WA Secretary of State Blogs

Washington State Library Reduces Service Hours

June 9th, 2014 Rand Simmons Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library No Comments »

From the desk of Rand Simmons Washington State Librarian

Washington State Library, Tumwater, WA

Washington State Library, Tumwater, WA

Based on an OSOS Press Release, 6/9/2014.

In-person service hours at the main Washington State Library in Tumwater will be reduced by four hours a day, effective June 16, as the service-and-research institution grapples with continuing significant budget challenges.

The Library at 6880 Capitol Blvd. in Tumwater traditionally has been open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  But like other states facing budget difficulties, the State Library faces an immediate shortfall that must be addressed through layoffs and fewer direct service hours.

The dedicated fund that finances Library operations now projects a potential shortfall of more than $1 million, due primarily to an unexpected slump in the number of recording fees collected by county auditors. This is on top of a $664,000 budget cut that was required at the beginning of the biennium, following a decade budget and staff reductions.

Beginning June 16, the central Library will be open daily from noon to 5 p.m. for walk-in patrons.  Chat and email help will still be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

“The State Library staff have become more efficient in their operations over the past 10 years, providing the same general level of services while reducing employee count by 42 percent. Secretary of State Kim Wyman, whose office hosts the Library said, “We have reached the point where we must reduce our in-person hours at the central library, at least temporarily, because of additional staff cuts.”

The shorter hours in Tumwater do not affect the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library in Seattle or the institutional libraries at state hospitals and corrections centers. Grants to local libraries, a central role of the Washington State Library, will be maintained, and the State Library-Microsoft IT Academy will not be affected.

“The decision to reduce service hours is something that pains us very much – librarians are absolutely passionate about serving patrons directly, either in person or online or over the phone,” Wyman said. “That service ethic will not diminish one bit, but the hours we’re open will be fewer, sadly.”

Instead of 45 hours of in-person service each week, it will be 25 hours.

Wyman said the action reflects continuing challenges of sustaining the Library, which is the oldest cultural institution in Washington, dating to 1853, when the first territorial governor, Isaac Stevens, and Congress created it with books shipped around the Horn. The Library was assigned to the Secretary of State by the Legislature about a decade ago, and was formerly a separate agency.

“The State Library has been a core service of government for 160 years, but for some years now, it has been a struggle to survive. In the past decade, state support has dropped by 42 percent and staff levels have shrunk from 158 to 63 today.”

Wyman acknowledged that recent library usage around the country is turning to online access, rather than solely relying on a brick-and-mortar library building.  The State Library is committed to service excellence to all customers, whether online or in-person, and is working to make more of its collections available online, she said.

“We are busy transforming the State Library information services, meeting people where they live,” Wyman said. “As the old saying goes, crisis meets opportunity. We intend to be the model Library of the 21st Century.”

State Librarian Rand Simmons is at 360-570-5585.

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A Library with No Books

March 5th, 2014 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, State Library Collections, Uncategorized No Comments »

Kathleen Benoun, long time Library Associate at the Western State Hospital Library in Lakewood, WA, is an amateur historian who spends a lot of personal time researching the history of the hospital, and the library itself.  Kathleen recently shared this interesting story about opening day of the library back in 1950.

Can you imagine opening day at a library without a book or librarian in sight?  That’s exactly what happened in 1950 on the grounds of Western State Hospital.  The Tacoma newspaper photograph you see below accompanied a story about the budget crisis of 1949 that diverted monies for the Staff Research and Patient Libraries to other building projects on campus.

Thankfully, the Legislature held a special session to fund both libraries and the Research Institute that occupied other floors of the building.

Washington State Hospital Library 1950

Washington State Hospital Library 1950 (from the Tacoma News Tribune??)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since then and many budget crises later, the Patient Library has endured to provide leisure, educational, and therapeutic resources for both patients and staff.

