Explore new interests with TRL’s Library of Things


Outdoor adventure, at-home aid and opportunities to try a new hobby can be found at Timberland Regional Library with the Library of Things collection.

Area residents can find a variety of kits and assistive devices at their local Timberland Regional Library (TRL) in addition to the usual offerings of books, magazines, audiobooks, movies and TV shows for checkout.

"The Library of Things kits and resources offer people a low barrier opportunity to try out new interests or items,” said Timberland Regional Library Content and Access Director Andrea Heisel.

Items that can be checked out include:

  • Environmental Education Backpack kits, which hold a state park Discover pass, books on exploring nature, information on how to create nature journals, binoculars, a magnifying glass, a compass and a nature scavenger hunt game to play while exploring.
  • Explore your Forest! Backpack kits, which hold a state park Discover pass, adult and youth binoculars, informational maps, a first aid kit to help explorers stay safe, a clip-on pedometer to track steps, a bug box to observe any bugs caught during the adventure and information on trail etiquette.
  • Birding Backpacks, which include a state park Discover pass, two pairs of binoculars, an information booklet, birdwatching books and birding maps for the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula.
  • Light therapy lamps, which can be used to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), sleep disorders or reduced exposure to sunlight. They can boost energy, improve mood and ease “winter blues” symptoms. Light therapy lamps are available at all TRL branches.
  • Fishing rod and tackle box kits, currently available at the Mountain View Timberland Library, and as of April 22, also available at the Lacey, Hawks Prairie, and Tumwater libraries. These kits are offered in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services - Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula Complex. The kits include a state park Discover Pass as well as rods, reels and tackle.

TRL also offers a wide variety of assistive devices for checkout. Devices are organized into categories of dressing, kitchen, household, reading and writing, leisure, communication, and computer access. Tools offered help with vision, hearing, mobility and communication.

TRL’s Library of Things collection started a few years ago with the Birding Backpacks, which were donated by the Black Hills Audobon Society, and other items have been gradually added to expand the collection, Heisel said.

“We try to think of things to include that make sense for the communities we serve,” she said.

Kits come with everything necessary to take part in the related activity, Heisel said.

"What’s great is that Backpack kits, for example, provide people all of the tools needed in addition to the resources,” Heisel said, noting that all three kits include a state park Discover pass, binoculars and other tools that otherwise would have to be purchased for the activity.

To check out items from the Library of Things, TRL patrons must either place a hold on the item (backpacks and light therapy kits) or stop by the branch to check out available fishing and tackle kits. Once the patron gets a notification from their local library, they can pick up the item at Library Takeout curbside service or inside the building. All items can be checked out for up to three weeks.

Library of Things items cannot be renewed, and they cannot be returned at a book drop. Apart from fishing and tackle kits, the items can be sent to different branches for pick up.

Learn more about TRL’s Library of Things collection on the TRL website. Visit TRL.org for current information on library hours.


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