WA Secretary of State Blogs

Summer Reading in Washington

June 23rd, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

Chld Canoe copyFrom the desk of Carolyn Petersen

Schools are out and kids are signing up in droves to participate in their public library’s summer reading program.

Research has shown that children who continue to read over the summer maintain their reading skills and that summer involvement with reading leads to better academic skills when children return to school in the fall.

Summer reading isn’t just for grade school children. In addition to grade school children, preschoolers, teens, and adults can find programs to encourage them to read at public libraries. This year’s theme is sports related: On your mark, get set….Read.

The Washington State Library supports public libraries across the state by participating in a nationwide consortium of youth services librarians who voluntarily contribute the program ideas and processes which make up the resource manual. The State Library pays for each public and tribal library location to receive a copy of this manual in the fall of the year so that they can begin planning for the following summer.

Make reading and learning a regular part of summer by joining others in your community for lots of good reads and special programs at your local public library.

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The Statewide Database Licensing Project has selected a vendor.

June 16th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

UpwardsThe Washington State Library and the Statewide Database Licensing Project Advisory Committee are pleased to announce that ProQuest has again been selected to provide a suite of database products to the nonprofit libraries of Washington State. The new contract with ProQuest is set to begin on July 1, 2016.

The package includes a periodicals collection, a collection of Washington and national newspapers, and resources for children and students, to name just a few. A complete listing of the content in the new ProQuest package is available along with detailed descriptions of the individual components on the ProQuest Package Product Descriptions page.

The SDL Advisory Committee had a key role in the selection process, advising on the RFP itself, and subsequently assisting with the scoring, and making vendor recommendations. Feel free to
contact members of the Advisory Committee, or Carolyn Petersen, with your comments or suggestions.

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A day in the life of a chat librarian

June 10th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public 2 Comments »

4078540366_2f3029dfb8_oAubri Keleman of Whatcom County Public Library was born to be a chat librarian.  Well honestly she was born to be ANY sort of librarian, but today I want to tell you about one of her evening shifts covering the Ask WA queue for WCLS.  Ask WA, you ask, what is Ask WA? Ask WA is a cooperative of public and academic libraries around the state which work together along with librarians around the world to provide 24/7 access to library services.

Aubri’s day started out fairly routine with a sixth grader from a Washington library trying to find information about a bookmark contest.  He was the winner for his branch and was excited to receive his prize.  Aubri answered his question, said goodbye and signed off.

The next question though was the kind that wakes you up a little faster than you wish.  The patron asked about poison and the side effects from ingesting something not designed for human consumption. Aubri instantly responded with the 800 number and website for poison control along with a query if he had a phone.  She gave a little information and offered to keep the window open while he called, but was disconnected.

Imagine, for yourself, how she must have felt waiting and wondering if the person at the other end was all right.  Fortunately, this time, the patron logged back on a few minutes later and she was able to reconnect.  She expressed concern, encouraged a call to 911, passed along the information that in Washington we have a law that says if you take someone to the hospital you will not get into trouble.  The patron was having trouble getting poison control on the phone so Aubri herself called and relayed what she learned over chat.  With the information she provided he agreed to head to the ER and signed off leaving Aubri feeling much better about the exchange.  The sentence “You saved my life!” may have taken on a whole new meaning that night.

The final conversation that evening was a great way to end her day.  Aubri is a former teen librarian and especially loves chatting with teens.  This one started out goofy, as teen chat interactions often do.  “I might be socially awkward.”  Followed by “Sorry that was my brother!”  Within a few minutes Aubri had engaged this teen in a conversation about movies, books, and graphic novels; which ones he liked, which ones she liked and why.   She provided great book suggestions with links to his library’s catalog.  Final words from the teenager, “You are the best librarian I have talked to.  Thank you for being so nice.”

Aubri reports that she loves being a chat librarian because there is so much variety.  While every night may not provide quite such an array of questions, we are lucky in Washington to have a team of excellent and experienced chat librarians.  Haven’t tried it?  Next time you have a question from simple to complex, from goofy to life changing, you might want to have a chat with a librarian.

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Listen Up! Stories from the Northwest Corner

June 6th, 2016 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

ListenUpLogoThe National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016.  In honor of that centennial celebration, the Port Angeles Public Library—located right on the footsteps of Olympic National Park—recently interviewed a number of its patrons about their experiences visiting, living in, and working at national parks throughout the U.S.  These audio recordings are now accessible online at: http://sos.wa.gov/q/listenup.

