Tenino Timberland Library will be one of six locations to gain expanded access hours, allowing patrons more time to visit the library.
Timberland Regional Library (TRL) is evolving to meet the needs of the communities it serves by offering expanded access hours (EAH), which allows library patrons to use TRL resources outside of standard operating hours.
Tenino Timberland Library is one of six locations that will gain EAH in the coming months. Five locations including Hoodsport, McCleary, Naselle, Ocean Park, and Packwood Timberland Libraries already offer EAH.
“As an organization committed to providing access to library services, we recognize that visiting a public library during regularly staffed hours is not always an option for many people,” said Naselle Timberland Library Manager Michelle Zilli, one of the leads on the EAH project.
Offering EAH will positively affect access to library resources, especially in rural areas, Zilli said. She noted that smaller 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 those as much as possible,” Zilli said. “By offering EAH, patrons will be able to use any of those resources when it is convenient for them.”
Anyone 18 years or older with a TRL library card can sign up for EAH during regular staffed library hours.
Once a patron is approved for EAH and signs the agreement, they are given a key card or key fob and library staff show them how to use it to access the library. Staff also offer patrons a tour of library amenities.
“We want to make sure patrons know how to use all the technology available in the branch, such as self-checkout, how to log in to a computer, how to use the copier/fax machine and so forth,” Zilli said.
Library staff also go over safety and security information such as emergency exits, how to use the phones, what to do if the power goes out, and how to handle other types of emergencies, Zilli said.
While each adult in a family must be approved for EAH, parents and guardians who are approved can bring in their own minor children, Zilli said.
“It extends opportunities for families, and all patrons, to use the library,” Zilli said.
Once a patron has an EAH key card or fob, they can use it in any of the libraries with expanded access hours, Zilli said.
TRL serves 29 library locations across five counties. Visit TRL.org for more information on locations and EAH availability.
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