WA Secretary of State Blogs

Our Prison Libraries help inmates to re-enter society

March 31st, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services 1 Comment »

8702897202_7ca303552d_z On February 24, 2015 Library Associate Jean Baker participated in a “Help and Program Fair” at The Washington State Penitentiary.   This is an annual event with the intent of reinforcing positive changes in the prison environment and is held in response to the establishment of the Group Violence Reduction Strategy.   The purpose of this event is to present all of the programs available to inmates and to help them choose different and more productive paths while serving their sentences.   This year about forty inmates attended the Fair.  Facility officials gave opening remarks and the various guests and programs were introduced.    Those included education classes in basic skills, life skills, bookkeeping, and trade education.  Other programs centered on helping inmates establish a pathway for success included Redemption, Inside Dads, Toastmasters, Dog Training, and the Sustainable Practices Lab.  After introductions the inmates were free to visit the presenter tables to ask questions and get printed information.

Representing the library, Jean attended this program and presented information about how the inmates can utilize the library’s resources.   Prison libraries provide access for inmates to books, magazines and newspapers, a service that is highly appreciated by the inmates.    The goal of the librarians is to help inmates find  resources to help their re-entry into society.   The library maintains an extensive collection of re-entry materials on Housing, Education, Health and Benefits, Veterans issues, and Directories.   The Prison Libraries consider this an essential service, to provide inmates with learning options and information to assist them with transitioning to their lives outside the institution.

In our recent “Essential Needs Survey” the staff and the inmates of our prison libraries were very vocal in their support for their libraries here are a few comments we received:

 “The State Library is essential for prison safety.  Offenders who spend time reading are less likely to be behavioral problems.  The need for services for our disabled prisoners is essential as are the resources needed to for offenders to engage in self-help through literature.”

“Many young women have never been in an environment safe enough to read openly about anything they wish with no condemnation or ridicule. This alone should justify our library.”

“I am an inmate at a Washington correction center and the library has always been my favorite place to spend time looking up information on ancient civilizations, and as an inmate it provides a very special distraction for the inmate. I believe in libraries so strong I work in the library. It also provides a calming effect to those who seek a quiet place to study.”

“I’d like it to be known that I’ve acquired an AA degree, 52 credits from Peninsula College and several credits from Centralia College – all while incarcerated. However, I’ve learned more from the books I get in the library (often ILL as well) that all of my college education combined.”

“I am a patron in correctional facility and I can personally say without the library we would not be able to improve ourselves. We have access to countless educational tools to improve ourselves and become upstanding community members. They also help reduce the violence because many people use the library to be better people.”

Clearly our Prison Libraries are highly prized by both the staff and the inmates and patients they serve.






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WSL Updates Special Edition for March 27, 2015

March 27th, 2015 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, News, Updates No Comments »


Note: The next regular edition of WSL Updates will appear on Thursday, April 2, 2015.



We have received many orders for the free books listed in the WSL Updates for March 26, 2015. The titles below are the only books remaining today, March 27, 2015.

Thanks to the generosity of Seattle Public Library Foundation and Timberland Regional Library, Washington State Library has the following titles to distribute for reading club kits or as a community read to any public or school library within Washington State:

  • Stories for Boys: A Memoir by Gregory Martin (nonfiction) – 12 copies
  • Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson (nonfiction) – 48 copies
  • Closer to the Ground by Dylan Tomine (nonfiction) – 2 copies

Usually a minimum order of 5 copies of the same title is required but we are offering a mix and match special on these titles, minimum of 5 total books per order.

These will be distributed on a first come, first served basis at no charge to the requestor.


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2015 Proposed Legislation Affecting Libraries 3/27/2015

March 27th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, 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.


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Clippings March 27, 2015

March 27th, 2015 Staci Phillips Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, News, Updates No Comments »

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Library Clippings for the week of March 27, 2015

Library News

South Whatcom Library closing for weekend move (Bellingham Herald, Bellingham, 2/19/15)

Library helps to build our sense of community (Bellingham Herald, Bellingham, 2/19/15)

Central library district seeks new board member (Skagit Valley Herald, Mount Vernon, 2/24/15)

Boat school students link with libraries (The Leader, Port Townsend, 2/25/15)

Library district seeks board trustee
The Central Skagit Library District is taking applications for a volunteer library board trustee to serve a one-year term, with an option for reappointment to the usual five-year term. Trustees must live in the Sedro-Woolley School District but outside of city limits. Application materials are available at www.centralskagitlibrary.org or at the district office at 100 W. State Street, Suite C. (Courier Times, Sedro-Woolley, 3/3/15)
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WSL Updates for March 26, 2015

March 25th, 2015 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 11, March 26, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:








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Clippings March 20, 2015

March 20th, 2015 Staci Phillips Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, News, Updates No Comments »

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Library Clippings for the week of March 20, 2015

Library News

No plans for bookmobile comeback
The Everett Public Library has no immediate plans to bring back bookmobile outreach service, and soon will no longer have a bookmobile. The outreach service was a victim of citywide budget cuts. (Everett/Mukilteo Tribune, Snohomish, 2/18/15)

Reardan Library has new books
Reardan Memorial Library has received 80 new books, thanks to a grant from the Libri Foundation’s “Books for Children” program. The Libri Foundation matched a check from the Friends of the Reardan Library at a 2-to-1 ratio. This enabled $350 from the Friends group to provide $1,050 worth of new books, which included an extra $350 worth of science and math books donated by Bill Strawbridge and Meg Wallhagen. (Davenport Times, Davenport, 2/19/15)
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Washington State Library promotes technology

March 20th, 2015 Rand Simmons Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized No Comments »

Picture4The good ol’ card catalog. How we miss it?

