About Timberland Regional Library

Timberland Regional Library (TRL) is a public library system that provides library services to the residents of five counties in Southwest Washington State: Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties. Under Washington State law, TRL is an Intercounty Rural Library District and is funded by property taxes and revenue from timber sales in the 5-county area.

In the 1960's the Washington State Library Commission initiated a demonstration project to improve library services in Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific and Thurston counties in response to requests from the counties' residents. Through this cooperative effort, library services were consolidated to create a more efficient and economical regional operation, to increase the size of the library collections and to provide service for the first time in several rural communities.

Citizens voted in November 1968 to unite the five counties into one library district, the Timberland Regional Library (TRL). TRL services began in 21 libraries with Becky Morrison serving as the first Executive Director. Since 1968, TRL has provided information, reading and lifelong learning services at 27 libraries offering over 1 million items to more than half a million people. The library system is funded mainly by local property taxes with additional income from timber sales taxes. 

Not only were community libraries added when opportunities and dollars permitted, TRL has introduced state-of-the-art electronic services in order to provide residents with the best available library service; to provide access to all, regardless of physical limitations or geographic location; and to increase the potential of success for everyone in the system’s five counties. 

TRL Timeline 1968 – Present

  • TRL is created in December as an Intercounty Rural Library District by a vote of the residents of the unincorporated areas of Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific and Thurston counties. Becky Morrison is the Library’s first director. Today’s Timberland libraries that were part of TRL from 1968 are those in Aberdeen; Belfair (the North Mason library); Centralia; Ilwaco; Lacey; Montesano (the first building owned by TRL); Oakville; Olympia; communities in East Lewis county that now have libraries in Packwood, Randle and Salkum; Raymond; South Bend; Tumwater; Westport; Winlock and Yelm. Bookmobiles served some of the communities initially.
  • City libraries in Elma, Hoquiam, Chehalis and Tenino join TRL.
  • A joint book catalog listing the holdings of all Timberland libraries is completed and made available to patrons. Holdings are shared throughout the five-county library district.
  • Permanent library buildings replace bookmobile service in East Lewis County.
  • A TRL-owned library building opens in Packwood.
  • The Grays Harbor County bookmobile opens as the Amanda Park library.
  • The TRL Administrative Service Center opens with federal funding.
  • Library books are purchased electronically by computer for the first time.
  • The Olympia library moves to its current downtown location.
  • TRL builds a library in Belfair on land purchased by the Friends of the North Mason Library.
  • The Westport library, located in City Hall, joins TRL.
  • The Packwood library moves to its current log cabin location.
  • ALIS (Automated Library Information System) replaces the traditional card catalog.
  • Ocean Park library opens.
  • Lon Dickerson becomes TRL’s second director, succeeding retiring Becky Morrison.
  • Naselle library begins offering service via a stationary bookmobile.
  • The Tenino library moves into its present location.
  • Mountain View library opens in Randle.
  • The South Mason and Shelton libraries merge into one location in Shelton.
  • Hoodsport library opens in a storefront.
  • TRL upgrades from ALIS to the Dynix circulation system, enabling patrons to search and place holds on library books and other items by computer.
  • City of Lacey builds new library next to city hall.
  • New library buildings replace stationary bookmobiles in Amanda Park and Naselle. The Amanda Park library won a national architectural award.
  • Districtwide Central Reference telephone service begins.
  • Thelma Kruse begins as TRL’s third director.
  • A new library for Salkum opens in a remodeled service station, a bit of lore that locals love to share.
  • A new library opens in Elma.
  • City of Tumwater, in partnership with the Tumwater School District, builds new library near City Hall.
  • TRL installs dial-up modems connecting patrons to library catalogs and magazine databases.
  • TRL launches its own website to provide library and information services remotely.
  • A library building replaces Hoodsport’s storefront library. The building was the former North Mason library, barged down the canal, remodeled, and reopened—with a view.
  • Telecirc begins automated telephone notification of patron holds and overdues, saving turn-around time, paper, and approximately $100,000 in postage each year.
  • A new North Mason library opens in Belfair, replacing a beloved, but too-small library building. The new library wins a national architectural award.
  • TRL implements email notification of patron holds and overdues.
  • TRL installs Internet filter, Websense, filtering child and youth computers and providing optional unfiltered Internet access in adult-section computers.
  • TRL installs children’s CD-Rom stations at all libraries.