Washington State Hospital Library 2014

Washington State Hospital Library 2014

The shelves are no longer empty.  Now the library houses 8574 books and 5610 CD/DVDs in the collection, as well as popular magazines and local newspapers

Beyond the physical resources the library provides, over the years, Kathleen visited every ward in the hospital to present Library programs.  Her goal was to both entertain and encourage the patients to borrow from the collection or use library services such as the listening center where patrons could enjoy radio or music or outreach programs for ward-bound patients and staff. The most popular ward programs were interactive–such as trivia contests and poetry readings.  Kathleen reports, “One month, I visited a ward with older men and women and challenged them to play the board game Chauvinist Pigs.  Its trivia questions were based on gender-specific common knowledge.   We had such a spirited time together, the staff came over to shush us.  First time that ever happened to me, but it wasn’t the last.”

Patients and staff often express their gratitude for the presence of an on-site library to provide a comforting environment within the state psychiatric hospital.  Over the years, both patients and staff have donated materials to supplement the meager library budget.  Patients have also donated poetry and original art.  One patient read so many novels, he told the Library staff he could write his own book, which he did and donated two copies to the Library collection.

The Western State Hospital Library is a unique library which serves a key purpose; a place that responds to the needs of its patrons and provides a welcoming, non-judgmental space to visit. But isn’t that the definition of all good libraries?

 

 

 

 

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WSL Updates for January 16, 2014

January 16th, 2014 Diane Hutchins Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, Grants and Funding, Institutional Library Services, News, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Tribal, Updates No Comments »

Volume 10, January 16, 2014 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) 2014 TEEN VIDEO CHALLENGE

2) YOUTH PROGRAM AWARD

3) HUMANITIES WASHINGTON PROGRAMMING OPPORTUNITIES

4) JOHN COTTON DANA AWARD

5) RECOGNIZING OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO SPECIAL POPULATIONS

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

Read the rest of this entry »

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Inmates at Clallam Bay Donate $1,000 to CBCC Library

October 28th, 2013 vmullen Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services, Uncategorized 2 Comments »

Clallam Bay Library

Clallam Bay Library

The CBCC Branch Library was given a check this month in the amount of $1000.00 to spend on any and all kinds of books for the library. The check was donated by the CBIT (Clallam Bay Improvement Team) which is made up of offenders serving life without parole. The money comes from them holding fund raisers, such as pizza sales or baked goods made in the bakery by inmates and purchased by inmates through the whole institution. The bakery is run by Peninsula college and is a certified class. The purpose of the team is to improve life in the institution for all inmates. They are always craving new, up-to-date items that have to do with re-entry, medical, jobs and of course popular fiction authors. Due to the size of our budget at this time the library was grateful for the check and we thank them all.

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WSL Updates Special Edition for September 6, 2013

September 6th, 2013 Diane Hutchins Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, News, Updates No Comments »

WSL UPDATES SPECIAL EDITION FOR FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2013

Note: The next regular edition of WSL Updates will appear on Thursday, September 12, 2013.

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WANTED – THREE BRANCH LIBRARY ASSOCIATES

The Office of the Secretary of State, Washington State Library, is recruiting for three permanent full-time Branch Library Associates. One position is available at each of the following locations:

  • Washington State Reformatory in Monroe;
  • Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell;
  • Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

All applications are to be submitted through the Careers website at www.Careers.wa.gov. For additional information, review the job posting at www.sos.wa.gov/office/employment.aspx. Please share this announcement with anyone who may be interested.

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The Washington State Library has gone social! Friend/follow us at:

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An archive of WSL Updates is available at http://list.statelib.wa.gov/read/?forum=wslupdates.

