Adopted by the Timberland Regional Library Board of Trustees on May 25, 2005

Mission Statement
Timberland Regional Library provides Information Resources Services Places where all people are free to Read Learn Connect Grow

Vision Statement
For every reader, the best book; For every question, the best answer; For every need, the best resource; For every encounter, the best experience; For every library dollar, the best value; For every person, a place to belong.

Timberland (TRL) was created in 1968 as an Intercounty Rural Library District by a vote of the residents of the unincorporated areas of the five counties (Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific and Thurston) after a Demonstration Project (1964-1968) funded by federal, state and local grants. The service area covers nearly 7,000 square miles and now (2005) serves a population of 421,195 residents through 27 community libraries (or branches) with a collection of nearly 1.7 million items. The District is governed by a seven-member Board of Trustees appointed by county commissioners, with a trustee from each county and two additional trustees filling at-large positions. Before TRL was created, Lewis County had no library service in the rural areas. In the rural areas of the other counties, service was provided by the South Puget Sound Regional Library, the Grays Harbor County Rural Library District and the Pacific County Rural Library District. During the 1964-68 Demonstration Project, grant funds enabled new library service through rented buildings in Tumwater and Lacey and bookmobiles in previously un-served rural areas. Many cities within TRL provided their citizens with library service for years prior to the creation of the rural county library districts. Seven of these cities owned original Andrew Carnegie funded buildings or other gifted facilities. Others provided service from space in city halls or other city buildings. After TRL was created, most of these cities began contracting with TRL for library service to take advantage of economies of scale and more services and resources. By 1975, seventeen cities with independent municipal libraries had contracted with TRL. The last city to bring its library into TRL was Shelton in 1988. All eighteen cities continue to contract with TRL for service or have annexed to the District. Through the branches in these cities, TRL serves most of the population of the District—both city residents and rural residents. A key part of TRL’s model of service is to combine the revenue from both the rural areas and the cities and use it to provide enhanced services and resources through the city branches. In more remote rural areas far from cities, TRL has replaced bookmobiles with buildings using grant funds and timber revenue. Better library service has been established in the far corners of the District. Also in rural areas, TRL has created partnerships with schools and tribes to create service points called cooperative library centers which provide library services to the general public a few hours a week. Besides the books, magazines, newspapers, tapes, videos, CDs, programs and other services available in community libraries and cooperative library centers, TRL also provides outreach services to groups and individuals District wide. In recent years, TRL added access to information services via toll free telephone 7 days a week as well as access to the library’s computer catalog and many other computerized resources 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Most customers use and enjoy the library as a physical place, but an increasing number of customers use the library as a virtual library. TRL continually seeks creative ways to meet the needs of the residents of the District.


Timberland Regional Library is dedicated to serving the residents and communities of the five counties of the District. In order to be acquainted with the needs and goals of our constituents, we began a process of getting to know our communities better in January of 2004. We started with a map study in each library to get a snapshot of the service area of each building. In the ensuing months, we conducted a series of “Community Chats” where representatives of organizations, agencies, businesses, and other members of the communities came together at the library to talk about issues and challenges in their area. At the conclusion of these chats, Timberland staff searched the reports of these chats for issues that were common to many of our service areas. We then discussed ways in which libraries could respond to these community challenges. In the process, many new partnerships were forged within the district, some in just one community, and some extending across county lines. To provide a numerical and statistical basis for comparison and prediction, we studied demographics and growth estimates throughout the District. For specific opinions and attitudes about the library, we conducted a survey of people who use the Timberland Libraries, and another survey of people who don’t use them. On several occasions, we brought together groups of library staff members and Trustees to discuss the information we were collecting, and how it would impact the formation of strategies for setting the direction and scope of library services in the future. On February 12, 2005, a group of 35 committee members including staff, Trustees, administrators, Foundation members, and the public, gathered for a full-day workshop to develop a new Mission Statement, Vision Statement, and Strategies to act as a basis for our Strategic Plan, which we call “The Bridge to Tomorrow.” For two months after that, staff and committee members worked to flesh out the entire Strategic Plan, including background information, definitions, strategies, high level tactics, and priorities for areas of focus for the next five years. What follows is the result of that process. Members of the committee and staff are proud to present our Bridge to Tomorrow for 2005-2010. We dedicate it to the people we serve – the people of Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties. This is YOUR library. We hope you will find it useful in reaching your goals and in improving your life and your community.


DEFINITIONS AND FORMAT In this document, we have focused on seven distinct areas of concentration: 1. Services and Programs – the things we do to serve our public. 2. People – our employees, volunteers, Trustees, local boards, and Friends of the Library. 3. Collections – our materials and online resources. 4. Finances – the management of the funds entrusted to us by our communities. 5. Facilities – the places where we provide services and collections to our constituents. 6. Marketing – the ways in which we try to be sure the public is fully using the resources we provide. 7. Partnerships and community involvement – getting involved in helping the people in our communities. In each area of concentration, we have developed Strategies, Tactics, and Priorities. A Strategy is a high-level decision on positioning and direction - a decision that establishes a clear framework for subsequent decisions. Each area of concentration contains strategic statements that tell where we are and what we are committed to do. Following the strategic statement, there are Tactics. A Tactic is a method we will use to achieve the strategy. Toward the end of each area of concentration you will find a list of Priorities. A Priority describes a step in carrying out the strategy within the margins of the tactics we have described. The priorities are presented in the format of a target timeline. These dates are provided as a guide to help staff in planning. Some change of timeline is to be expected. Priorities marked “A” are considered essential to fulfilling the mission and strategies of the organization. Priorities marked “B” are important to achieving our goals, but may not be essential. In the Priorities tables, the following abbreviations are used: HR Human Resources ILL Interlibrary Loan PSAT Public Services Administration Team RLM Regional Library Manager SC Service Center VSC Volunteer Services Coordinator This will be an iterative process. Each evaluation will result in changes, the efficacy of which will be reflected in the next evaluation. In 2009, we will conduct a general assessment as a prelude to our 2010 – 2015 Long Range Plan. 5

