Timberland Regional Library Annual Report

Message from Executive Director

2020 was a year like no other: a year of disruption and change for Timberland Regional Library (TRL) as we adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. With plans in place in January to launch TRL’s 2020-2022 Strategic Direction, many initiatives, as well as core services, had to move to a virtual platform. Our Staff did an amazing job increasing the number of, and access to, digital resources, introducing new online services such as LiveChat, and presenting virtual storytimes, book clubs and crafts programs, while preparing for and offering “Library Takeout” (curbside delivery).

Raymond, Winlock, Lacey, Olympia, and Montesano libraries received “refresh” updates, while all libraries were outfitted for Library Takeout. Partnerships with school districts and the Hands On Children’s Museum took on added importance to meet the needs of children and teens.

TRL responded to the racial unrest across the nation with an Anti-racism statement and an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan.

At the August 2020 Board meeting, the Trustees approved a Mobile Services Plan, a Library Express Stand pilot program in the Grand Mound area, and two popular demonstration libraries, one in West Olympia and the other in Hawks Prairie. Staff are currently working on all these plans – stay tuned for exciting updates in 2021.

TRL’s new vision, “libraries connecting to our communities” took on a new dimension. We continued to provide public library service the best we could, while keeping everyone safe.

As one team, TRL staff have proven to be resilient, rising to the challenges.

Enjoy the highlights,

Cheryl Heywood

National Coming Out Day, October 11.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

When we are successful in completing the work highlighted in this Action Plan, we will have created a foundation from which to sustain continual work towards equity, diversity, and inclusion.

To view TRL’s progress toward the Action Plan, please visit TRL.org/action-plans

Latinx Youth Summit 2020

TRL, I sure do like how you have become. So glad you are connecting with ALL the TRL communities - both geographical and sociological. – Patricia C

Pre-COVID January – March 13, 2020

1,254 Published Events in Library Market Calendar

Popular Events:

  • PageTurners Book Discussion
  • AARP Free Tax Help
  • Storytimes
  • Buying Your New Home
  • Dr. Seuss’s Birthday Party
  • Chair Yoga for Relaxation
  • Build & Play
  • Explorer’s Club: Dioramas
  • Tech Tutoring
  • Teen Tech Tutors: Drop-In Tech Help
  • Countdown to Kindergarten
  • Mat Yoga
  • Art Lab
  • Coffee & Crafts: Woodburning Project
  • Drama Workshop
  • Sea Glass Art
  • Movie Night
  • Storytime at Kaleidoscope Play and Learn
  • Introduction to the Census
  • Pour Painting for Kids
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Drama Studio
  • Drop In Math Tutoring
  • STEAM Wednesdays
  • and many more

Today one of our regular patrons brought in the textbook he wrote! He has spent the last few years using the library almost every day doing the writing and revision process. During the creation of this 900-page manuscript, library staff helped him order dozens of interlibrary loan books and articles. As well as helping him format chapters, bibliography, footnotes, and equations in Microsoft Word. He used our free printing, copying, and scanning extensively too. It’s all finally come together in the published textbook!

2020 Census

It is crucial that everyone gets counted once, and only once, and in the right place. The official count begins March 12, 2020.

Census Day, which was April 1, 2020, only comes around once every ten years. Census data is important for determining congressional representation as well as allocating federal funding to important programs like Medicaid, SNAP, Head Start, and more, which is why libraries like TRL helped to spread the word about the Census.

Watch the Facebook video by clicking here.

Libraries offer public computers and free internet access to help make sure you are counted. 2020 Census data informs the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funding each year, your representation in Congress, community initiatives, and more. Make sure you count everyone living in your home, including newborn babies and young children, on the 2020 Census.

You Count, Be Counted!

March 13 – Present Day

The pandemic changed how Timberland Regional Library interacted with our communities and led to a more virtual existence.