We especially enjoyed ranger Dean Butterworth’s story of guiding troubled teens on a snowshoeing trip in Mount Rainier National Park: http://www.washingtonruralheritage.org/cdm/ref/collection/nols/id/4155.

This is the first of an ongoing series of oral histories projects planned by the Port Angeles Public Library. Their new program, Listen Up! Stories from the Northwest Corner will collect and archive a wide variety of stories from Clallam County residents. Inspired by StoryCorps, the interviews will be made available for listening through the North Olympic Heritage website—part of the Washington State Library’s Washington Rural Heritage program.

The North Olympic Library System is hosting a free listening party at the Olympic National Park Visitor Center on Tuesday, June 21, 7pm, at the Olympic National park Visitor Center, 3002 Mount Angeles Rd, Port Angeles. Stop by to hear locals recall their favorite National Park stories and memories!  And if you can’t make it, the recordings will also be available at the Visitor Center all summer long.

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Olympics of the Mind & Body – Summer of 2016

June 1st, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized No Comments »

From the desk of Shirley Lewis
olympics of the mind and bodyThis year’s summer reading theme is “Get in the Game – Read”.  Why should the kids have all the fun? Washington State Library presents suggested activities to help adults get fit, learn, and try something new.  So, exercise your brain and your body throughout the summer – try these “Olympics of the Mind & Body” ideas.

June 1

Learn to play Pickleball; a game invented by the late Joel Pritchard, Washington’s Lieutenant Governor from 1989 – 1997.  Check out The Official Pickleball Handbook by Mark Friedenberg.

June 2

Spokane’s Northwest Museum of Arts + Culture will celebrate its 31st annual ArtFest on June 3-5, 2016.

June 3

Special Olympics Washington 2016 Summer Games will be held from June 3-5 at Joint Base Lewis McChord and the King County Aquatics programs. More than 10,000 special athletes throughout the state participate in sports offered by Special Olympics Washington.

June 6

Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service with a visit to Mt. Rainier National Park.  If you can’t get there in-person, Washington State Library has many titles for the armchair traveler, such as, The Big Fact Book about Mount Rainier; Roadside Geology of Mount Rainier National Park and Vicinity; Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park: A Centennial Celebration; and One Best Hike: Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail.

June 7

Chomp on cherries – you can get recipes and nutrition information at the Washington State Fruit Commission website. Read digital editions of The Good Fruit Grower, published by the Washington State Fruit Commission, in the Washington State Library’s online catalog.

June 8

Play ball! And read all about the Seattle Mariners, historic Pacific Northwest baseball, and Seattle’s black baseball teams. These are only a few titles about baseball in the Pacific Northwest; check out the Washington State Library catalog and your local public library.

June 9

Washington has many places to watch and listen to the birds: the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, the Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge, and the Willapa Wildlife Refuge are three examples from around the state. Or, enjoy reading and watching the birds out your window; there are many guides for birdwatching in Washington and the Pacific Northwest.

June 10

Stroll through a Washington Farmers’ Market:  there are large and small; seasonal and year-round. Colville, Olympia, Vancouver, Yakima and the Pybus Market in Wenatchee are a few examples.

June 13

Enjoy the thought-provoking and inspiring ideas shared in the TEDx talks at Sno-Isle Libraries.

June 14

Happy Flag Day! Along with displaying the stars and stripes, consider displaying Washington’s State Flag.

June 15

All summer long, enjoy yourself in one of Washington’s State Parks.

June 16

All around Washington, small town festivals and parades are happening.  In Winlock, Washington (Lewis County), the Egg Days celebration commemorates the town’s historic hatchery industry.

June 17

Father’s Day is almost here.  Do you know Spokane’s link to the origin of Father’s Day?

June 20

Today is the summer solstice, the longest hours of daylight of the year in the northern hemisphere. Some will spend the solstice at the Stonehenge Memorial near Goldendale, Washington. The Maryhill Museum of Art and the Goldendale Observatory are also interesting attractions in this gorgeous area.

June 21

Would you like to learn how to use Microsoft programs, such as, Word or Excel?  Take a look at Washington State Library Microsoft Imagine Academy and the list of Participating Libraries here in Washington. These online, self-paced classes are available to Washington residents at no charge.