At the core of any library are the services it offers to its citizens. Timberland strives to offer an array of choices in services and programs that meet the public’s needs within the available resources. Timberland commits to being a responsible steward of the public dollars that support it. In this context, Timberland will continually assess to determine what services and programs are most needed and provide them in the most effective and efficient ways. There will be a varied emphasis but a consistent commitment to the best possible response to the information and recreation needs of people across the five counties in Timberland. DEFINITIONS Services: Timberland performs two kinds of services: Public Services and Support Services. Public Service is a global term referring to whatever we do for the public, whether in person or through some kind of technological interface. Examples of public services include lending of materials, answering reference questions, providing access to a wide variety of resources, and making our libraries clean and welcoming places. Support Services are those services that are done behind the scenes to enable public services, such as selecting, ordering, and cataloging materials. We recognize the importance of support services, in that without support services, we would be unable to serve the public. Programs: The term “Program” shall be defined as an event or series of events performed in the presence of, or in interface with, the public. Events produced for the staff only, and not intended for public consumption, shall be referred to as “Training Events.” It is agreed that Programs shall be considered a sub-set of Services. Therefore, strategic statements that refer to Services shall be understood to also include Programs. STRATEGIES Timberland Regional Library will deliver a full range of library services. A spirit of dedicated customer service will mark every encounter. Library staff will work together to plan services that respond to existing and emerging needs of people of any age, gender, culture, economic status, mental or physical ability, geographical location, or political or religious point of view.  On a continuing basis, Timberland will examine community needs to develop appropriate library services, both system-wide and at individual libraries. Timberland will strive to develop means for serving underserved populations and geographic areas.  All services and programs will be planned with specific goals in mind to produce measurable outcomes within the communities. 6

 Timberland will encourage collaborative planning involving both administrative and branch staff.  Timberland will re-evaluate services regularly based on impact to the community. Those services not meeting desired outcomes will either be modified or eliminated. PRIORITIES SERVICES AND PROGRAMS A A A A B B A A B A B A A B TARGET 3rd 2005 3rd 2005 DESCRIPTION Conduct Service Points needs assessment. Appoint Outreach Committee. INVOLVED Director, PSAT, Business Manager PSAT PSAT, Director PSAT POINT Director Deputy Director Director Deputy Director Deputy Director Deputy Director Director Deputy Director Deputy Director Director Deputy Director Director

Continuous Evaluate pilot or grant programs— continue if appropriate. th 4 2005 Appoint Information Services Committee. th 4 2005 Appoint Task Force to explore options to increase self pick-up of holds. st 1 2006 Appoint task force to work with TCTV, etc. nd 2 2006 Re-evaluate how we gather statistics. 3rd 2006 4th 2006 4th 2006 1st 2007 Annual 1st 2008 1st 2008 Re-evaluate open hours based on needs. Re-evaluate number of filtered /choice computers in libraries. Survey patrons to determine satisfaction with services and programs. Appoint Task Force for community Information and Referral. Evaluate each program based on outcomes to be determined when program is proposed. Design and implement User Survey to determine if we are providing adequate level of service at each location. Evaluate success of programs from staff point of view based on employee surveys as part of environmental review. Survey patrons to determine satisfaction with services and programs. Begin Long Range Plan for 2010 to 2015.

PSAT, Communications PSAT PSAT, Director PSAT, Deputy Director PSAT PSAT, Director PSAT PSAT, Director


4th 2008 2nd 2009

PSAT, Deputy Director Director, Board, Staff, Public

Deputy Director Director


ANNUAL PLANNING CALENDAR SERVICES AND PROGRAMS Because Services and Programs need to be responsive to the needs of the community, we have instituted an annual planning process. Each year, we will hold Community Chats involving people from each community in our District. From the knowledge we gain during these chats, we will plan services and programs for the following year. MONTH Early January January DESCRIPTION Annual User Survey. Assess and Analyze statistics and programs from previous year. INVOLVED Building Heads, PSAT Director, Administrative Team POINT Deputy Director Director



Determine “Theme” Director, PSAT, and target audiences for Selected field following year. representatives VSC, Communications Inform Collection PSAT Manager of theme and target audiences chosen. Create packaged programs for sharing among buildings. Determine five District-wide campaigns for marketing support. Building Heads meeting. Plan programs for following year including outreach, with fiscal note for each program. Review schedule for group brochures planning. 8 Youth Services, Adult Services PSAT, VSC, Committee, Communications Director, PSAT, other dept. heads as needed PSAT, VSC, RLMs, Communications


Deputy Director


Youth Services, Adult Services Deputy Director


March April

Deputy Director Deputy Director


PSAT, VSC, Communications

Deputy Director

April May June October October October November

Plan training topics and calendar for following year. Determine priorities for next year’s budget. Summer Reading Program Community Chats Analyze Community Chats. Planning for Summer Reading. Winter Reading begins.