 

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McDonald’s Book Exchange Comes Through in Our Time of Need

August 5th, 2013 Jill Merritt Posted in Institutional Library Services No Comments »

This is a long overdue post about the wonderful staff of McDonald’s Book Exchange in Redmond.  As our budgets have been cut over the last several years we have looked for alternative sources of material and the staff at McDonald’s Book Exchange have really come through with 1000′s of books donated to the Institutional Libraries.  These books have ranged from bestsellers to old favorites, fiction and nonfiction filling many empty spaces on our shelves.  I want to personally thank them for all their hard work and the wonderful books they have donated to our patrons.
16210 NE 80th St
Redmond, WA 98052
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A Long Wait

July 29th, 2013 dgelis Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services 1 Comment »

I was told on 12/3/12 that the WCCW State Library branch and the WCCW law library were going to trade spaces. On 12/10/12 we closed the branch library and began to pack up and move 542 boxes of books to storage in a warehouse on the grounds. We were told the transition would take 30 to 60 days. I relocated to a dismal cubicle in another building.

As it turned out the original estimate of 60 days turned into 90 days which turned into over 7 months.

On 7/1/13 we moved into the former home of the law library and began the process of unpacking. The new space was painted and new carpet was installed. From 7/1/13 until 7/23/13 many small projects were completed such as having the security gate installed and new smoke detectors were added.

On 7/24/13 we opened the library in our new area, much to the delight of the inmate population. The sight of a line of women leaving the library with their arms loaded with the 15 books they are allowed was (almost) worth the seven month wait.

WCCW Library

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Dog Days at the Library

July 24th, 2013 Jill Merritt Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services No Comments »

Libraries are never so much fun as when the four legged patrons come to the library.  Not all prison libraries in Washington State have animals as part of their loyal patron base, but those that do find joy in getting a ‘pawshake’ and handing out a biscuit.  Airway Heights Corrections Library and Stafford Creek Corrections Library both share anecdotes of their “favorite” patrons.

George at AHCC Library

George at AHCC Library

He is so cute. Shakes and gives High 5. He sits up tall and will stay up as long as he thinks he will get another treat. His trainer says he has stayed up over 2 minutes. -Joyce Hanna AHCC Library

It seems like there are more dogs with their toys than “boys” in the library right now.  Actually, probably not; but interesting…barking…playing…begging for their doggie treats.  “Winston”, a beautiful English setter, mostly white with brown spots here and there is lying at my feet I’m ignoring him, waiting forever for his treat.   – Jeannie Remillard SCCC Library

With the new arrival of dogs there is much excitement and fun in the air.  Tuesday the library was packed and we were very busy.  The dogs were visiting!!  Several of them were behind the counter with me getting their treats…. Tank – A big Black Lab weighing in at 87lbs was out in the reading room area, stretched out on the floor sleeping, all of a sudden I guess he realized that he wanted his puppy treat too.  He came bounding over the front counter and landed on the floor in front of my desk.  Everyone in the whole room was laughing. – Jeannie Remillard SCCC Library

Jeannie with puppy at SCCC Library

Jeannie with puppy at SCCC Library

 

 

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My Last Blog Post

July 19th, 2013 Jill Merritt Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services 2 Comments »

jillThis will be my last blog post.  I am leaving Institutional Library Services for a new adventure in the academic world.  I plan to follow the blog and keep up with all the news, because I may be leaving prison, but it will always have my support.  I think that we all do good work and we should never be forgotten.  Times are changing and I have seen great things come out of the prison libraries here in Washington State and I hope to see many more things showcased on this blog.  Over the last 8 years we went to barely holding on and doing the basics, to a skeleton crew and doing book programs and offering re-entry information to the patrons of the library.  I know that should be the other way around, budget cuts should bring less to the library, but it seems to have motivated all of us to push a little harder, to prove to the non-believers that we are important and I think we have achieved it.  I will miss many people and I will miss the work that I have done, but it’s time for me to pursue a new adventure and see what else is out there for me.

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Dear Dewey has a New Name

July 16th, 2013 kbenoun Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services No Comments »

Dewey Digest GraphicDear Dewey from Western State Hospital has a new name…Dewey Digest and a new format.  Check out the latest issue, “Dog Days of Summer.”

 

 

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