WA Secretary of State Blogs

Ask WA- Washington’s Virtual Reference Cooperative

March 2nd, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Technology and Resources No Comments »

aubriImagine you are out and about and have a burning question.  Or maybe you have a big paper due tomorrow and there is something you need to cite that defies all logic.  What do you do?   Pull out your smartphone or tablet, or log on to the internet and Ask a Librarian of course.  Ask WA is the statewide virtual reference cooperative coordinated by Washington State Library.  Nearly 60 public and academic libraries around the state take part in the program.  Ask WA is also part of a global network of libraries that are available to answer questions 24/7.  Yes that’s right, 24/7.

Now imagine you are a teenager and the idea of actually visiting a library or talking to a librarian is either too scary or soooo uncool. But honestly you still need their help.  Ask WA is the perfect solution.  With the thought in mind that teenagers have their phones practically glued to them and love text as a form of communication, Whatcom County Library’s Ask WA Administrator, Aubri Keleman decided to do something about pairing the two.  Working with school librarians in her service area Aubri arranged a day where she could visit eleven classes of middle schoolers to demonstrate the service.   Just that statement sounds a little overwhelming but the preparation involved was so much more.  While the service has librarians available around the clock, having 30 students login at one time is more than it can handle, particularly all day long.  But it’s a cooperative right?  Whatcom County librarians as well as librarians from all over the state and even country volunteered to take on extra shifts.  Aubri created a great list of Q&A’s for the kids to use so that the librarians would be prepared with good answers.  The big day arrived and we were off to the races!

Over the course of the school day Aubri visited the classes, demoed the chat service and then had the kids login and try it.  315 questions were asked and answered in that one school day.  They wouldn’t be Middle Schoolers if there weren’t a few “Yo dog” type of questions but on the whole the kids were polite and asked good questions.  (An aside, the school librarian explained that “yo dog” is a sign of respect!)  Aubri reported that they were excited to be chatting with a real person, and wanted to know about them.   They were really excited when they got someone from out of state and of course, they loved having permission in school to pull out their phones.

Comments from the kids:

“Thanks that was awesome!”

“That was very helpful”

“Thank you that is exactly what I was looking for.”

“They were very helpful! Thank You!”

It sounds like the day was a big success and that the 7th and 8th graders of Mount Baker Middle School have discovered a new way to get help with their homework.

Currently almost 60 libraries and library systems in Washington participate in Ask WA. Are you interested in learning how your library can participate? Just contact Ask WA Coordinator Nono Burling.

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2015 Proposed Legislation Affecting Libraries 2/27/2015

February 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.

2.27.2015

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2015 Proposed Legislation Affecting Libraries 2/20/2015

February 20th, 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.12345


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Clippings February 20, 2015

February 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 February 20, 2015

Library News

IRS makes fewer forms available at libraries (The Mukilteo Beacon, Mukilteo, 1/28/15)

Off the shelf: library news by Prosser branch staff
Storytimes are held every week in February. Preschool storytimes are held at the Prosser McDonalds on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. in the play area; Baby & Me storytimes are held at the Senior Center on Fridays at 11:00 a.m. For more information, visit our website at www.midcolumbialibraries.org. (Record-Bulletin, Prosser, 1/28/15)

IRS makes fewer forms available for library customers
Because of Internal Revenue Service cutbacks, Snohomish and Island County residents seeking printed tax forms will find fewer of them in their community libraries. “Some basic forms will be available, but even the number of those will be limited,” said Terry Beck, information services manager for Sno-Isle Libraries. Forms available in the library will include 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ, as well as some tax-help publications. Beck said customers at their 21 community libraries can use their computers to access the IRS forms online, then make free copies using their printers. For more information, visit their website at www.sno-isle.org/taxtime. (The Edmonds Beacon, Mukilteo, 1/29/15)
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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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2015 Proposed Legislation Affecting Libraries 2/13/2015

February 13th, 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.

2015-02-13_13-56-02

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Clippings – vol. 2 February 13, 2015

February 13th, 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 vol. 2 for the week of February 13, 2015

Library News

City Council weighs taxing budget options (The North Coast News, Ocean Shores, 1/8/15)

2014 year in review: Blaine Public Library (The Northern Light, Blaine, 1/8/15)

Library starts year with expanded hours, more staff
The Quincy Public Library has expanded its library hours and staffing. The new hours are Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. There are now three fulltime librarians: Nikki Urwin, Dottie Van Baugh, and Schiree Ybarra. (Quincy Valley Post Register, Quincy, 1/8/15)
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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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Clippings – February 13, 2015

February 11th, 2015 Staci Phillips Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, News, Uncategorized, Updates No Comments »

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Library Clippings for the week of February 13, 2015

Library News

At the Upper Skagit Library
This article provides information to the community about Upper Skagit Library activities. The library thanks the community for contributing to the Winter Food and Book Drive. One-on-One tutoring is being offered on the first and third Fridays of each month. The tutoring focuses on basic computer skills, resumes, cover letters, and job applications. Call the library (360-853-7939) to schedule an appointment. The library has new hours: Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Upper Skagit Library Board meetings have been rescheduled to the second Thursday of each month in 2015. (Concrete Herald, Concrete, 1/–/15)
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