PSAT Administrative Team Youth Services, Building staff, Communications PSAT, Building Staff Director, PSAT Youth Services, Building Staff, Communications Adult Services, Building Staff, Communications

Director Business Manager Youth Services Deputy Director Director Youth Services Adult Services

EVALUATION • Each program will be evaluated based on the outcomes developed before the program is implemented. • Every January, the programs will be re-evaluated to determine which ones should be repeated or continued. • The Planning Calendar itself will be evaluated continually, with changes made to increase efficiency and effectiveness.


The employees and volunteers of Timberland Regional Library are the heart of our organization. Volunteers give countless hours of continuing support to our libraries and provide an unmatched spirit of giving the special gift of time. Our employees are dedicated to customer service and satisfaction and, in large part, deserve the credit for making all Timberland libraries “a place to belong.” STRATEGIES 1. Timberland Regional Library will actively recruit a qualified, diverse workforce and provide sufficient support to retain employees and volunteers. Our people will continue to be service oriented and dedicated to their communities. • Timberland will nurture a positive organizational culture. • Opportunities for development and advancement will be made available to all employees, including conferences, workshops, and specialized training • The Timberland organizational structure will maximize efficiency and flexibility. • In hiring, the emphasis will be on selecting employees and volunteers who best fill the needs of the District as a whole. • Timberland will support members of the Board of Trustees as well as other volunteers through orientation, continuing education and mentoring, as determined in an annual evaluation of training needs, and within the limits of our resources. 2. Timberland will support current and future staff by providing a range of opportunities for career development with expectations and benchmarks along with meaningful evaluations. • Timberland will communicate clear expectations for measurable outcomes for individuals, buildings, and departments. • Timberland will develop and deliver program-specific training to ensure success in meeting expectations. • Leadership and customer service skills will be emphasized in training and in evaluation. • In order to provide efficiency and flexibility in meeting the needs of our patrons, Timberland will encourage creativity and new ideas.


PEOPLE PRIORITIES TARGET 3rd 2005 3rd 2005 Continuous DESCRIPTION Develop training calendar and process based on needs. Appoint task force to develop plan for recruiting and training volunteers. Provide opportunities for training for Trustees and local board members. Create collection of training modules to be used as needed for large or small group training events. Present ongoing training in Reference Effectiveness and Readers’ Advisory. (Twice annually) (Some elements are included in employee orientation.) Begin classification and wage studies. Encourage filling open positions with internal candidates. Conduct organizational study – restructuring. Attend and recruit at job fairs. Expand diversity recruiting as needed following annual assessment. Assess need for workgroups and committees, e.g. Reference Committee (creating and sunsetting) Appoint task force for sub training and coordinated scheduling. Appoint task force for revising personnel evaluation process. 11 INVOLVED Director, Deputy, HR, PSAT, VSC, Branch Representatives VSC, Administrative Team Director, Deputy, HR, PSAT, VSC, Branch Representatives, Board of Trustees Director, HR, PSAT POINT Director VSC Director



4th 2005




HR, Youth Services, Adult Services



4th 2005 Continuous 3rd and 4th 2005 Annual Continuous 1st 2006

HR, Director, Administrative Team, Consultant HR, Administrative Team, Building heads


Director, HR, Consultant, Board of Director Trustees HR HR HR HR, Director, Deputy Director HR HR


1st 2006 2nd 2006

HR, Deputy Directory, Business Manager, PSAT HR, Director, Deputy Directory

Deputy Director HR


3rd 2006 3rd 2006 3rd 2006 4th 2006

Complete Classification and wage study. Appoint mentorship committee Analyze staffing requirements throughout TRL Form Staff Development Committee to provide career development opportunities for staff. Assess feasibility of tuition reimbursement or other means of encouraging continuing formal education, particularly the MLS. Survey patrons to determine satisfaction with quality of service. Develop ways to learn about/ experience other TRL positions. Appoint task force to develop and deliver other language training. Convene committee to find additional ways to recognize and celebrate accomplishments of employees and volunteers. Develop directory of staff expertise. Environmental review of TRL by outside consultant. Review and revise training calendar. Survey Patrons to determine satisfaction with quality of service. Begin Long Range Plan for 2010 to 2015.

HR, Director, Administrative Team, Consultant, Board of Trustees HR, Administrative Team HR, Administrative Team HR



4th 2006

HR, Administrative Team



4th 2006 1st 2007 1st 2007 2nd 2007

PSAT HR, Administrative Team, Building representatives HR, Administrative Team, Building Representatives HR, Administrative Team

Deputy Director HR HR HR


3rd 2007 4th 2007 1st 2008 4th 2008 2nd 2009

Central Reference, HR HR, Director, Consultant HR, PSAT PSAT Director, Board, Staff, Public

HR HR Deputy Director Deputy Director Director


EVALUATION Success in hiring and training qualified employees will be measured by the satisfaction of our patrons. Every two years, we will survey library users to determine whether they are satisfied with the service they are receiving. Our goal will always be 100% customer satisfaction. However, the primary indicator will be the number of unsolicited compliments we receive about our staff, and the lack of complaints. Diversity of recruiting and hiring will be measured annually and compared to current demographic data and baseline represented by the 2004 report. Positions filled by internal candidates will be recorded and reported. Retention of employees will be measured by percentage. We expect percentage of retention to increase from year to year. Each employee who leaves Timberland will have an exit interview to determine reasons for leaving and whether we have succeeded in providing sufficient support to make Timberland a great place to work. The direct supervisor will evaluate each employee annually. This will include performance review and suggestions for additional training, corrective direction, or professional development activities as needed. TRAINING EVALUATION Training evaluation will include assessment of the training event and curriculum, and measurement of student success against stated learning objectives. Each training event will be evaluated in three ways: Number of workshops provided, number of attendees successfully completing the course, and quality of training, measured by student evaluations. Student evaluations will be recorded and changes will be made to successive workshops. Success will be achieved when at least 80% of evaluations are Excellent or Very Good. Three months after the training event, another assessment will be made of retention and applicability to job performance. Success will be achieved when 75% of students can list three things they learned at workshop that they are still using in their job three months later. Where applicable, student learning will be measured through pre- and post- training performance measurements.


