TUMWATER — The Ocean Park library will not be closed.
Timberland Regional Library Board of Trustees voted 7-0 on Nov. 28 "to permanently and immediately dissolve the Capital Facilities Proposal, agreeing to allow no closures of existing library buildings in the foreseeable future (unless required for health and safety reasons)."
The library system — which serves Pacific, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason and Thurston county residents at 27 community public libraries and seven library service partner locations — faced major blow-back earlier this year after floating plans to close or downsize branches. In Pacific County, the Ocean Park and South Bend branches were at risk.
The future of the South Bend library remains in question, since it was closed due to concerns about unhealthy conditions in parts of the facility.
In a Friday press release, TRL's board said it unanimously voted to eliminate the special Ad Hoc Committee created in October to explore elements of the consolidation proposal in greater detail.
Moving into 2019, TRL's board said it will begin holding a second monthly board meeting on the second Wednesday of each month to discuss policies and implications of a projected budget shortfall.
TRL's board also agreed to continue evaluating alternate service models such as Open+, mobile services and digital libraries, approving a pilot program for Open+ at the McCleary and Winlock Timberland libraries scheduled for early 2019.
"TRL leadership and its Board of Trustees are committed to ensuring that every community we serve receives timely communication, and all feedback from our communities is considered in recommendations and processes today and in the future," the press release concluded.
Open+ is a system marketed by the Bibliotheca company. According to Bibliotheca, Open + is a computer-based "comprehensive system that allows libraries to provide more flexible hours, making them more accessible to the community. Designed to complement staffed library hours, open+ can be implemented in a number of different ways to meet various library service models. From extending access to an entire library or only a section of it, providing full self-service resources or mainly a holds pick-up area, open+ allows libraries the flexibility to extend access in the way that best meets the needs of their community…."