WESTPORT, Wash. - A public celebration will mark the fifth anniversary of the current Westport Timberland Library building. Events on three January weekends are planned by library employees with support from the Friends of the Westport Timberland Library.
The festivities begin on Saturday, January 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Mayor Michael Bruce and library officials will open with brief remarks. Door prizes will be given away every 15 minutes, and there will be face painting for the children. Refreshments and prizes are being provided by the Friends of the Westport Timberland Library.
On Sunday, January 22 at 2 p.m. enjoy Brownsmead Flats in concert at the library. The well-loved Northwest group is known for its folk/bluegrass style and strong vocal harmonies. Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Library. The library is normally closed at this time and will be open only for the performance.
For the children: On Saturday, January 28 at 1 p.m., boys and girls will enjoy “Cinderella and the Bug Brigade,” a variation of the classic story, as told by Mary Shaver and her marionettes. The puppet show is complete with handcrafted stage, velvet curtains, creative costumes, stringed puppets, colorful lighting, classical music, detailed scenery, and intricate props made to scale.
The Westport Timberland Library is located at 101 East Harms Drive. For more information, people may call the library at (360) 268-0521. To view the library’s webpage, go to www.TRL.org then select Locations and click on Westport.
Today’s Westport Timberland Library
Before opening in a new building on December 5, 2006, the Westport Timberland Library was the smallest library in the 27-branch Timberland Regional Library District, a diminutive 950 square feet. At 2880 square feet, the library at 101 E Harms Drive is three times the size of the old one.
“The first thing people notice is how bright, open and welcoming the library is. People can navigate the aisles, find things, and linger,” said Kathleen Ringenberg, the Westport Timberland Library manager.
- Triple the space, from 950 to 2880 square feet
- A meeting room for library programs and for community groups to meet free of charge
- · Spacious and well-lit environment with high ceilings and many windows
- · Three catalog computers, an addition of one station
- · A self-checkout computer
- · Nautical design befitting its setting and a spacious, well-lit, comfortable interior
- Wide aisles for easy navigation
- Separate adult reading, children’s and teen areas
- Four Internet/MS Office PCs, twice the number of the old library
- New shelving with room for all of the library’s materials, including the reference books
- Better access from the parking lot to the front door and a covered entryway
“Imagination, enthusiasm and sheer determination built this new library,” Ringenberg said in 2006. “The organizing and fundraising work of the Friends of the Library and the Friends’ LEAP (Library Expansion Action Program) Committee was key to getting a beautiful and spacious new library built. And the support of community groups, businesses, individuals and the Timberland library system brought it to completion.”
Westport’s previous libraries
1930s, 40s, and 50s: Westport had bookmobile service from the Grays Harbor County Library System.
1963: Westport’s population had grown to 1,000 and the City of Westport opened a temporary library in a former fire station building in the marina area.
1964: The City opened a permanent library, designed by architect Robert Street, in a portion of the City Hall building. This library served the community for the next 40 years. During those years the population tripled and electronic library technology was developing dramatically. The facility was overcrowded and delivering complete modern library services had become a challenge.
1989: The Friends of the Westport Timberland Library, a non-profit organization, established a building fund to hold memorial gifts, donations and proceeds from book and bake sales, raffles, and craft sales. The purpose was to raise funds to expand the library located in City Hall.
2001: A cross-section of stakeholders—representatives of the Westport Library Board, Friends of the Westport Timberland Library, the City of Westport, Timberland Regional Library (TRL), business people and residents—met to discuss the feasibility of the project. The City approved it and TRL selected the Westport library as one of its capital campaign projects.
April 2002: With about $30,000 in their building fund, the Friends of the Westport Timberland Library formed the LEAP Committee to raise money. As grants and donations began coming in, architectural drawings were developed.
Late in 2003: Victor Druzianich offered property at Harms Drive and Montesano Street to the Friends group. A new stand-alone library building was now a possibility.
December 2005: Construction began.
December 9, 2006: The library was dedicated during a grand opening celebration.