Olympia Library History
In December of 1896, the Women’s Club of Olympia established a library service with “reading matter” donated by citizens. In March 1909, the city offered to take over the collection of some 900 volumes and maintain a public library.
The Olympia library was housed in a Carnegie building at 7th and Franklin until 1978 when a new library was built and opened at 8th and Franklin. Olympia joined the Timberland library district in 1968.
The library underwent extensive remodels in 2000 and 2008. In 2000, the building was re-carpeted and painted; a meeting room was converted to additional space for the children's area; and new public computers, computer stations, a teen area, and shelving for about 10,000 additional items were added.
In 2008, the circulation and information desks were replaced, the building was re-carpeted and painted in bright, warm colors, the lounge furniture was replaced, and the computer stations were refurbished. In November 2013 the City of Olympia installed 33 solar panels on the Olympia Library rooftop. See more information about the solar panels including real time usage data.
After closing for two months during the winter of 2019, Olympia Timberland Library re-opened to the public on Monday, February 3.
This renovation closure was the result of library space planning that had been in process for a few years. Timberland staff and management reviewed the physical layout of the city-owned building and identified changes that could be accomplished to better serve library patrons, while making sure all public space is ADA accessible.
Instead of a major renovation, the library was 'refreshed' with increased seating, new carpet, paint, computer stations, and shelving to create a nice open space. Service points were also improved with the installation of new information desks with multiple heights to help us serve the needs of all patrons.