The card catalog was a dominant technology for several centuries harkening back to the French Revolution when after raiding religious houses of their books and manuscripts the revolutionaries established a system of public libraries and the French Cataloging Code of 1791. The bibliographic information for each book was recorded on the blank back of playing cards, hence the card in card catalog.

In the 1960s with the development of machine readable automated cataloging – the MARC record – and the rise of OCLC, a bibliographic utility that stores library information electronically, libraries abandoned their card catalogs seduced by computer catalogs otherwise known as online public access catalogs.

Along came Bill and Melinda Gates and Bill Gates, Sr. with their vision of placing PC’s in every public library in the United States. Thus the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s U.S. Libraries program was born around 1997.

At that time only about 25% of public libraries offered access for the public to the Internet.

The nation’s state libraries partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and by 2004 the Foundation had invested $240 million in placing computers in libraries and had connected 99 percent of U.S. public libraries to the Internet.

However, as wonderful and as crucial as the U.S. Libraries Program was, it was just the beginning of libraries adapting new technologies.

Over a period of time, roughly 1998 to 2014, the Washington State Library through its administration of federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds invested $4.2 million in technology-related grants to libraries.

These grants have helped bring connectivity to libraries; have provided laptop and tablet training labs; and we helped libraries dip their toes into the pool of digital imaging.

Later we taught local libraries how to digitize their historical treasures, how to make the images find-able through metadata, and hosted these digital collections for libraries who retained the originals.

In the early 2000s the State Library helped create a “virtual reference network.” The concept was to create a network of participating libraries across the state that would, by collaborating with and linking to a national network, share responsibility for providing customers with information 24/7/365 – that is, to anyone, anywhere they might be, and at any time. Customers are served even when the library is not open. That program lives on as Ask-WA.

Perhaps the most ambitious project we have undertaken was joining a loose-knit collaborative of anchor institutions (schools, hospitals and libraries), non-profits, state and local government agencies and others to apply for Broadband Technology Opportunity Program grants. Two successful applications, one in summer 2009 and the other in Spring 2010 netted $138 million awarded to the Northwest Open Access Network to bring higher bandwidth connectivity to rural Washington communities. When in the second round application the federal government added a matching fund requirement to the application our friends the Gates Foundation stepped up and provided the match for several state libraries including Washington.

We have also provided professional development grants to individuals to take technology courses and have provided technology-related training.

Lately we have engaged in the provision of free online technology training by partnering with Microsoft. With funding from the Washington legislature and large discounts from Microsoft the Washington State Library is able to offer the Microsoft IT Academy free to any resident of Washington through public, two-year, and tribal libraries. Schools also offer the Academy and it is administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

We are taking the Academy to a deeper level by pairing with Workforce Development and supporting training among the tribes using the Academy to address digital literacy needs on the reservations.

So while the card catalog remains an object of fond memories, one which many of us lovingly display in our homes, if we were lucky enough to snag one, I doubt any of us would go back.

Technology will change libraries. The Washington State Library, as a change agent, is committed to lead the charge.

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Washington State has a new library branch

March 19th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public 1 Comment »

ritzvill2Washington State’s newest public library branch can be found inside the Lind-Ritzville Middle School located in Lind (Adams County). Guy Strot, Lind-Ritzville Middle School Principal, reached out to Ritzville Public Library Director Kylie Fullmer. He wanted the community to have access to the 25 computers and faster internet in the middle school library and for students and community members to have access to more library materials. He proposed a trade. The Ritzville Public Library could operate free of charge in the middle school library if the Ritzville Public Library would provide materials for adults and students. For the last few months the middle school library has been open to the public one evening a week. On the day library development consultants, Carolyn Petersen and Shirley Lewis visited, Mr. Strot proudly shared that the last week’s program had seen every one of the town’s 50 elementary aged children as well as many adults using the library’s computers and resources brought there from Ritzville Public Library.

ritzvilleMs. Fullmer  also reports that a part of their success is owed to an 8-week afterschool Crazy 8’s Math Club for kids in grades K-5. All supplies for this club are donated by the non-profit: Bedtime Math. Lego Club, craft-ernoons, and family story time are all popular too.  The library provides one-on-one computer help, device and eBook tech nights, and signs people up for the IT Academy. Three hours a week for all this, this new library branch must be humming!

This is the kind of library/community partnership success story we all love hearing. Three cheers and a BIG welcome to the Lind-Ritzville Middle School branch.