June 22

Take a ride on an historic train: the Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum begins in Eble; you can also catch the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum train. The North Pend Oreille Valley Lions Club also hosts train rides, but it seems 2016 is the last year, so get on board soon. Read all about trains in Washington: Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway, Big Bend Railroads, and South Puget Sound Railroad Mania are just a few of the titles available.

June 23

Weather in Washington is always good for conversation and makes good reading, too.  Try The Weather of the Pacific Northwest, Rains all the Time: A Connoisseur’s History of Weather in the Pacific Northwest, or check out the Office of the Washington State Climatologist to see the official word on Washington’s weather, past and future.

June 24

Explore Fort Simcoe, now Fort Simcoe Historical State Park, in south central Washington. Read about Fort Simcoe’s military history in Bugles in the Valley: Garnett’s Fort Simcoe.

June 27

Put your brain to work solving a mystery set in Washington: Whodunit in Washington State: a Selected Bibliography of Mysteries set in the Evergreen State lists many titles with crimes and puzzles to solve.  There are several “Whodunit” bibliographies for different areas of Washington in the State Library’s online catalog and A Kid’s Whodunit in Washington State: a Selected Bibliography of Mysteries Set in the Evergreen State.

June 28

Are the Washington Red Raspberries ripe?  Washington grows 60% of the red raspberries in the United States. Learn more about the raspberry industry at the Washington Red Raspberry Commission web site.

June 29

Ride the gondola at the Crystal Mountain Ski resort for some high-in-the-sky summer views of Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range.

June 30

Feel like digging? Get in touch with the past the Stonerose Interpretive Center & Eocene Fossil Site near Republic, Washington (Ferry County).


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On the Battle ground: Rosalia Wash. – Washington State Library Electronic Publications

May 31st, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

2016-04-12_15-07-10From the desk of Jeff Martin

Do your ancestors come from this area? While not always politically correct by 21st century standards, this publication is full of pictures and information about the early days of Rosalia.


Charles Thompson

The Inland Press, of Inland Printing Co., Spokane, Washington

Publication date: 1905


“Natives of almost every state people Rosalia and vicinity. It has profited from this circumstance just as the emigration from all nations has made the United States a superior people. The immigration to Rosalia up to the early nineties (i.e., 1890s) was of two classes. The least desirable and the best of the older states. The first class, the incapables, industrially and morally, were simply crowded out of their environment in the East. They came because land was cheap and they must go somewhere. The great opportunities of those days for people of little means roused some to ambitious efforts, and, weaklings no longer, they are numbered today among our strong successful men. The greater part of this class failed, as they had failed before, and became driftwood, passing from sight down the stream long ago.

The second class were of the best and strongest of the older states, selected from their fellows by the test of courage. Equally as capable, but braver, more ambitious, more self-reliant, than contemporaries who were content and hesitated to venture, a comprehensive survey of their environment showed but a meager prospect – at best, a limited competence to reward a life of toil and self-denial. To them it was not worth it. Resolutely turning from the pleasures and comforts of home, they set their faces toward the unknown West, determined to battle for a worthier prize. And, braver yet, were the young wives that accompanied them or faithfully waited the return of husbands or lovers, gone before to prepare a humble home. (Pages 16 -18)”

Washington State Library Electronic State Publications – On the Battle Ground: Rosalia Wash., Charles Thompson, 1905

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When the Akimotos Went to War

May 27th, 2016 Rand Simmons Posted in Articles, Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

May is Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and before time slips away here is a post about a Japanese-American family’s experience during World War II. The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) and author Matthew Elms retell the saga of three brothers who nobly fought alongside one another in World War II. (Thanks to the Government Publishing Office for the text of this post: Government Book Talk, Family, Patriotism & Sacrifice, Trudy Hawkins, May 4, 2016.)

When the Akimotos Went to War: An Untold Story of Family, Patriotism and Sacrifice During World War II







Hardworking and California-bred, brothers Victor, Johnny, and Ted Akimoto grew up with the sparkle of the American dream in their eyes. Then the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor happened. It got under their skin and into their heads. One by one, they joined the fight.

