Timberland Regional Library

Last updated
Timberland Regional Library
Timberland Regional Library logo.svg
Centralia Timberland Library.jpg
Centralia branch in Lewis County
Type Public library
Location Western Washington, U.S.
Coordinates 47°02′38″N122°49′21″W / 47.04389°N 122.82250°W / 47.04389; -122.82250 Coordinates: 47°02′38″N122°49′21″W / 47.04389°N 122.82250°W / 47.04389; -122.82250
Branches27 locations
Size1.2 million items
Access and use
Circulation4.5 million
Population served496,075
Other information
DirectorCheryl Heywood
Website trl.org
Timberland Regional Library
References: Washington Public Library Statistical Report, 2016 [1]

Timberland Regional Library (TRL) is a public library system serving the residents of western Washington state, United States including Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston counties. Timberland Regional Library has 27 community libraries, 2 cooperative library centers, and 3 library kiosks. It was founded in 1968, following a four-year demonstration project, and is funded through property taxes and timber taxes.



A two-year demonstration library system, the Timberland Library Demonstration (TLD), was established in 1964 to serve Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston counties, using $310,000 in funds from the federal Library Services and Construction Act and local sources. [2] Each of the counties had cities with independent library systems and several rural library districts, including the Grays Harbor County Rural Library District and South Puget Sound Regional Library, who chose to either join or opt out of the demonstration project. [3] The Timberland Library Demonstration relied on the Washington State Library to process its books, which were also stored in municipal libraries. [3] The system debuted its bookmobile in September 1964, based in Centralia and traveling on ten routes between rural areas in all five counties. [4] [5] The formation of a permanent library district would require a public vote, which was pushed back from 1966 to 1968, waiting for a more favorable general election. [6] The South Puget Sound Regional Library, which comprised Mason and Thurston counties, threatened to leave the demonstration later in 1966 over the effectiveness of the program for their counties. [7] After months of negotiation, the two counties reversed their decision, allowing the demonstration project to continue for another two years. [8]

On November 5, 1968, residents of unincorporated areas in the five counties approved the establishment of an intercounty rural library district, with four counties having large margins in favor of the library. [3] The Timberland Regional Library became the state's third intercounty district, following the North Central Regional Library in northeastern Washington and the Sno-Isle Regional Library in the northern Puget Sound area. [9] The new library formed its board the following month and opened its headquarters at the 1914 Carnegie library in Olympia. [3]

2009 failed ballot measure

On February 3, 2009, approximately 53% of voters within TRL's five-county district turned down "Levy Lid Lift Proposition 1" in a special election. [10] This proposition would have lifted the 34.5-cent (per thousand dollars of assessed valuation) cap on TRL's property tax levy rate. As a result, the Library Board determined that approximately 2.5 million dollars would need to be cut from TRL's 2010 budget. [11]


The Timberland Regional Library system has 27 community libraries and four kiosks serving most cities in its five-county area. [12] The cities of Mossyrock, Napavine, Ocean Shores, Pe Ell, and Vader are not part of the library's district. [13] TRL also offers access to information services via online reference databases, library catalog, toll-free telephone 6 days a week as well as many other resources 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Ebooks and digital audiobooks, provided by the digital distributor OverDrive, can be downloaded from the library's website.

Zine collection

The Olympia branch has a special collection of zines, many created by local authors. [14] [15] There were over 2,000 zines in the collection as of 2016. [16]

Reciprocal library systems

TRL participates in reciprocal borrowing agreements with the following public library systems in Washington State. Under this program, TRL cardholders can obtain free accounts at these library systems, and vice versa.

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  1. "2016 Washington Public Library Statistical Report" (PDF). Washington State Library. October 2017. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  2. "Regional Library Plan: Voters To Decide TLD's Future". The Daily Chronicle . Centralia, Washington. Associated Press. August 15, 1968. p. 18. Retrieved December 27, 2017 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  3. 1 2 3 4 "TRL Board of Trustees Manual: A History of Timberland Regional Library" (PDF). Timberland Regional Library. March 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  4. "Free Library 'Ride' To End In Nov. 5 Election". The Daily Chronicle. Centralia, Washington. June 17, 1968. p. 1. Retrieved December 27, 2017 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  5. "Timberland Demonstration: Bookmobile Service Set In County". The Daily Chronicle. Centralia, Washington. August 29, 1964. p. 7. Retrieved December 27, 2017 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  6. "Timberland: Library Vote Postponed". The Daily Chronicle. Centralia, Washington. June 22, 1966. p. 1. Retrieved December 27, 2017 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  7. Koenninger, Tom (August 13, 1966). "Timberland Library Battles For Survival". The Daily Chronicle. Centralia, Washington. p. 7. Retrieved December 27, 2017 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  8. "Timberland: Threat to Library Lifted". The Daily Chronicle. Centralia, Washington. December 14, 1966. p. 1. Retrieved December 27, 2017 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  9. "Timberland: Board To Be Selected". The Daily Chronicle. Centralia, Washington. November 11, 1968. p. 1. Retrieved December 27, 2017 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  10. Thurston County Elections website. Accessed 3/28/2009. "Election Results". Archived from the original on 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
  11. The Olympian, March 16, 2009. Accessed on The Olympian's website on 3/28/2009. http://www.theolympian.com/opinion/story/788736.html%5B%5D
  12. "Timberland Library Locations". Timberland Regional Library. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  13. "2012 Action Plan Status Report" (PDF). Timberland Regional Library. December 19, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  14. Tammy Robacker (May 29, 2008). "South Sound zine scene". Northwest Military. Tacoma.
  15. "Zine libraries". Barnard Zine Collection. Barnard College . Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  16. Micheal Martinez-Esquibel (October 12, 2016), "Olympia Zine Festival", Cooper Point Journal