A major new resource of the Curriculum Research & Development Group is the CRDG Hawaiian Library (CHL) (also known as the “Laiberry”), whose inventory consists of approximately 5,700 references largely focused on Hawaiian culture and history. The Hawaiian/Pacific collections in the University of Hawai‘i’s Hamilton Library and the state of Hawai‘i’s public library system are larger in number, but the CHL has many items that are not in either of those libraries. Furthermore, virtually all of the resources in the CHL may be borrowed and used outside of the CHL’s premises.
A major impetus for the development of the CHL was the production of the Ka Wana series, twelve books on different aspects of Native Hawaiian traditional and contemporary practices and beliefs written by Malcolm Nāea Chun. These books were produced as part of the Pihana Nā Mamo project that was funded through the US DOE Native Hawaiian Education program. As the five-year project grew, principal investigator Morris Lai saw a critical need to have numerous references close at hand. Lai’s father, Kum Pui Lai, had been a long-time collector of books on Hawai‘i and, upon learning of the project at CRDG, donated a large number of his Hawai‘i book collection to CRDG. Morris Lai also donated most of his collection. As the collection grew, and as word of it spread and scholars and students began to make increasing use of it, the Laiberry was formally established with the creation of a University of Hawai‘i Foundation account for its continued support.