WA Secretary of State Blogs

Got CDs?

February 17th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, Uncategorized No Comments »

photo by Eelke de Blouw https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

photo by Eelke de Blouw https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

CDs… do people still use CDs or is all music “consumed” digitally these days?  Across the state, people are cleaning out their CD collections and think that these “dinosaurs” are no longer viable.  But wait… we have an audience in Washington who will gratefully, happily and enthusiastically take those CDs off your hands.  One of the more popular items in WSL’s Institutional libraries, the library branches in our prisons and state hospitals, are the CDs.  The inmates and patients do not have access to streaming music or digital players so CDs are an excellent alternative.  We are always on the lookout for donations of CDs so if you or anyone you know are cleaning out their music please keep the State Library in mind.

Donations may be sent to:

Washington State Library (attention Laura Sherbo)

6880 Capitol Blvd SE

Tumwater, WA 98504

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Random news – Meteors, or UFOs?

February 13th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Random News from the Newspapers on Microfilm Collection No Comments »

From the desk of Steve Willis, former Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library:

Through pure randomness I ran across a couple mysterious events experienced by Washingtonians in the north central part of the state in late December, 1921.

Ball of Fire in Sky seen hereOne of the benefits of working in a library with the largest collection of Washington State newspapers in the world is that I can focus on singular events from a multitude of views. Such is the case with the twin meteors during the 1921 holiday season, over 90 years ago.

In the December 29th and 31st, 1921 issues of The Wenatchee Daily World, witnesses from Soap Lake were quoted as having seen a meteor light up the sky at 12:30 AM on December 27. One man, R.J. Cartmill was certain the object had fallen to Earth and crashed in a ball of fire.

Two days later, a more dramatic event took place around the 7 AM hour. Jim Ellis, a prospector, was quoted in the January 6, 1922 issue of The Oroville Weekly Gazette:

 “When I got outside my cabin there was no fire but the glare caused me to look up and there was a big ball of flame, bigger than the First National bank, heading right for Oroville. Sparks from the thing were dropping on the roof of my cabin and on the snow around. It made a big sound, like a heavy wind as it traveled, and it was going fast, I thought the world was coming to an end. I watched it until it went out of sight in the clouds and fog and little later I heard a big explosion. I thought Oroville had been wiped out and I started for town to see the wreck.”

 The explosive sound could very have been a sonic boom. In conjecturing the cause of this unusual event, the Gazette added, “So many persons in this part of the country saw manifestations of the phenomenon or felt the effects of the explosion that it is accepted as altogether probable that some stray wanderer from interplanetary space visited this locality and either buried itself in the hills hereabouts or exploded nearby, consumed by friction with the earth’s atmosphere.”

Brilliant MeteorThe Methow Valley News in Twisp reported in their December 30th issue that the meteor had “a flash of light equal in brilliancy to a near flash of lightning. A report as of thunder followed, but not so loud, only being heard by those out in the open. It is reported the meteor was seen to strike on the Crevling place above Winthrop, on Eight Mile.”

The January 3, 1921 issue of the Okanogan Independent of Okanogan, Wash. reported: “J.E. Crofoot, living on the reservation 16 miles east of here, was out near his granary at the time of the fall, and was thrown against a steel feed roller and stunned for several minutes. Crofoot’s neighbor reports a similar experience. The phenomenon was thought by them to be lightning. Crofoot, with whom we had a telephone conversation, says that the flash was quick rising, quick dying and all-embracing, and seemed to have with it no sound whatever. Crofoot’s sense left him, he says, so that he had neither eye to discover wherefrom it came, ear to catch any rumbling or booming; and was for several passing moments, totally without speculative faculty, so that, to this hour, he remains in a state of mere gloom and fog as to the exact nature of the phenomenon: saying, however, that it looked like lightning. ‘For a minute, I seemed to be in a ball of fire,’ says Crofoot. Mrs. Crofoot, who was within doors, detected a booming.”

The Tonasket Times and the Okanogan Record issue for December 30th reported on a good number of witnesses from the area. The descriptions were consistent with the other newspaper reports, with the addition of the object flying over with a hissing sound. Supposed Meteorite caused big sensation

So what were these things? The Ursid meteor shower usually takes place every year around December 22nd. This annual astronomical event was not named until the early 20th century. Could these two meteors be connected somehow with the Ursids? Or, as the Gazette suggested, did we have extraterrestrial visitors? If a crash site exists for whatever these flying things were, I have found no record of the discovery.