  • Ask A Librarian, TRL’s 24/7 Reference & Information chat and email service begins. The public receives direct telephone access to TRL Central Reference librarians.
  • With a 21st Century grant, Educational Services District 113 teams with Timberland Regional Library to open Cooperative Library Centers with TRL collections and service in six remote communities: *Taholah, Matlock, North River, Rochester, Boistfort and Wishkah.
  • The Yelm library moves out of City Hall and opens in the second-story of a new building that boasts the city’s first elevator.
  • Self-checkout service begins in 4 libraries and expands to all Timberland libraries.
  • The McCleary library moves out of City Hall and opens in a remodeled Laundromat.
  • Residents of the City of South Bend vote to annex to TRL.
  • Jodi Reng begins as TRL’s fourth Library Director.
  • A kiosk with TRL computers is installed at the South Puget Sound Community College, Hawks Prairie Center campus to provide library services to students and the public.
  • TRL provides WiFi, wireless Internet connections in the libraries.
  • A new library building opens in Westport.
  • TRL provides downloadable audio books.
  • Spanish Language Interface installed on self-checkout stations.
  • A new library opens in Chehalis with Washington’s only library drive-up window. Over 80% of the costs were funded by private donations.
  • Residents of the City of Aberdeen vote to annex to TRL.
  • The Ilwaco library moves to temporary quarters and a major renovation of the library begins.
  • TRL adds downloadable music and videos to the Download Collection.
  • The Ilwaco Library moves back into the renovated library.
  • Residents of the City of Shelton vote to annex to TRL.
  • A kiosk with TRL computers is installed at the Rainier Volunteer Library* in the Rainier Historical School.
  • Michael Crose begins as TRL’s fifth Library Director.
  • TRL adds downloadable eBooks to the Download Collection.
  • TRL introduced new library kiosk in Nisqually Tribal Library.
  • The Chehalis Timberland Library celebrates 100 years of library services.
  • TRL offers free music downloads through Freegal.
  • The Hoquiam Timberland Library celebrates 100th anniversary.
  • Residents of the City of Hoquiam vote to annex to TRL.
  • TRL partners with Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP) to offer patrons assistive devices for low vision, hearing loss and limited mobility.
  • The Ocean Park Timberland Library space is nearly doubled in a remodeling and expansion project.
  • TRL introduces several mobile applications to make accessing library services faster and more convenient.
  • Residents of the City of Morton vote to annex to TRL.
  • Cheryl Heywood begins as TRL's new Library Director.
  • TRL opens a library kiosk and bookdrop in Morton.
  • Residents of the City of Toledo vote to annex to TRL.
  • The Centralia Timberland Library celebrates 100 years of library services.
  • South Bend celebrates the 100th anniversary of the beautiful South Bend Carnegie Library.
  • The Raymond Timberland Library celebrates 100 years of library services.
  • TRL provides Common access Card (CaC) readers for use by military-affiliated personnel.
  • TRL offers wireless printing from personal laptops, tablets and smart phones.
  • TRL adds pre-loaded e-readers for patrons to borrow.
  • Residents of Winlock vote to annex to TRL.
  • TRL installs a library kiosk in the Toledo Community Library.
  • The Olympia Timberland Library celebrates 100 years of library services.
  • Residents of Raymond vote to annex to TRL.
  • TRL adds online library card registration.
  • TRL and Grays Harbor Transit form partnership to allow the sale of bus passes in the county's 8 libraries.
  • The TRL library kiosk at the South Puget Sound Community College campus in Hawks Prairie closes when the campus moves.
  • TRL and the City of Roy sign a reciprocal borrowing agreement.
  • TRL e-cards given to Olympia K-12 students, providing access to TRL's online collection.
  • Two book drops added at Lacey Fire District 3 stations in the Hawks Prairie area.
  • The Amanda Park Timberland Library was lowered as the foundation posts were replaced and access ramp updated.
  • The Lacey Timberland Library celebrated 25 years in its current building.
  • Partnership agreements were forged between TRL and Grays Harbor Transit and Intercity Transit to sell bus passes in Timberland libraries in both counties.
  • Floor support joists and new flooring were added to the Hoodsport Timberland Library in addition to additional furniture and lighting upgrades.
  • The children’s area in the Centralia Timberland Library was expanded to create a larger learning center, which included more seating, updated lighting, new toys and a wall mural by a local artist.
  • The Elma Timberland Library had the dated carpet replaced along with a fresh coat of paint and updates to the teen area.
  • Explore Timberland, an outreach initiative to bring slightly dated books from Timberland libraries and make them available at community spaces was launched.
  • The Naselle Timberland Library received new LED lighting upgrades and a modern new information desk.
  • A new kiosk and book drop opened in Hawks Prairie (Lacey).
  • The Hoquiam Timberland Library roof was replaced thanks to funding from the Washington State Legislature.
  • An ADA-accessible ramp was built from Highway 3 to near the entrance of the North Mason Timberland Library.