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WSL Updates for March 19, 2015

March 18th, 2015 Shirley Lewis Posted in Digital Literacy, For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 11, March 19, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:








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In search of the Eatonville Dispatch

March 18th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

From the desk of Shawn Schollmeyer & Washington Digital Newspapers.

EatonvilleDispatch_Msthd_09011916Though the Eatonville Dispatch began as a weekly newspaper in 1893, known available issues begin in 1916, stored on microfilm and carefully protected print copies in archival boxes located at the Eatonville Public Library. It’s still a weekly publication, now known as the Dispatch, printed and available online by the Pacific Publishing Company . We first became aware of the interest in digitizing older issues of this paper when one of the long time publishing families contacted us through Cindy Dargan, managing librarian of the Eatonville Library, to ask how to go about this digitization project. Floyd Albert and Georgina Larkin ran the paper from 1950-1962 and then brought in their son, Floyd Ames, who ran it with his mom until the early 1970s. Last year in 2014, the family decided that the best use of remaining estate money from those publishing years would be best spent converting the full run of the paper to a digital collection and displayed to the public.

It’s a great idea and Floyd Ames’ brother, Bob Larkin, initiated the move to make it happen. Now, the first challenge begins. After 1922 all public works fall under copyright protection and all the publishers and descendants of the publishing families will need to be contacted for permission to scan and display the newspaper pages they published over certain dates. There were 12 different publishers between 1893 and 2010. Where are they now? Who can still be contacted if they have passed away? Where do we start?

Eatonville Public Library

Eatonville Public Library

The process of “discovery” began with a few trips to Pierce County libraries to determine the condition, format and completeness of the collection. My first stop at the South Hill Library branch revealed a beautiful, neat and clean building, but with the construction dust and disruption of the re-model, they decided to store the microfilm at the Lakewood branch, the largest branch in the Pierce County system which had more room to hold the film. Since I had just come from that area a visit would have to wait till the next day. So, a further excursion down Hwy 161 to meet Cindy at the Eatonville Library would reveal the carefully saved issues of the original print. As I gingerly handled the crumbling pages of the earliest issues in a nearby room, I could hear the library staff connect with their patrons. “Aren’t you supposed to be in school today? Oh, it’s in-service day.” Two grade school boys giggled from the nearby computers where they were engaged in a game. “I saw your Mom in the grocery store last week. I haven’t seen her in a while, glad she’s doing better” was directed to another patron. It was a busy day at the library in Eatonville and the staff is obviously an important part of that community.

SendThemRightUp_20150129While checking for condition, missing issues and pages I found some other interesting artifacts of a bygone newspaper era. A princess from the Middle East came to visit Eatonville in 1917. An early pioneer, born in the 1880s and a well known citizen in town had just passed away in the early ‘20s. And what is this in the bottom of the box? Thick, pulpy printing mats embossed with text and ads from the Tacoma Daily Ledger, February 2, 1913, which were originally used on rotary printers for fast production of the daily paper. An early Bell Telephone ad, pictured here, states “Will You Send Them Right Up?” as the man pictured makes a quick call for shirts before he leaves on the evening train. A few of these old print mats from the rotary printing days had been stashed in the archival boxes as a nod to a by-gone era.

But there are also missing artifacts…. Where are some of the issues from the WWI and WWII? More sleuthing will be needed to track down pages that were filled with draft notices, war news and return heroes. More attempts to track down missing pages leads to yet another trip. A short visit to the busy Lakewood library, a two story, urban branch filled with computer users, parents and children. The helpful staff had not unboxed all the South Hill microfilm yet, but made and extra effort to search for the Eatonville film, but they didn’t have the missing issues we were seeking. Off to the University of Washington (UW) to see what they might have in their collection to fill in the gaps.

A visit to the UW campus on a sunny day is always a treat. Even in February there are camellias and hellebore blooming outside the stately Suzzallo Library. Inside the MicNews department, filled with six-foot-plus tall horizontal sliding walls of microfilm and many rows of newspaper racks I grabbed a few film reels for more review. Yep, I found a few of the missing date ranges that we will need and UW has a large collection of master film negatives, our preferred format for scanning. We partnered with UW and made use of their great collection during our participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program. It’s great news for us that we can work with them again on our new project.

shawnThere are still a few challenges yet to solve to make sure that we have the most complete, fully searchable, and clean digital collection. Choosing the best scanning vendors for a reasonable price; pursuing a few more elusive issues; finding the descendants of the early publishers. All are important details that will need to be addressed before scanning and generating files and sharing them with the world.

Over the next few months, Bob Larkin will be helping us to track down permissions to digitize from fellow publishers; we’ll be working with imaging vendors to scan as many pages this year as we can; and then we’ll be partnering with University of California, Riverside to add page numbers, dates, OCR and essential metadata, using the latest newspaper digitization software to make the collection compatible with national standards.

As you can see, there are many steps to wrangling a detailed project such as this, but also a satisfying job to bring this treasure to the world of the internet. Take a look at our online newspaper collection to-date from across the state: .

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