 

 

 

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Visiting the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

February 11th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

IMG_20150116_122514Since I started working at the Washington State Library (WSL) last February I have heard so much about the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) and all the good work that they do.  So last month while I was in the Seattle area for another meeting, I took advantage of the opportunity to visit and learn more about this unique branch of the WSL.  The only word that comes to my mind is WOW!  David Junius, Volunteer Services and Outreach Manager at WTBBL, gave me an extensive tour of the library and I thought I would share a little of what I learned.

Things I knew about WTBBL

I knew that WTBBL serves the blind population all over Washington State providing books in braille, large print and audio format, but I didn’t realize they also served people with visual impairments, a physical disability (such that holding a book or turning a page is difficult), or a reading disability.  The most recent addition to their services is the BARD (Braille and Audio Recording Download) mobile app which allows access to downloadable audio books right to an iPhone, iPod, or iPad and an app for Android platform devices is on the way. The app is an additional mode of access to the already popular and large collection of audio and web-braille books on the BARD website.

I knew they have an incredible and dedicated staff, who intimately know and serve their patrons.

I knew they had an extremely loyal and vocal patron base.

Things I didn’t know about WTBBL

Behind the scenes 1. bins of returned digital books waiting for inspection 2. locally produced braille 3. National Library Service provided braille 4. Cassette books on their way to retirement

Behind the scenes 1. bins of returned digital books waiting for inspection 2. locally produced braille 3. National Library Service provided braille 4. Cassette books on their way to retirement

I had no idea that they had a huge cadre of volunteers, in fact much of what they are able to accomplish is because of this dedicated volunteer base.  These volunteers provide a wide range of services from transcribing in braille, using a special software provided by WTBBL, proofreading braille in teams of sighted and blind volunteers, to narrating and reviewing audio books, assisting in youth services, inspecting returned audio books, and general library support.

I didn’t know that they have a very specialized Reader’s Advisory service, which assists patrons, caregivers, and teachers in accessing the best, most tailored service possible.  Each patron has the option of filling out a profile of their likes and dislikes, preferences etc.  The preferences they have identified are matched up with interest codes on books and picked automatically when a book is returned, sort of like Netflix. Approximately 85% of WTBBL patrons take advantage of “autoselect”.  Talk about personalized service!

Amazingly cool things about WTBBL

WTBBL is an Art Gallery. wall

Marissa Sohn a student at Cornish College of the Arts created a permanent art installation “Fragmented”.
The artwork traces a grid of downtown Seattle using old strips of braille. It is not only beautiful to the eyes but is tactile to the fingers, certainly fitting in a library for people unable to read standard print.   In addition there is a more transient exhibition right now called “Innocent Eyes”.  The exhibit is done by photographer Stephanie Harstad.  It features eight large close-up portraits of people who are blind.  Next to each portrait are three smaller photographs taken by the blind individual.  Originally planned to be exhibited for only a short time the exhibit has remained for several  extra months.

WTBBL is a Museum.

1. record player and talking book record loaned beginning mid-1930s 2. cassette player, loaned mid-1970s to 2014 3. digital talking book machine, loaned 2009 - present 4. Inside of a digital talking book

1. record player and talking book record loaned beginning mid-1930s 2. cassette player, loaned mid-1970s to 2014 3. digital talking book machine, loaned 2009 – present 4. Inside of a digital talking book

WTBBL hosts a display of the historic equipment that has been provided to the blind to enable them to listen to recorded books. At the birth of the national service in 1931, audio materials were records and over time have transitioned all the way up to a modern day digital talking book machine using digital cartridges and including a USB port on the side for individual flash drives.

If you’re in the Seattle area and want to be amazed I can’t say enough, make time for a visit to WTBBL.

 

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Visiting two small libraries in South West Washington.

February 5th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

Shirley Lewis and Carolyn Petersen paid a visit to the Kalama and Cathlamet Public Libraries in southwest Washington in January.  Kalama is planning an expansion as the City’s Offices move into a former bank building.  Louise Thomas, Director, and the Library Trustees are looking forward to providing patrons with more seating, program, and collection space.  During their visit, a library volunteer provided a story time attended by 10 small children and their parents in the current children’s area (see photo below).  Everyone had a great time, but it’s a tight fit!

Imagine this space filled  with 10 wiggly children and their parents.

Imagine this space filled with 10 wiggly children and their parents.