Victor, the eldest brother and first to enlist, reported to duty in frosty Fort Warren, Wyoming. He eschewed anti-Japanese hysteria and sent cheering letters to his devoted family. Despite stacked odds, Victor was eventually promoted to infantryman. Younger brothers Johnny and Ted soon joined him in the 100th Infantry Battalion, a mostly first generation Japanese-American, or Nisei, unit.

The Akimoto clan battled two enemies: the Axis Powers and racial tension. Suspicion of Japanese-Americans grew. When the government froze the family bank accounts, they lived off remittances from their soldier-sons. Then they were forcibly confined to internment camps around the country. The family was split up but not beaten. They remained resolute in the hope that if men like their Victor, Johnny, and Ted “could serve bravely in the armed forces, then perhaps America would finally move beyond seeing people of Asian descent as a different people, a different race, and just see them as patriotic Americans.”

On the fields of Europe and in military camps, three brothers gave themselves to “the greatest cause a man can give his life for,” as Victor wrote in a letter to his family. While their family sat in internment camps, the brothers ducked the whoosh of artillery. Pinned in by Germans on all sides, they steered their G.I. brethren to safety. In the face of crushing loss, as Ted wrote, “no matter what the cost, we have to make this world a better place.”

The Akimotos lived out the belief that there is no more important role than citizen, no more important act than service.

Young adult non-fiction literature
Available for purchase from Government Printing Office Bookstore
Available at the Washington State Library and other federal depository libraries:  Y 3.AM 3:2 AK 5

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Supercharged Storytimes: Let’s put this show on the road!

May 24th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

Saroj Ghoting, Diane Hutchins, Kendra Jones, and Greta Bergquist

Saroj Ghoting, Diane Hutchins, Kendra Jones, and Greta Bergquist

Washington State Library’s Diane Hutchins has has returned from the highly successful Supercharged Storytimes tour of Washington State.  Diane was joined by nationally renowned, early literacy consultant Saroj Ghoting.  Ghoting is co-author of the new book, Supercharged Storytimes: An Early Literacy Planning and Assessment Guide.  Also along on the tour was Kendra Jones, one of the Joint Chiefs of the Storytime Underground.   At each site they were joined by guest presenters who had participated in Project VIEWS2.  Workshops were held at 8 libraries (4 west of the mountains and 4 east of the mountains) resulting in the supercharging of 131 library staff.

The workshops were incredibly well received and generated renewed enthusiasm among seasoned IMG_1316storytelling practitioners as well as excitement among the newbies.  Skeptics who were prepared to be underwhelmed left as enthusiastic converts.  But, in addition, Diane came back with a wonderful story about the power of libraries for making connections.

In Richland, as shewas getting ready to check out of the hotel and go to the Richland Public Library for the first workshop held in Eastern Washington, Diane got into a conversation with the hotel desk clerk.  When learning that Diane was a librarian, the clerk talked about her great-grandmother, Doris Roberts, who had been very involved in the local library.  A few moments later, as Diane was looking for the room where the workshop was to be held at the Richland Public Library, she spotted the sign, “Doris Roberts Gallery.”  Wouldn’t you know – that’s where the Supercharged Storytimes workshop going to be held.  Small world, or library connection?  You tell me.

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Washington State Library Digital Collections: Historical Maps

May 16th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections No Comments »

From the desk of Jeff Martin:

Maps add a visual element to history. The State Archives and the State Library hold extensive map collections dealing with the Washington State and the surrounding region. Maps for these digital collections are drawn from state and territorial government records, historic books, federal documents and the Northwest collection. Here are two examples from this growing collection.


Author: Roberts, Henry, Lieut.

Title: Chart of the N.W. coast of America and the N.E. coast of Asia, explored in the years 1778 and 1779 [electronic resource] / prepared by Lieut[enan]t Hen[r]y Roberts, under the immediate inspection of Capt. Cook ; engraved by W. Palmer.

Imprint: London : Wm. Faden, geographer to the King, Charing Cross, 1784.

Note: Electronic data.

  “July 24, 1784.”

Relief shown pictorially. Depths shown by soundings.

“The unshaded parts of the Coast were taken from a Manuscript Chart which a Russian furnished us with …”

Includes notes.

Vertically fold-lined at center.

This link will take you to the online map.


Corporate Author: Illman & Pilbrow.

Title: Oregon Territory [electronic resource]

Imprint: [New York] : Illman & Pilbrow, [1833]

Description: 1 map : hand col. ; 25 x 31 cm.