The collections form the backbone for providing services to our users. Collections include various formats for all ages such as books, magazines, newspapers, audiocassettes, DVDs, CDs, videocassettes, electronic books, MP3s, online databases, and more. Collections may also be referred to as materials or resources. When speaking of the entire group of collections, we call it the Collection. STRATEGIES 1. Timberland Regional Library will maintain a vibrant collection that serves our customers’ needs and wants. • Timberland will continue to reserve at least 16% of the budget for materials in the annual budget process. 2. Timberland will keep the collection responsive and relevant for our communities. • Timberland will continually analyze demographics and preferences of individuals in our communities. • Timberland will ensure that the collection supports defined outreach service priorities. • Timberland will strive to achieve a balance of formats and subjects within the collection. • Timberland will analyze collection arrangement and movement in order to ensure optimal use and convenience for our users. 3. Timberland will be a leader in resource sharing in the state of Washington. • Timberland will remain good partners in the library community by sharing resources. • Timberland will work with organizations/schools/libraries to promote and share resources. • Timberland will seek opportunities for expanding the power of the TRL Library card through agreements that empower our cardholders to borrow materials in other libraries. 4. Timberland will ensure that internal processes are cost-effective and efficient. • Timberland will analyze processes to ensure best discounts, vendor services and use of technology. • Timberland will examine the cost of in-house processing of materials as compared to contracting various support services. 5. Timberland will resist attempts to censure lawful materials, or to block access to information, or to emphasize a particular point of view or political agenda.


COLLECTIONS PRIORITIES A A A B A A A A A A A B B A B A A TARGET 3rd 2005 3rd 2005 4th 2005 4th 2005 Continuous Continuous Continuous 1st 2006 1st 2006 1st 2006 2nd 2006 3rd 2006 4th 2006 1st 2007 3rd 2007 1st 2008 2nd 2009 DESCRIPTION Install additional link to online purchase request form on PAC. Explore feasibility of equipment for listening /viewing in all buildings. Conduct Feasibility Study and experimental pilot on “Floating” collections. Develop on-line weeding and replacement forms. Explore cost-effectiveness of print vs. online resources. Analyze customer use of formats. Conduct standardized weeding assessment. Study courier route alternatives. Expand formats in browsing collections. Form Collection Task Force. Review periodical collection. Investigate possible portable weeding technology and process. Cluster classes on new formats. Form task force to explore digitization of local history and other preservation means. Analyze ILL to see if more efficient method can be created. Form task force to study standardized collection codes. Begin Long Range Plan for 2010 to 2015. INVOLVED Computer Services, Collections Director, Computer Services, PSAT Collection Manager, PSAT, Circulation Supervisors, Building Heads Collection Manager, Computer Services Collection Development Collection Manager, Circulation Supervisors, PSAT, Building Heads Collections, Building Heads Business office, Collection Manager, Couriers Collection Manager, PSAT, Circulation Supervisors, Building Heads Collections, PSAT, Building Heads Collection Manager, RLMs, Building Heads Collection Manager, Computer Services RLMs Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Director, Board, Staff, Public POINT Computer Services Director Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Collection Manager Director


EVALUATION Selection – We will know we are selecting the correct books by tracking how many books are never checked out. Any decrease in this number from year to year will spell success. Balance – When controversial topics are brought to our attention, there should be material on each side of the controversy. While we are dependent on the materials that are published on a given subject, we will strive for balance among opinions represented. Gaps in collection – We will study Interlibrary Loans and Patron Requests to determine gaps in the collection. We will judge whether our collection is sufficient by polling the attendees at the Community Chats. Diversity – The languages in the collection should reflect the population. We will know we have succeeded when the materials in each world language are sufficient to support outreach efforts as outlined in the annual services and programs plan. Format Balance – We will chart trends in patron use by format by comparing circulation statistics by format over time. We will compare these numbers with the relative number of items purchased in each format over time, and will correct purchases to match use statistics. (The exception would be any new format we are just introducing. Use will lag behind purchase by several months.)