Cathlamet Public Library finished remodeling about one year ago.  The Library is light and inviting with a lovely view of downtown, the Columbia River, Puget Island, and, in the distance, Oregon.  Library patrons are enjoying the welcoming reading areas and computer spaces.  Carol Blix, Town Librarian, and the Library’s dedicated volunteers are seeing increased use of collections and services.

 

Cathlamet Library

Cathlamet Library

Taken in Cathlamet.  Wouldn’t you like to have that view every day?

Taken in Cathlamet. Wouldn’t you like to have that view every day?

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WLA Library Legislative Day -January 30, 2015

February 2nd, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized No Comments »

Library staff, trustee and friends from all points in Washington State gathered in Olympia for the Washington Library Association’s Library Legislative Day. Library Legislative Day

Following a morning briefing these library advocates swarmed the Capitol campus to make their legislators aware of issues that affect Washington libraries.

Among the issues discussed was the Washington State Library’s budget crisis. Many legislators are probably unaware that the State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State is in crisis.

State Librarian Rand Simmons said, “The Washington State Library is facing a $2.4 million shortfall in its budget. The legislature must provide a backfill during this session or the State Library will lose its ability to serve the people of Washington beginning July 1, 2015. Washington libraries depend on federal funding to serve their local communities. Currently $1.8 million in state dollars results in $3.3 million federal dollars. These funds help bring reading to the blind and others who cannot read traditional print material, provide library service to those in institutions and enhance Washington communities statewide. Without state funding for libraries we will lose federal dollars.

kim color small

Secretary of State Kim Wyman spoke to the group about the partnership of the State Library with the libraries of Washington State.  She stressed that the State library touches everyone in the room through opportunities provided by LSTA funds. She explained that she is working diligently to address the situation, visiting legislators and newspaper editorial boards, but she also urged the crowd to speak to their legislator about the State Library and how it impacts their community in a very tangible way.  “They are used to hearing from us, they need to hear it from you, their constituents.” Just how does the State Library serve the people of Washington?  We talked to several of the librarians at the gathering and got a wide range of answers, answers that reflect the wide range of services that are offered by the State Library.  Here are just a few of the comments we “collected”

Tony Wilson – Retired librarian from Highline Community College.

The State Library are national leaders in library database licensing, as well as leaders in reference.  When I needed a map of where forest fires were happening I couldn’t find one anywhere (and I’m a librarian!)  Then I turned to the State Library.  I had the map in minutes.

 Chris Skaugset – Director of the Long view Public Library.

The State Library allows us to do things we simply couldn’t do on our own.Without the State Library we wouldn’t be able to offer the wide variety of digital resources, databases and ebooks that we have available to our patrons.  We also recently received a grant from the State Library that allows us to offer technology training to our community. 

 Mary Thornton – Director of the Hoquiam branch of the Timberland Regional Library.

The digital resources and archives provided by the State Library are the first place we send our Genealogy patrons.  The Grays Harbor Genealogical Society in particular go right to the State Library’s website.

 Devin McCosh – Library Associate from the Olympia Timberland Regional Library

Devin really appreciates the professional development opportunities made available by the State Library.  He mentioned attending online “First Tuesdays” webinars and the fact that the State Library provides Professional Development Grants  to Timberland staff allowing them to keep on top of the profession.

 Donna Schuman – Computer Services Department at Timberland Regional Library

Donna mentioned the Database Licensing that the State Library coordinates, allowing group pricing so that all Washington state libraries are able to provide access at a reasonable cost to the library.  She says the State Library makes a tremendous difference both  in her work and for her professionally. 

How does the State Library impact you or help you get your work done?  How do the services offered by the State Library impact your community?  We’d love to hear your story.

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When the going gets tough, the tough get creative

January 26th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services No Comments »

Kathleen Benoun, long time Library Associate at the Western State Hospital library, had an idea. For over thirty years Kathleen has delivered excellent service to the hospital patients.  ddwIn the past Kathleen used to take the library to the patrons, presenting programs ranging from trivia contests to poetry reading. However over the time that she has worked at the Hospital library, like librarians across the nation, Kathleen has had to learn to do more with less.  As the solo librarian she is no longer able to visit the wards.  So let’s get back to the idea.  In January of 2011 she started writing a monthly library newsletter which the hospital print shop produced and the mail room distributed.  Kathleen reports:

My original goal was to highlight books and films in our collection by themes.  Often, we added new materials that I wanted to advertise immediately.  Thus, the monthly newsletter became a weekly in 2013.   Later, I began to add some historical information about the hospital.  The response has been good.  Staff and patients contact me to request the materials highlighted in the newsletter.

