And, frankly, I’m surprised that anyone is suggesting that it close.
The situation in Olympia certainly has gotten worse over the last few months, but I don’t think it is isolated and or even centered on the library.
I also disagree strongly that the staff in the library being at fault for unlawful acts at the library. I especially wouldn’t blame people who work in the library every day. I know they’ve been working hard to make the library a welcoming and safe place.
I also think one of the worst things you could do would be to shut off the library to the vast majority of the public who still depend on the library, despite what has been going on.
After the stabbing downtown earlier this summer, our reaction wasn’t to shut down Intercity Transit or Sylvester Park. We continued to try to draw people into our city with Music in the Park, Lakefair and the Pet Parade.
The two most interesting to read documents for our meeting tomorrow are the feasibility studies for two possible joint use libraries in Oakville and Morton.
We’ve been discussing the future of Oakville (study) for a few years now, hopefully this option of moving into and improving the current high school library is a good option. It sure is nice to see some real words on paper about what exactly the facility would look like.
The facility situation would be much the same in Morton (here’s the study for that facility).
Now, I may be reading this wrong, but the total cost of making over both school libraries into public libraries is included in the studies. For Oakville and Morton, the costs would be $76,000 and $83,000 respectively. The seems like a very reasonable and doable cost for both. I’m very excited.
Here’s the entire meeting packet.
One important note from the materials for tonight’s meeting posted on the TRL website, there’s a new library manager coming to Olympia. Donna Feddern, who currently works as the Digital Services Manager for the Escondido Public Library in California, will start in June.
Our current executive director, Cheryl Heywood, was the last Olympia manager. But, last year she became the interim public services manager for the entire distirct and then we (the trustees) hired her to be director last fall.
We’ll also be welcoming our new public services manager, Kristine Tardiff, at the meeting tonight. She most recently worked at the San Luis Obispo County Library.
I’m not ashamed to say that California’s loss is Timberland’s gain!
During the trustee meeting tonight I asked some questions about the maker kits mentioned in the department reports.
The back story is the staff is trying to fit the idea of a makerspace into what TRL calls “programs in a box,” which is a set of supplies a particular library could request and have on had to hold an event. For example, a small rural library could get the knitting “program in a box” delivered and the staff could get acquainted with the program and supplies. Then a week later, they’d hold a program/training on how to knit.
Of course, a knitting kit would qualify as a maker kit.
So, they’re trying to figure out what exactly they could “fit in the box” for maker kits for libraries that don’t have the available space for a permanent makerspace. Tim Mallory, the adult services coordinator, said that their timeline is to have some maker kits deployed by the end of the year.
From the Department reports for tomorrow’s meeting, a reference to the development of Maker Kits:
In addition to revising and updating existing kits, we will develop new kits center on the theme of “Maker Kits” based on the concept of “Maker Spaces”. These kits will all enable the involvement of participants in creative activities extending their skills and interests by providing tools and materials not normally available in their communities. 45 examples of maker spaces were reviewed from a “Maker Spaces” web site, and we will individually and collectively work on implementation ideas for this year.
Last year there was a short discussion (online and otherwise) about hosting a Makerspace at the Olympia library. Obviously, space is an issue, but it is great to see our staff making positive moves in this direction!
Earlier tonight the library board voted to enter into negotiations with Cheryl Heywood for the library director. Heywood was one of three candidates that participated in public forums and interviews with the board. She’s currently the interim public services director at Timberland.
The media for tonight’s meeting should be available here soon.
I myself was impressed by the diversity and overall quality of the final candidates. Each had unique qualities and strengths that would have benefited the library. You can read more about the candidates here.
I want the library to be open.
Maybe not all the branches and not in the typical library open way. Maybe just one branch in a county (or tight geographic area) and we should do something special. Something low-key, something relaxed.
Timberland does a kick-off for summer reading at the Olympia library each year. The building hosts a magic show, arts and crafts and other activities. Maybe we could host some sort of lower key, community focused event in a few libraries across the district. Live music, activities and maybe a Friends book sale.
Thanksgiving is the day that we get together with our families, maybe the day after should be the day we get together with our community.