Timberland Regional Library is funded almost totally by property taxes and some timber revenue. The tax rate has a cap of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The current 2005 rate has declined to about 45 cents because of Initiative 747, which limits tax districts to a one percent increase on the prior year’s levy. The District is allowed to increase the levy rate with the approval of a majority of the voters in an election, which would cost TRL between $80,000 and $460,000 . All property owners in the unincorporated areas pay the same rate for library service as those in cities that are annexed. Cities that contract pay to Timberland at the same rate as if they were annexed. TRL’s property tax levy is only used to provide library service. It is not used for capital expenditures--buildings or computers. Because a large portion of TRL is "timber land," the library also receives revenue from timber sales on public and private lands. TRL has been able in the past to share timber revenues in partnerships with cities to assist in the construction or remodeling cost of city owned buildings. The dramatic decline in timber revenue in recent years has resulted in curtailment of TRL’s ability to partner financially with cities on building projects. Local library Friends groups have been fundraising for library programs and services for years. Increasingly, Friends groups have been partnering with cities, the library and the TRL Foundation to assist in fundraising for city library building and remodel projects. STRATEGIES 1. 2. Timberland Regional Library will responsibly manage financial matters involved in running the library district. Timberland will encourage a cost-conscious culture. • All operations will be analyzed regularly for cost effectiveness. • Staff will work with the Timberland Foundation and with the Friends groups to develop funding streams for enhancements of services and new programs. • Before any new project is started using grant funds, Timberland will develop a plan for continuing or exiting the program at the end of the grant period. Timberland will develop and maintain funding streams to pay for approved services and staff. • Timberland will continue efforts to preserve property tax revenue through legislative action, local partnerships, and community awareness. • Timberland will submit requests for levy lid lifts to the voters on a systematic schedule as needed to avoid cutting services. • Steps will be taken to reduce dependence on timber revenue to support operations. • Staff will work together with the Foundation and Friends Groups to develop funding for enhanced services and new programs that exceed the “essential” or “basic” level of service delivery.



FINANCES PRIORITIES TARGE DESCRIPTION T 2nd 2005 Discuss best time of year for ballot measures. rd 3 2005 Appoint task force to develop information piece to demonstrate to the communities the value of library services for tax dollars. rd 3 2005 Develop strategic plan for Foundation. th 4 2005 Form committee to develop plan to bridge the gap between Friends and Foundation. th 4 2005 Develop on-line time sheets. 1st 2006 2nd 2006 Develop growth and income projections for next 10 years. Appoint task force to explore entrepreneurial activities and other ways to generate additional funding. Form committee with Foundation to actively inform public of ways to contribute to TRL, including corporate sponsorships. Check and correct growth and income projections. Check and correct growth and income projections. Check and correct growth and income projections. Begin Long Range Plan for 2010 to 2015. INVOLVED Business Manager, Director, Board, Communications Business Manager, Director, Administrative Team, Board, Communications Director POINT Business Manager Communications



Foundation Board, Director, Development Officer Development Officer, Foundation Board, PSAT, Building heads, Volunteers Business Office, Computer services Business Office Director, PSAT, Business Office, Communications Director, Development Officer, Foundation Board

Development Officer Development Officer Business Manager Business Manager Director



3rd 2006

Development Officer


1st 2007 1st 2008 1st 2009 2nd 2009

Business Manager, Budget Committee Business Manager, Budget Committee Business Manager, Budget Committee Director, Board, Staff, and Public

Business Manager Business Manager Business Manager Director


ANNUAL PLANNING CALENDAR BUDGET The budget is another area that needs to be responsive to community needs and variations in our situation. Therefore, we will conduct budget planning annually as outlined in the budget planning calendar. MONTH April May June DESCRIPTION Analyze results of previous year’s budget. Draft proposed program priorities for next year’s budget. Discuss priorities, including COLA, benefits, and proposed program additions. Review and adopt priorities, process, and schedule. Issue budget message. Develop budget requests. Prepare draft budget. Prepare preliminary budget. Review draft preliminary budget. Recommend preliminary budget. Review preliminary budget. Labor negotiations. Public hearing on preliminary budget. Adoption of final budget. Adoption of property tax levy and levy rate. Adoption of property tax levy and/or levy rate, if assessed valuation of District is not available from the county assessors in December. 20 INVOLVED Director, Administrative Team, Budget Committee Administrative Team Staff Budget Committee, Board Budget Committee Board of Trustees Director, Business Manager Building Managers, Department Managers Administrative Team Staff Budget Committee Board Budget Committee Board Budget Committee Board of Trustees Management and Staff Association Board of Trustees Board of Trustees Board of Trustees Board of Trustees POINT Director Business Manager Business Manager

July August August September September October October October November November December December January

Business Manager Director Business Manager Business Manager Business Manager Business Manager Business Manager Business Manager Human Resources Manager Business Manager Business Manager Business Manager Business Manager

EVALUATION As a public entity, Timberland is accountable to taxpayers for management of resources. We will be successful if we are able to annually plan and manage our budgets so that essential services are provided efficiently and effectively without depleting reserves. We will measure this success annually as part of the annual planning process. Our budget document will be successful if the public and the Board understand it easily and can see that we are being responsible and thrifty in our budgetary decisions. It will have been successfully administered if our annual expenditures come out within 5% of the amounts budgeted. We will have succeeded in developing procedures for responsibly managing the finances of the library district when there are no findings from the auditor, and no management letter points.