If you’ve ever written a weekly newsletter you know that coming up with an idea every week can be a challenge so here’s where the creative part comes in.  As of January 2015 the Dewey Digest Weekly – “50 states edition” was born.  Each week Kathleen highlights a state pulling together books, films and music that salute the state of the week. There’s a little bit of state background information (what librarian doesn’t want to impart a tidbit of knowledge when they have the chance), followed by books, musical artists and movies associated with that state.  Is it working? ddw2 Kathleen reports that she definitely notices an uptick in requests for materials highlighted in the newsletter.  Kathleen’s newsletters are a fun and visual way of continuing to take the library to the patrons.  Fifty states… well that takes care of 2015.  We can’t wait to see the ingenious idea Kathleen comes up with for next year’s newsletter.

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Statewide Database Licensing Needs Assessment Survey

January 22nd, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Technology and Resources No Comments »

 

DATABASE at Postmasters, March 2009 by Michael Mandiberg / CC BY-SA

DATABASE at Postmasters, March 2009 by Michael Mandiberg / CC BY-SA

The Washington State Library’s Statewide Database Licensing (SDL) project announces the release of two important needs assessment surveys, one for library staff, and one for library users. All library staff who are aware of the library’s electronic resources, especially research databases, are encouraged to take the staff survey, and all Washington libraries are encouraged to promote the user survey to their clientele, through their web sites, social media, patron newsletters, and any other appropriate media or opportunities.

The surveys will be available through Friday, February 20, 2015. Here are the survey links:

• Library user survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SDL-2015
• Library staff survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SDL-Staff

The library audience for both surveys includes all types of libraries that participate in SDL: public libraries, private academic, community and technical colleges, hospital and research libraries, and K-12 schools, both public and private. In the case of K-12 schools, the end user survey is intended for classroom teachers and administrators, rather than students, but college and university students are strongly encouraged to take the survey.

In promulgating the survey links, be sure to notice that they use the secure https protocol. Visit sos.wa.gov/q/SDL for additional information, including suggestions for promoting the survey to your users. For questions about the surveys or the SDL needs assessment process, please contact SDL project manager Will Stuivenga will.stuivenga@sos.wa.gov 360.704.5217. Thank you in advance for your participation and cooperation in making these surveys a success.

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Support for the State Library has poured in from all over Washington

January 20th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

Several months ago in light of a potential budget shortfall the Washington State Library held an “Essential Needs Survey”. We were amazed and touched as support came in from all over the state. Someone from every district in Washington State told us how valuable the services of the State Library was to them in their work and in their life. It would be impossible to share them all so we came up with this method to show you the broad impact of the Washington State Library. For this entry we chose just one from every district. Would you like to learn what else is being said in your district? Just ask and we’ll be happy to share more of the comments.


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2015 Proposed Legislation Affecting Libraries 01/16/2015

January 16th, 2015 Jeff Martin Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, News, Updates No Comments »

Courtesy of the Legislative Planning Committee, Washington Library Association Library Related Legislation. The Washington Library Association (WLA) tracks state legislative activity that will potentially affect Washington Libraries. Their tracker is posted weekly on this blog.

For information on the legislative process or becoming involved, see the WLA site referenced above.

  Library Tracker 1-16-2015          
Bill Title  Sponsor Status Date Latest Cmte Mtg Info Companion Bills
HB 1008 Agency data practices audits Smith H Gen Govt & Inf 1/12/2015    
HB 1013 County legislative meetings Appleton H LGDP 1/15/2015 Jan 15 Executive action taken in the House  Committee on Local Government at 1:30 PM.  
HB 1086 Public record commercial use Moeller H State Governme 1/12/2015 Jan 20 Scheduled for public hearing in the House  Committee on State Government at 10:00 AM. (Subject to change)  
HB 1105 Operating sup budget 2015 Hunter H Approps 1/12/2015 Jan 14 Public hearing in the House  Committee on Appropriations at 3:30 PM. SB 5076(SWays & Means)
HB 1106 Operating budget 2015-2017 Hunter H Approps 1/12/2015 Jan 14 Public hearing in the House  Committee on Appropriations at 3:30 PM. SB 5077(SWays & Means)
HB 1107 Cultural & heritage programs Springer H Comm Dev, Hous 1/12/2015 Jan 20 Scheduled for public hearing in the House  Committee on Community Development and Housing & Tribal Affairs at 1:30 PM. (Subject to change)  
HB 1133 Public utility tax, counties Tharinger H Local Govt 1/14/2015 Jan 22 Scheduled for public hearing in the House  Committee on Local Government at 1:30 PM. (Subject to change)  
HB 1168 Retiree return-to-work/PERS Ormsby H Approps 1/14/2015   SB 5211(SWays & Means)
HB 1189 City, district publ. records Hunt, S. H Local Govt 1/15/2015 Jan 20 Scheduled for public hearing in the House  Committee on Local Government at 10:00 AM. (Subject to change)  
HB 1250 Notice and review processes Holy H Local Govt 1/16/2015   SB 5138(SGovtOp&StSec)
HB 1251 Emergency med services levy Van De Wege H Finance 1/16/2015    
             
