Hawaiʻi Specialist Librarian Kapena Shim

Kapena Shim was born in Honolulu and raised in Southern California. After high school, Kapena returned to Hawaiʻi to study at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where he began a journey of connecting with the stories of his ancestors. These stories are a grounding source of inspiration and transformation for his work as a librarian. He believes libraries are lifelines for our communities because the rich cultural repositories of ʻike (knowledge) can empower Hawaiʻi’s youth and families. In 2010, he completed concurrent bachelor’s degrees in Hawaiian Studies and Hawaiian Language and a Master’s of Science degree in library and information science in 2013.

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The Hawaiʻi Specialist Librarian position became vacant in January 2012 with the retirement of longtime Hawaiian Collection curator Joan Hori. Kapena will join librarians Dore Minatodani and Jodie Mattos in the Hawaiian Collection, where his job duties will include collection development and management, library instruction, and reference. CPIS MA candidate Kealiʻi MacKenzie also continues to work in the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections as a reference librarian.