Most of the services of TRL are provided through city owned facilities. Fourteen of the annexed cities have library facilities within their city limits, and all five contracting cities have facilities. In 18 of these 19 cities the facilities are owned and maintained by the cities. (These 18 cities are: Aberdeen; Centralia; Chehalis; Elma; Hoquiam; Ilwaco; Lacey; McCleary; Oakville; Olympia; Raymond; Shelton; South Bend; Tenino; Tumwater; Westport; Winlock; and Yelm.) The one exception is the building in Montesano which was given to TRL along with all other assets of the Grays Harbor Rural Library District when TRL took over the provision of library services after the vote in 1968. TRL owns or leases 8 additional facilities in rural unincorporated areas of the District. Financing building projects in the TRL District has always been a creative and cooperative process. Many of the original buildings were provided by grants from Andrew Carnegie or other benefactors, and grants, bequests, gifts and private fundraising have been an important part of most building projects. Voter-approved bonds have funded libraries in four cities. TRL has used timber revenue to buy or build facilities in rural areas and has contributed timber revenue to city library projects since 1988. The District has agreed to various financial arrangements including partnership grants and lease arrangements to enable cities to provide adequate space for their facilities. In recent years, because of changes in the timber industry, TRL has had to change the policies and practices of how to handle facilities construction. Since 2002, TRL has determined a need to find new ways of providing library facilities or service points, based on level of demand, funds available, and cooperation of community partners. In 1998, six remote areas were identified where there were no public library buildings, but there were schools. While TRL didn’t have the money to build, furnish or staff library buildings, TRL was able to establish partnerships with school libraries to open to the public a few hours per week. A federal grant to ESD 113 enabled TRL to purchase starting collections, computers and training for school library staff and volunteers. Continuance of these projects depends on commitments from both TRL and the schools. TRL has also established a similar partnership with one of the tribal governments. These are creative ways to provide service points where there were no library buildings. In the future, constant changes in technology, shifts in population, and variations in funding will require that TRL develop more new ways of looking at facilities and other types of service points.


STRATEGIES 1. Timberland Regional Library’s primary mission is to provide library services. We will not cut services in order to provide facilities. Instead, we will seek partnerships for building and maintaining the facilities through which these services are provided. Most often, these partners will be the cities in which the libraries are located, but all ideas for partners and means of service will be carefully considered. • Timberland will be receptive to requests for expansions to current facilities and suggestions for new service points. • All requests for service will be carefully considered. • The most appropriate type of service point for each situation will be selected, depending on the specific needs of the community. 2. Timberland will follow a defined process by which we evaluate the facilities used to provide library services and respond appropriately to changes within our service area and our financial situation. • Timberland will include representatives from cities or local areas in developing an annual evaluation of facilities. • Evaluation documents will be updated and the process will be re-examined regularly (as defined by the Timberland Board). 3. Timberland will actively seek out ways to communicate our new facilities vision with current and possible partners as well as the communities and public we serve. • Potential opportunities for communication will be identified. • A Timberland presence will be created in each forum. • Timberland will be at the table when community development group projects are discussed. 4. Timberland Regional Library will support library construction projects by offering the expertise and help of the Timberland Foundation in raising capital construction funds through solicitation of individual and corporate donations and through grant application and administration. • • The actual expenses of fund raising and "seed money" for projects may be advanced by the Timberland Regional Library Foundation, but will be recovered out of the proceeds of the fund raising effort. The Foundation will respond to requests for funding only those projects which have been approved by Timberland, and have gone through the prescribed Foundation application process.


FACILITIES PRIORITIES A A A A A A A TARGET 2nd 2005 3rd 2005 3rd 2005 3rd 2005 3rd 2005 Continuous 3rd 2005 DESCRIPTION Investigate wireless internet. Install wireless internet. Develop procedure for adding locations to Service Points Needs assessment. Develop criteria for Service Point Needs assessment Conduct Service Point Needs assessment. Assess use of space in each building. Form committee to develop procedural steps for naming policy for buildings and rooms. Conduct finance meeting with PSAT to explain direct costs of operation at each library. Develop checklist of preventative maintenance for all buildings. Report on direct cost of operation at each library. Hold cluster meetings to discuss operating costs for each building. Seek partners for alternative service points. Introduce pilot project with alternative service points. Evaluate alternative service points. Review alternative service points assessment, determine continuation. Conduct Service Points Needs assessment Conduct feasibility study for drive-up windows. INVOLVED Computer Services, RLMs Computer Services Director, PSAT, Board of Trustees Director, PSAT, Board of Trustees Director, PSAT, Business Manager PSAT, Building Heads Development Officer, Administrative Team, Board of Trustees Business Manager, PSAT POINT Computer Services Computer Services Deputy Director Deputy Director Director Deputy Director Director


4th 2005

Business Manager Business Manager Business Manager Deputy Director Director Director Director Director Director Director


1st 2006 1st 2006 1st 2006 2nd 2006 3rd 2006 1st 2007 2nd 2007 3rd 2007 4th 2007

Business Manager, Maintenance Crew Business Manager, Director, PSAT, Board of Trustees RLMs Director, PSAT Director, Business Manager, PSAT, Computer services Director, Business Manger, PSAT, Building Heads Board of Trustees Director, PSAT, Business Manager Director, PSAT, Business Manager



4th 2008


1st 2008 3rd 2008 1st 2009 2nd 2009

Conduct User Survey to determine favorable acceptance of service at all locations. Explore technology for “roaming service desk.” Appoint task force to investigate feasibility of “green” buildings. Conduct feasibility study for RFID Begin Long Range Plan for 2010 to 2015


Deputy Director Computer Services Business manager Computer services Director

Computer Services, PSAT, Circulation Supervisors, Building Heads Business Manager Business Manager, Computer Services, PSAT Director, Board, Staff, and Public

EVALUATION We will set the benchmark when we complete biennial Service Point Assessment, and determine where to place new service points, what services to offer, and how to offer them. We will recognize success when we have made our services easily accessible to 80% of the population of our five counties, using creative ideas generated in this process. The User Survey will determine whether we are providing adequate service at all locations. We will be successful if maintenance from checklist has been accomplished 85% of the time.


Communicating to the public the vast array of services and programs that Timberland Regional Library offers is the purpose of our marketing efforts. Citizens of our five counties support our libraries with their property tax dollars. To truly benefit from that support, they must be aware of what we can offer to them to enrich their lives and help them to succeed in their endeavors. STRATEGIES 1. Our primary marketing goal is for Timberland to be recognized by every resident as an integral part of each community, as use of resources and services increases. • Timberland will tell our story (the value of our libraries) to a wide variety of audiences, such as students, parents, business people, educators, elected officials, and seniors.


