Termination of agreement with the Timberland Library Foundation

I suppose the only other action worth noting is a letter that will be sent to the Timberland Regional Library Foundation, giving notice that TRL is ending financial support of that organization.

Here is some background on the topic and here is the actual letter that I signed to the organization.

Most directly, this is in reaction to a state auditor’s finding late last year that found the relationship between TRLF and TRL to be unbalanced. In the longer term, this termination is a continuation of a theme we started in the fall of 2010 when we started to distance the district financially from the foundation.

I don’t want to recap the issues between the foundation in this post, reading the links will fill you in. I just want to say I hope there is still a long and fruitful future between the two entities.



Filed under Meeting reports, What Timberland is doing

2 responses to “Termination of agreement with the Timberland Library Foundation

  1. Ben

    While I completely agree that the district should distance itself from the foundation and that it is unbalanced, I’m not totally sure you are an honest broker in this. I believe this district is distancing itself from the foundation in all respects in lieu of friends groups. The foundation is for the district, friends groups are for buildings. You are considered a member in the Olympia friends group and quite supportive of their goals, which is admirable. Friends groups inherently create inequity among the district, while there is no reason that the board or the district should want to limit or prevent the friends groups from operating. The district and board should also desire a foundation that is strong,flourishing, and self-sustaining. This foundation would ideally have increasingly more funds than any such friends group. This should not be done financially by the district, however it is quite clear that administration and the board only response to the foundation is that they “hope” it gets better. There are many districts(and non-library organizations) around the country that can give you significant guidance on foundations and how a district supports them other than through financial obligations.

    • emmettoconnell


      I’m not sure where we disagree on this. I do desire a foundation that can stand on its own and provide an economic benefit to TRL. And, in the past decade or so, TRL has invested a lot to make that happen. So much so, the district got dinged by the state auditor.

      I’m not sure what this particular action has to do with the district’s relationship with friends groups, though. I am a board member of the Olympia Friends, and have been since before I served on the Timberland board. I’ve been upfront about my involvement and I’ve been careful to make sure my involvement with either doesn’t make for cross interests.

      This particular decision doesn’t change TRL’s relationship with any friends group and to my knowledge, they all exist with little involvement and no investment from TRL.

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