2020 was about connecting to Patrons in meaningful ways, ensuring the health and safety of all, where staff:

  • Added the “Anywhere Book Club” – read, listen, or watch a title with no waiting
  • Added Take & Make Activity bags for all ages
  • Provided new TRL StoryTrails added in the City of Olympia
  • Provided Curiosity Kits – art supplies and activities in partnership with the Hands on Children’s Museum and local businesses’ support
  • Provided for check out new Environmental Education Backpacks, as part of the Library of Things Collections
  • Personalized Library Grab Bags for check out
  • Provided Storytimes and other programs at trl.org Youtube channel
  • Added Creative Bug, an online arts and crafts resource for all ages
  • Reached one day turn around for most physical items out to libraries
  • Launched Tipasa, a new Interlibrary loan software
  • Completed RFID tagging “in library” rather than outsourcing saving $260,000

2020 was also about our Staff, our heroes, who are amazingly talented, with a willingness to learn and to try something new and who:

  • Lead from the heart, with kindness and grace
  • Provided excellent customer service to our patrons
  • Rose to the challenges with agility, flexibility and resiliency
  • Worked closely with Management and the Unions to keep staff safe and informed
  • Saw the good in the face of the bad, and who took the practice of silver linings in any cloud to a whole new level

I am so very proud of our work and commitment during 2020. Thank you for a job very well done during the most challenging year any of us have ever faced.

We hope the following pages will bring you joy, inspiration, and hope,


Stay Connected Online

We pulled together Online Resources and information to help during our Emergency Closure. We made our collection of ebooks, audiobooks, streaming videos, digital magazines, and more available 24/7. New services were added: Creative Bug, LiveChat with our employees, and email your questions to asklib@trl.org.

Few samples of our online programs:

Popular online resources available with your TRL card & pin, visit TRL.org/reference-databases for our complete list.

OverDrive: Offers a wide range of ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines in all genres and works with almost any device

Libby: Download the app on Google Play or Apple App to borrow ebooks and audiobooks powered by OverDrive

Kanopy: Stream over 30,000 indie and classic films

Consumer Reports: Magazine website with buying guides, reviews, and user ratings

Creativebug: Art & craft video classes taught by design experts and artists

Lynda.com: Online classes with topics on software, technology, creative, and business skills

MyTRL: Special student digital accounts allow students to login to TRL all without needing a physical card

Worksource: Partnership helping job seekers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners

Our annual Summer Library Program (SLP) went virtual June 1 - August 31. This year the deadline was extended to October 10.

Due to the changes in programs the online Summer Library program sponsored three local performers for multiple online performances. All programs were recorded and shared on the TRL Youtube channel.

Thank you to Jeff Evans, Heidi Larsen, and Mr Lizard!

Online Activity logs available on Beanstack app or and www.trl.beanstack.com
Participating with Jeff Evans virtually from the comfort of home.
  • Contact-free holds pick up
  • Access Wi-Fi (6 a.m. to midnight)
  • Remote Printing
  • Phone in or online request for pre-assembled ready to go themed grab bags of books, movies, and music available the same day. For customized grab bags, Library staff will pull 4 or 5 items for you based from your request.
We love that the Longmate family spent time at the North Mason Timberland Library on a hot day, using the wi-fi and doing school work!

Congratulations to Erin McAdams, who was recently praised for her creation of “Takeout at the Curbside” video featured on cracked.com. Click on the image above to watch the video.

To view the impact of Library Takeout please visit our web page here.

Library Takeout Grab Bags

Need help finding your next great read? Let your local library staff help pick some titles out for you to explore. All ages and genres.

  • Call your local library
  • Email: AskLib@trl.org
  • LiveChat on TRL.org
  • Complete the online form at TRL.org/grab-bag

Shelton Timberland Library Facebook video shares the new service of Grab Bags. (Click here to watch the video.)

