TRL offers extended hours of access to customers

By Taniah Najih | Timberland Regional Library

The Tenino Timberland Library will be one of six locations to have extended access hours, allowing patrons more time to visit the library.

The Timberland Regional Library (TRL) is evolving to meet the needs of the communities it serves by offering Extended Access Hours (EAH), which allows library patrons to use TRL resources outside of regular hours standard.

The Tenino Timberland Library is one of six locations that will win the EHA in the coming months. Five sites, including Hoodsport, McCleary, Naselle, Ocean Park and Packwood Timberland Libraries, already offer WASH.

“As an organization committed to providing access to library services, we recognize that visiting a public library during regular staff hours is not always an option for many people,” said Michelle Zilli, Library director Naselle Timberland, one of the WASH project leaders.

Offering WASH will have a positive effect on access to library resources, especially in rural areas, Zilli said. She noted that small rural libraries often have fewer staff hours.

“Our libraries have fantastic resources and as a public library system, we want patrons to have access to them as much as possible,” Zilli said. “By offering WASH, customers will be able to use any of these resources when it suits them.”

Anyone 18 years of age or older with a TRL library card can register for EHA during normal library hours.

Once a patron is approved for WASH and signs the agreement, they receive a key card or key fob and are shown how to use it to access the library by library staff. Staff also offer patrons a tour of library facilities.

“We want to make sure that customers know how to use all the technologies available in the branch, such as self-checkout, how to connect to a computer, how to use the copier/fax machine, etc.,” Zilli said.

Library staff also review safety information such as emergency exits, how to use phones, what to do in the event of a power outage and how to handle other types of emergencies, Zilli said.

While every adult in a family must be approved for EHA, parents and guardians who are approved can bring their own minor children, Zilli said.

“It expands the possibilities for families and all patrons to use the library,” Zilli said.

Once a customer has an EAH key card or key fob, they can use it at any library with extended access hours, Zilli said.

TRL serves 29 library locations in five counties. Visit TRL.org for more information on WASH locations and availability.

Aubrey L. Morgan