Library, you’ll enjoy the services and wealth of U.S. Government information resources available to you. GPO appreciates the commitment and dedication of the Hawaii State Library and wishes the library continued success.

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