SB 5076 Operating sup budget 2015 Hill S Ways & Means 1/13/2015   HB 1105(HApprops)
SB 5077 Operating budget 2015-2017 Hill S Ways & Means 1/13/2015 Jan 14 Public hearing in the Senate  Committee on Ways & Means at 3:30 PM. HB 1106(HApprops)
SB 5109 Infrastructure/local govt Brown S Trade & Economi 1/14/2015    
SB 5138 Notice and review processes Roach S GovtOp&StSec 1/14/2015 Jan 20 Scheduled for public hearing in the Senate  Committee on Government Operations & State Security at 10:00 AM. (Subject to change) HB 1250(HLocal Govt)
SB 5211 Retiree return-to-work/PERS Bailey S Ways & Means 1/15/2015   HB 1168(HApprops)
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The fugitive vanished into history…..

January 15th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Random News from the Newspapers on Microfilm Collection No Comments »

From the desk of Steve Willis, Former Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library:

The dry humor of this reporter is fun to read in the January 18, 1895 issue of The Wilbur Register. The random article found this week relates a drama that took place in northwest Lincoln County:

 wilber

THE LAWYERS MADE HIM TIRED

 So Prisoner Dawson Left the Court Room to Escape Them.

 A young man named Tom Dawson has given our neighboring town of Almira her fill of sensations this week. It appears that on Tuesday Mr. Dawson assaulted William Twitchell, the village blacksmith, without due provocation, and pounded his face up considerably. Upon mature reflection Mr. Twitchell decided to get angry at this rough usage, and swore out a warrant praying that his assailant might be apprehended and dealt with according to law. This was exactly the turn Mr. Dawson had expected the matter to take, so he made tracks toward Wilbur. Along in the night he peered through the window of one of the saloons, and satisfying himself the coast was clear, entered and ordered refreshments. But he had counted without his host. He was unaware that any officer but ex-Deputy Sheriff Mike Flohr guarded the peace and dignity of western Lincoln’s metropolis, and as Mike was not in sight the fugitive walked directly into the arms of Chief of Police Keables, who, armed with the wired warrant and description, was awaiting the arrival. Constable McPheron of Almira arrived on Wednesday morning and took his prisoner back on the train. Attorney Lacey was retained to defend the prisoner, and accompanied the party to Almira, where the case was put on trial before Judge Otto. During one of the discussions between the counsel the prisoner got rattled over the flights of oratory and stepped outside to cool his fevered brow, and while his counsel was making an impassioned plea for his liberty was calmly taking a constitutional neath the stars which were just beginning to shed their chaste twinkles on the Big Bend plain. As it was reported that he had agreed to requite his lawyer’s services with $10 worth of stovewood, it is suggested that Mr. Dawson may be in Rocky canyon exercising with an axe and saw.

 Dawson was about a decade younger than Twitchell, who was a 40 year old Civil War veteran and a native of Maine. The fugitive vanished into history but Twitchell lived on Almira until he died in 1904.

This story reminds me of a tale concerning one of my Willis uncles. In the 1920s he was running some of his excellent moonshine through Centralia when he was caught by law enforcement. They took his car and gave him jail time at night and road crew work during the day. My uncle said it wasn’t so bad. He had a place to sleep and three meals a day. Then, as he put it, “I took up a notion to go home. So I sold the road crew wheelbarrow and shovel to a passerby and left.”

The Wilbur Register is still with us today. It has existed since early 1889, and catalog librarians will love this, without any title changes!

 

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