Marketing the value of the library is the job of every employee, Board member, and Library Friend. • • • Timberland will train and motivate employees and Trustees to advocate for the value of libraries in their communities. Timberland will encourage continuing staff involvement in community organizations. Timberland will cooperate with the efforts of the Library Foundation, Friends Groups, and Local Library Boards.


Timberland Regional Library will launch an ongoing awareness campaign to ensure that residents of our five counties know about the resources and services that our 27 libraries offer to them, and understand the value of a regional system. • Timberland will promote our service through various information channels including news media, print, web pages, displays, sponsorships and partnerships.


MARKETING PRIORITIES A A A A B A A TARGET 2nd 2005 2nd 2005 3rd 2005 Continuous Continuous Continuous Continuous DESCRIPTION Develop a branding strategy, including a logo and tagline. Roll out Strategic Plan. Launch Awareness Campaign. Make sure library is at the table for community planning. Include “Tax-supported” message on materials. Provide promotional materials for district-wide and local programs. Issue news releases on events, accomplishments, and items that may be of interest to the public. Provide training at All Staff Day on “SelfMarketing” at the circulation desk. Present Basic Public Speaking Training at All Staff Training Day to use with canned program . Launch bookmark campaign including “Database of the Month” on website. Develop PowerPoint presentation or program to be presented by anyone who can get a speaking engagement to promote library services. Make laptops and other equipment available as needed for checkout to any employee planning a speech. INVOLVED Director, Communications, Board, Administrative Team, Public Communications, Board of Trustees, Director Communications, Staff, Volunteers, and Board of Trustees RLMs, Board of Trustees, Administrative Team, Building Heads Communications, Automated Services Communications, PSAT, Building Heads Communications POINT Director Communications Communications Director Communications Communications Communications


4th 2005


Deputy Director


4th 2005

Director, Deputy Director, Communications, RLMs Communications, Building Heads, Computer Services (Web master?) Communications, Director, Building Heads, PSAT

Deputy Director


1st 2006



1st 2006



1st 2006

Computer Services, RLMs, Building Heads




4th 2006 1st 2007 2nd 2007 3rd 2007 4th 2007 2nd 2008 1st 2009 2nd 2009

Provide classes at All Staff Day on display of materials. Develop advertising plan for paid advertising. Explore feasibility of marketing statement on receipts. Study “other” languages and locations for marketing messages. Provide “Marketing through Customer Service” at All Staff Day. Teach teachers and high school freshmen to use databases. Explore feasibility of electronic reader boards to market programs. Begin Long Range Plan for 2010 to 2015

RLMs, Communications Communications, Director Communications, Computer Services, Circulation Committee Central Reference, Communications, PSAT Director, Deputy Director, RLMs, Adult Services, Youth Services, Communications Communications, Adult Services, RLMs, Building Heads Communications, Business office, RLMs, Building Heads, Director, Board, Staff, and Public

Deputy Director Communications Communications Deputy Director Deputy Director Adult Services Communications Director

EVALUATION Successful marketing is measured through statistics. If we are successful, we will see an increase in visits to the libraries, number of library cards, remote access to the databases, and circulation of featured materials. Over the five-year period, we should expect at least a 10% increase in each of these except remote access, which we expect to increase by 50%.


As the information hub of our many communities, Timberland Regional Library collaborates with other agencies, businesses, and organizations to discover the needs we can mutually serve through communication, partnerships, and shared vision. The more we know of, and cooperate to serve, the needs of our citizens in the varied ways they group themselves, the more efficiently we can meet those needs. STRATEGIES 1. Timberland Regional Library will make it a priority to be an integral part of each Timberland community. • Timberland will share stories of our challenges and accomplishments with a wide variety of audiences, including students, parents, business people, educators, elected officials, and seniors.


Timberland will stay abreast of changes in the communities. • • Each year, each library will be involved in at least one Community Chat. Timberland staff will use these Chats to identify community needs, develop library responses and forge relevant community partnerships, and to expand participation in community-wide projects.


Timberland will use the information gained through these analyses in the annual planning process. • • • • • Staff will project potential budgetary impacts. The possible impact on Services and Programs will be measured and analyzed. Administration will consider staffing implications. Facilities forecasting and development will reflect specific information from each community. The Communications Department will be consulted about marketing issues.


Timberland staff will identify and pursue strategic partnerships with organizations in each service area. • Timberland will develop plans for training, mentoring, and staffing to empower local staff to participate in strategic involvements.


Timberland will evaluate all partnership projects and involvements using outcome-based evaluation. • Desired outcomes will be determined and agreed upon prior to agreeing to partnership projects, and the role of each partner will be clearly defined as to responsibilities, funding commitments, and sustainability. 29


Timberland Regional Library will model services that can later be adopted by other partners. • Early in the development process, we will identify community partners interested in continuing the project or program.

