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BRIEF: Legislative Hearings Now Webcast at State Libraries

Posted February 17, 2012, 07:17 AM HST Updated February 17, 2012, 03:43 PM HST
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Hilo Public Library. Photo Courtesy: Hawaii State Public Library System

The Hawaii State Capitol is teaming up with the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) to provide a new place for people to watch state legislative meetings and hearings.

In a new project that began yesterday, streaming video of these meetings is made available to people on designated “Legislative Webcast” computers at public libraries across the state. Both House and Senate streams are available for users with their own set of headphones.

In a release, State Librarian Richard Burns said that this was a project that has been in the making for at least a year. “We have been working with the legislators and their staffs for more than a year to provide this service and have implemented the technology pieces necessary to provide this service for our patrons,”  said Burns.

The funding for this service came from various grants and donations. The funding for the designated webcast computers came from Hawaii’s Access for All Grant through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and leveraged with funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Opportunity Online program.

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The library also says that matching funds were given by the Friends of the Library of Hawaii, the Omidyar Ohana Fund, coming through the Hawaii Community Foundation, and the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation.

The HSPLS recommends that those interested in watching a webcast make a reservation in advance. A reservation can be made, with or without a library card, by calling your local library.

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