While it’s not quite official, Toledo residents can count on being able to take part in Timberland Regional Library (TRL) services after what appears to be the successful passage of Annexation into the TRL District during the Nov. 6 Election.
Passing as of Nov. 8 with 66 percent approval, annexation had been promoted since April as an important and necessary step toward establishing a TRL library in Toledo after property owners Pat and Bill Caldwell proposed the use of their building at 241 Cowlitz St. (formerly the Toledo Pharmacy) as a viable location for a library.
While TRL officials have made clear annexation offers no guarantee any library facilities will be established in the city, they have said annexation is necessary to begin a study of which facilities, if any, would be appropriate for Toledo.
But library or no, the successful passage of annexation does guarantee a library card and access to all TRL services for Toledo residents starting the end of this month, according to TRL Communications Manager Jeff Kleingartner.
"Once the election is certified," stated Kleingartner in reference to the Nov. 26 certification deadline, "residents of the City of Toledo can come into any Timberland Library with photo ID and proof of residence (such as a utility bill) and get a TRL library card."
Once acquired, a TRL card will be valid at any location within the district, which spans Lewis, Pacific, Thurston, Grays Harbor and Mason Counties, and grants access to a large collection of books, movies and music, both hard copies and online.
Kleingartner said these services will be offered with no library card fee for district residents, which is otherwise $83 annually, and will be available to Toledo more than a year before the district sales tax of $0.415 per $1,000 of assessed value takes effect in 2015.
In the mean time, TRL is expected to soon begin the process of evaluating Toledo’s service needs by first holding a meeting of the Facilities Committee this week, at which time a Service Point Analysis (SPA) will be proposed.
"The SPA is developed by TRL Administration and looks at several factors," said Kleingartner, "such as population to be served, distance to other libraries, community support, and many other specific details that would be important to consider."
The results of the SPA, if it is commissioned, will then be presented to the Facilities Committee, who will review the report and determine either if more information is needed or if they are prepared to offer a recommendation to the TRL Board of Directors.
The ultimate decision of whether or not a facility will be established in Toledo rests with the Board, who may decide to approve a book drop location, a kiosk with books on reserve, a full library, or no facility at all.
TRL has advised residents who wish to be supportive of the SPA process or any other steps toward establishing a Toledo Library to do so through Toledo’s Friends of the Library program, which currently meets Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. during the Vision:Toledo Arts, Rec and Events meeting at the Morgan Arts Centre. To learn more about how to become involved, call the Arts Centre at (360) 864-4ART or the Calwells at Caldwell@toledotel.com.