Notes: Electronic data.

Shows locations of Native American tribal groups.

Relief shown by hachures.

Prime meridians: Greenwich and Washington.

Probably drawn by David H. Burr.

“Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1833 by Illman & Pilbrow in the Clerk’s office of the District Court for the Southern District of New-York.”

Longitude coordinates given inaccurately.

“1837” and “48” handwritten at lower right corner in margin.

Would you like to see the map in all it’s glory?  Click here to go to the map of the Oregon Territory.


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Newly Received Federal Publications — January – March 2016

May 5th, 2016 Rand Simmons Posted in Articles, Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, Public Services No Comments »

fdlp-emblem-colorA selected list of resources received at the Washington State Library through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). The State Library is the Regional Depository Library for the states of Washington and Alaska and has a comprehensive collection of FDLP publications.

Did you know? Each year thousands of federal electronic publications are added to the Washington State Library’s comprehensive federal publications collection? During the first 3 months of 2016 2,136 electronic publications were listed in our online catalog and are available to you anytime you want them and anywhere you happen to be. Need to know more? Call our Ask a Librarian line, 1-360-704-5221 or set your browser to http://www.sos.wa.gov/library/ask.aspx. We are here to help.


 Allan, Chris, author. (2015). Gold, steel & ice: A history of mining machines in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. Special history study. Available at WSL! Call No. I 29.88/5:G 56/2

Around tPhoto of Cover: Tour of the Electromagnetic Spectrumhe World in 80 Documents, A Journey Through the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 2015. (2015). Available at WSL! GP 1.2:D 65/2

Butcher, Ginger, author. Tour of the electromagnetic spectrum / Ginger Butcher [and three others] Washington, DC : National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2015. Available at WSL! CDROM NAS 1.86:SP 3/DVD/2015 (call ahead); NAS 1.83:NP-2015-06-1938-HQ.

You may also download this book at http://missionscience.nasa.gov/ems/TourOfEMS_Booklet_Web.pdf.

Army History: The professional Bulletin of Army History

Center of Military History. (1989). Army history: The professional bulletin of Army history. Washington, D.C: U.S. Army Center of Military History. Available at WSL! D 114.20:98; online http://www.history.army.mil/armyhistory/AH98(W).pdf.

Photo of cover of publication Covered Bridges and the Birth of American EngineeringChristianson, J., Marston, C. H., Barker, J., Bennett, L., Conwill, J. D., Duwadi, S. R., Gasparini, D. A., … Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center,. (2015). Covered bridges and the birth of American engineering. Available at WSL!  I 29.2:B 76/5; Online at

List of lights, radio aids, and fog signals. Western Pacific and Indian Oceans including the Persian Gulf and Red Sea. (2015). Available at WSL! D5.317/2:112/ 2015

Nasa’s journey to Mars: Pioneering next steps in space exploration, NP-2015-08-2018-HQ, October 2015. Available at WSL!  NAS 1.83:2015-08-2018-HQ

The People’s Liberation Army and Contingency Planning in China, 2015. (2015). Available at WSL! D5.402:C 44/6

Pacific Northwest Research Station (Portland, Or.). (1998). Science findings. Portland, Or.

Issue 179, Predicting Douglas-Fir’s Response to a Warming Climate.  Available at WSL! A 13.66/19:179; online http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/sciencef/scifi179.pdf.

Cover photo of Emergency Planning (STEP) ProgramStudent Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) program : curriculum for 4th and 5th grade students. [Washington, D.C.] : U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, 2015. Available at WSL! HS 5.102:ST 9/2015/PACK  includes disc; Online at
http://1.usa.gov/1UzPvkk (link shortened)

Treasured landscapes : National Park Service art collections tell America’s stories. Washington, D.C. : National Park Service Museum Management Program, 2016. Available at WSL! I 29.2:AR 7/5

United States., & Harpers Ferry Center (U.S.),. (2014). Whitman Mission National Historic Site, Washington

One of a series of Braille transcriptions of visitor information brochures published by the National Park Service’s Harpers Ferry Center. Available at WSL!  I 29.155:W 59

OSOS Logo - Library TIFThis document was compiled by Rand Simmons with the assistance of Staci Phillips.

For assistance finding these publications or publications on any other topic please contact our Ask a Librarian service. Real people answering your questions!

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