WA Secretary of State Blogs

Bet you didn’t know!… Special Collections in Washington State Libraries – #1 The Virginia Woolf Library

June 28th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

woolflibr1In May the Library Council of Washington held their quarterly meeting in Pullman at Washington State University’s Holland and Terrell libraries.  After the meeting they were given a tour of the library as well as a visit to Special Collections and Archives.  As part of the tour the members learned that WSU houses Virginia Woolf’s personal library.  How cool is that?  How did this happen? Questions, we have questions… This chance encounter got the wheels spinning.  How many interesting and unexpected collections are housed in Washington Libraries?  With the Virginia Woolf collection in mind this intrepid reporter decided to reach out to the Washington library community and see what she could uncover.  The result of this exploration will be a blog series we’re calling,  “Bet you didn’t know!”  Episode #1 fittingly, will cover The Virginia Woolf Library.

The first question asked of Trevor James Bond, Head of Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections at WSU was “How did the personal library of a British author end up in Pullman, Washington?”  The story can be traced back to WSU’s former English department chair, John Elwood.  In 1967, while on a sabbatical, he and his wife were living in Sussex near the Woolf’s country home. During this time a friendship was struck between the couples.  In 1969, after the death of Leonard, Virginia Woolf’s husband, a mutual friend, Nancy Lucas, told Ellwood’s wife Karen that a “large portion of the Woolf’s personal library would soon be available for purchase” (Becker).  Ellwood jumped on the opportunity and the purchase was arranged.  The timing was prescient as not long after there was a revival of interest in Woolf’s work.

The collection has been augmented and built over time.  In 1974 a large collection of Hogarth Press (the Woolf’s publishing house) publications were purchased from Trekkie Parsons (a friend and executor of Leonard Woolf’s estate).  A purchase of 400 books in 1979, and another 100 volumes in 1983 helped to build the collection (Becker).

The current collection contains close to 10,000 books and is the amalgamation of four to five libraries that came together.  Books from Virginia’s father Leslie Steven, books from her brother Toby, books from her husband’s library, books from friends and review books.

The Woolf’s personal library tells to us a lot about their reading and provides a peek into their lives and how they thought.  In the library are many volumes inscribed by authors or sent to them for review. The Woolf library reflects how they read and used books; which books are worn and used, which are barely touched. Many of the books arrived in bad condition with detached covers.  Virginia Woolf herself attempted repairs.  Her efforts are described as “slapdash and pathetically inadequate”. (King & Miletic-Vejzovic)

In addition to the books in this collection WSU houses maps that were part of the original acquisition, and almost most fascinating of all there is a collection of “insert papers.” This collection consists of manuscripts, letters, and miscellaneous material that, for a variety of reasons, were placed by Leonard and Virginia Woolf in books from their working library.  (T. J. Bond, personal communication, June 10, 2016)

If you are interested in browsing the collection in the catalog, here is a link limited to just the Woolf library.  Or if you’re in the Pullman area, why not make an appointment and view the collection up close and personal?

Becker, P. (2013, October 25). The first lot of the more than 9,000-volume personal library of Leonard and Virginia Woolf arrives at Washington State University’s Holland Library in Pullman in 1971. In HistoryLink.org. Retrieved June 23, 2016, from http://bit.ly/28SLZC2
King, J., & Miletic-Vejzovic, L. (2003). The library of Leonard and Virginia Woolf: A short-title catalog. Pullman, Wash: Washington State University Press.  Retrieved June 23, 2016, from http://bit.ly/28SC1zO
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WSL Updates for June 23, 2016

June 23rd, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, June 23, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

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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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WSL Updates for June 16, 2016

June 16th, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, June 16, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

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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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WSL Updates for June 9, 2016

June 9th, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, June 9, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

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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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WSL Updates for June 2, 2016

June 2nd, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, June 2, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

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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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