PARTNERSHIPS AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT PRIORITIES TARGET DESCRIPTION INVOLVED POINT A 3rd and 4th Develop Guidelines for Partnerships Director, PSAT, Director 2005 (Priorities, ethics, community Business Manager events, benefits to partners, staffing impacts). A Continuous Attend community activities, and be Staff, Board of Director sure our voice is heard. Trustees, Local Boards, Friends, Volunteers A Annually In conjunction with February PSAT Deputy Program Planning, collaborate with Director other agencies to serve special populations. st B 1 2006 Develop plan for staying abreast of PSAT Deputy community events and Director developments. B 2nd 2006 Review plan with building staff. RLMs Deputy Director A 3rd 2006 Develop generic plan to implement PSAT VSC volunteer based services. A Continuous For each specific program, plan PSAT, VSC, VSC ways to recruit and train appropriate Building Staff volunteers. th B 4 2006 Prepare and distribute PowerPoint VSC, PSAT Deputy presentation to seek volunteers. Director B 1st 2007 Appoint Task Force to develop Development, VSC methods of recognizing and PSAT, VSC thanking partners. B 2nd 2007 Appoint Task Force to explore Development, Director additional ways to partner with PSAT, VSC Friends, Foundation, and Local Boards. B 4th 2007 From Directory of Staff Expertise, PSAT, Staff Director find appropriate staff members to act as consultant to partners for specific projects. A 2nd 2009 Begin Long Range Plan for 2010 to Director, Board, Director 2015 Staff, Public 30

EVALUATION We will know we have succeeded when each community embraces the library as an integral and vital part of the community. This response will be measured in a survey conducted at each year’s annual Community Chats. In 2007, as part of the Environmental Scan, we will evaluate the attitudes and opinions of employees about the success of the partnerships in their communities. Each year, there will be a summary report of partnerships, including the primary goals of the partnership, to what extent those goals were reached, and what impact on the community was achieved. At the end of each project, the partners will be surveyed to determine the quality of the response from TRL, and to elicit suggestions for improvement on future projects. Testimonials and letters of complaint will be reported to the Board as part of analysis to determine feasibility of continuing partnerships.


The world is changing at a pace unprecedented in history. Technology is providing both challenges and opportunities as it serves to accelerate the rate of change. Public libraries have a unique challenge as they struggle to keep up with the demands of change while continuing to offer the services and programs for which they have been valued for the past two hundred years. At Timberland we are faced with a dual challenge. As we strive to continue to be a source of dependable, accurate information, to teach the love of reading, and to provide opportunities for life-long learning to every person in our five counties, we also must deal with shrinking revenues to cover ever-increasing costs. To meet these challenges, we must plan very carefully. Each step must be directed toward our goal. We need to remain focused on our mission. Therefore, this strategic plan is an outline of continuous planning, creating a base of thoughtful deliberation that will leave us free to respond to the needs of our communities without fear of over-commitment of our resources or neglect of our essential services. 1. Services and Programs We have created an annual planning process, in which we will evaluate services and programs to determine which are essential to our mission, and which need to be altered to be more responsive to the needs of our communities or discontinued to make way for new services and programs. We will also hold annual Community Chats to discuss local needs, then develop an annual plan for meeting those needs. 2. People The library could never achieve excellence without excellent people. The library staff, the volunteers, the Trustees, the local library boards, and the Friends of the Library work together to provide the services and programs the public has come to expect. In order to serve the needs of our communities, we must have highly qualified, trained and dedicated staff who are motivated to meet the education and information needs of everyone who uses the library. Timberland is committed to finding, hiring, and continually training and motivating the finest public servants so that our communities can be delighted with the services they receive and proud of their libraries. 3. Collections As the world changes, our collection must also change. New subject matter, new formats, and new ideas to explore – all must be included in our collection of materials. As demand increases, we must find ever-better ways to bring these materials to our readers quickly and efficiently. At the same time, we must control costs. Continuing analysis of the collection and of the process of collection development is needed to keep up with the requirements of our five-county District.


4. Finances Timberland has developed a very cost-conscious culture. The planning for each new program includes a fiscal evaluation to control our costs. To ensure that each cost increase is taken into account, we have developed an annual Budget Planning Calendar that provides specific times and venues for exploration of anything that will impact our income or our expenditures. In addition, we will be seeking ways to increase revenue so that we will be better able to meet the needs of our communities. 5. Facilities The Library building often serves as the community’s living room. As our Mission Statement says, the library is a place where people can read comfortably, learn about whatever is important to them, connect with others in their community, and grow personally, professionally, and socially. No community is truly complete without a library. In the past year, Timberland has received many requests for additional library service locations. Because a library building is very expensive to build, staff and maintain, Timberland is seeking creative ways to provide service points other than fullservice library buildings, based on the level of service needed in each location. 6. Marketing Our surveys show that many people are not aware of all the services and benefits provided by the library. They cannot get full value from the library unless they make use of its resources. Timberland is launching a concentrated effort to let people know how we can help them to expand their horizons, improve their lives, and strengthen their communities. 7. Partnerships and Community Involvement In each community, there are agencies and organizations that exist for the purpose of helping people. Our mission overlaps with many of these. By working together, we can avoid duplication of effort, expand our effectiveness, and multiply our impact and theirs on the problems we mutually face. Timberland is committed to actively seeking and nurturing partnerships that will make our communities better places to live. The future looms on the horizon, full of promise, full of challenge, full of change. The challenges will increase as change accelerates. Each of our communities will be facing many of the same obstacles we are, tackling the same financial situation, and shouldering the same burdens for the people we serve. We will be meeting the future together. Timberland’s vision of the future is full of bests – the best books, the best answers, the best resources and the best values. Getting to the future will be challenging and exciting. We will work very hard to achieve that future for the library and for our communities. With this strategic plan, we now have a bridge to that future. We know how we are going to get there. Together, hand in hand with our partners and our communities, we are ready to cross the Bridge to Tomorrow.


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