Thank you so much Timberland Regional Library & North Mason Timberland Library you guys are doing an AMAZING job with #takeout. You guys nail it every time with these AWESOME #grabbags even leaving a note to let us know you searched for a book!! My kids thoroughly enjoy & look forward to our “new normal” Library trips! #ilovemylibrary – Courtney A

Thank you so much for putting these together! My kids are so happy to have books to hold and read, paperless just isn’t quite the same. – Alissa F

Visit TRL.org/mytrl-program-students to find your School District’s status.

MyTRL is a partnership between Timberland Regional Library, our School Districts, and Capital Region ESD 113. Students and educators can take advantage of a wide range and depth of educational tools to facilitate all stages of lifelong learning.

New Services

Anywhere Book Club - read, listen, or watch any of these titles available now with no waiting. Selection changes monthly. For more information and to check out ABC selections, visit TRL.org/book-clubs-trl

Take and Make kits are now available at your library. Come grab one during takeout hours while supplies last! Crafts vary by age and location.

Has screen time got you down? Should you need a reason to get outside, enjoy a Story Trail! It’s a deconstructed picture book that you can enjoy one page at a time as you walk along the path.

  • Woods Creek Watchable Wildlife Trail #247 in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest
  • Collaboration with Olympia Parks, picture book and trail will change monthly during peak season

Checkout and explore our unique natural environments, test a product, or take up a new hobby with items from our Library of Things collections! Visit TRL.org/library-things

The Hands On Children’s Museum has partnered with TRL to bring your child the free library edition of their awesome Curiosity Kits which contain basic art supplies and simple activities. They are available at Library Takeout.

2,350 kits received from Hands On Children Museum!

Thank you, thank you! – Jordan K

You guys are amazing with the ways you’re trying to keep the library a place of positivity during this time. Good JOB~ – Arlene D

Remodels, Refreshes, and Installs

During the public closures, planned projects were completed ahead of schedule.

  • Installed computer tables in all 27 libraries
  • Replaced printers with B&W/full color copiers


  • Montesano – exterior paint and refreshed landscaping
  • Raymond – painting, re-flooring, & chimney (repairs by city)
  • Winlock – refresh
  • North Mason – refresh (first in 20 years)
  • Olympia – refresh
  • Lacey – remodel
Congratulations to the Montesano Timberland Library on celebrating 60 years on September 9!


Congratulating Jamie Gogocha, Library Assistant at Tenino, for being named finalist in TWO categories of the Best of 2019 Adelaide Literary Awards, sponsored by Adelaide Magazine. She was a finalist in the Essay and Short Story categories. Her works will be published in Adelaide’s Best of 2019 Anthology.

Please join me in congratulating Erika Lehtonen, who is one of five people nationwide selected as an ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children, a division of ALA) Equity Fellow! The ALSC Equity Fellowship Program began in 2018 and was extended to an additional year for the pilot cohort of fellows. Here’s additional information from ALA: “The program was developed to reduce barriers to participation for American Indian/Alaska Native/First Nations, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Middle Eastern and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander individuals. The fellowship will provide recipients with funding for two year ALSC and ALA memberships and one year of conference registrations and travel stipends for ALA Annual Conference. Fellowship recipients will also receive mentorship from members of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within ALSC Task Force. The recipients were selected from over 30 eligible applicants all over the country. All demonstrated passion for service to children and dedication to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Congratulations to Westley Wolford and Mary Prophit who were recently awarded the “1st Annual Gifford Awards Best Read Trail Video” from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest – the video, starring Mary and Andrea Durham from the Forest Service, was selected from among over 100 submissions, by Region 6 Office of Communication and Community Engagement staff for the Best Read Award. Christopher Bentley, Regional Digital Media Specialist with the Pacific Northwest Regional Office, USDA wrote: “Congratulations on your award “Best Read” video of the year award. Your very inviting video encourages people to not just get into the woods but also to learn and read and visit the public library. These kinds of collaborations definitely strengthens relationships and amplify our messages. Thank you so much for all of your efforts on it and everything else you’ve done to bring the forest to the public.”

© Timberland Regional Library