WA Secretary of State Blogs

Tribal Libraries in Washington receive grants from IMLS

September 2nd, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Tribal No Comments »

From the desk of Carolyn Petersen.Stillaguamish Tribal Library

The recent announcement of the IMLS Basic grants to Washington State tribes reveals the importance placed on learning by the Native America tribes of Washington State.

The following tribes applied and received the basic grant:

  • Kalispel Indian community of the Kalispel Reservation–Usk
  • Yakama Tribal Council—Toppenish
  • Lower Elwha Tribal community—Port Angeles
  • Lummi Indian Business Council—Bellingham
  • Suquamish Indian Tribe of the Port Madison Reservation–Suquamish
  • Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe—Sequim
  • Skokomish Indian Tribe of the Skokomish reservation—Skokomish Nation
  • Nooksack Indian Tribe—Deming
  • Hoh Indian Tribe—Forks
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe—Olympia
  • Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe—Tokeland
  • Port Gamble Band of S’Klallam tribe—Kingston
  • Samish Indian Nation—Anacortes
  • Squaxin Island Tribe—Shelton
  • Makah Indian Tribe of the Makah Indian Reservation—Neah Bay
  • Stillaguamish Tribe of Washington –Arlington

In addition to receiving basic grants two of Washington’s Tribal Libraries received special Enhancement Grants.

Yakama Tribal Council – Toppenish, WA

With this award, the Yakama Nation will revive the existing outdated library collection with relevant new books, and audio and video resources. The library staff will focus on professional development in cataloging, reading literacy, and collection development in order to facilitate, support, and assist patrons in meeting their information retrieval needs. The library will also collaborate with the Yakama Nation Tribal School to select readings to enhance student project-based learning research needs. The Yakama Nation envisions building upon their collaborative success by updating the library collection and promoting reading. These developments will enhance library programming, promote reading, and generate enthusiasm for reading at Head Start facilities and at library story hours.

Nisqually Indian Tribe – Olympia, WA

The Nisqually Tribe will utilize a StoryCorps recording studio within the tribal library to record the stories of tribal members. Trained staff will use the recording technology to facilitate sessions where tribal members exchange and share their stories with each other. These recordings will then become part of the knowledge the tribe can share from the tribal library’s collection and will be preserved for future generations.

Tribal libraries are spread all across the state and have a variety of missions.  Some serve as afterschool support for the youth of their tribe.  Others concentrate on early childhood literacy.  Yet others serves as their community’s public library.  Some tribal libraries support college programs both distance and on site while yet others  provide genealogy resources for individuals to prove tribal membership.   There are museum research collections. Some libraries provide resources to preserve their native language.  Each of these libraries is unique and reflects the values of its tribal community.

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Clippings August 14, 2015 (published August 31, 2015)

August 31st, 2015 Marilyn Lindholm 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 August 14, 2015 (published August 31, 2015)

Library News

Library cabinet reveals message from builder (The Leader, Port Townsend, 7/15/15)

Library measure merits a ‘yes’ vote (Journal of Business, Spokane, 7/16/15)

Library vote to dominate primary (Valley News Herald, Spokane, 7/17/15)

Rural library ousts chief (Union-Bulletin, Walla Walla, 7/22/15)

Feeding readers: little free library tales (The Seattle Times, Seattle, 8/2/15)
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Libraries and STEM learning

August 31st, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public 1 Comment »

Keva CityFrom the desk of Rand Simmons, Washington State Librarian

Do you consider those years in elementary, middle, or secondary school as the primary time you invested in learning? Perhaps you went on to college or graduate school. But, over the course of a person’s life only about 3% is spent in formal education.

Education is not the equivalent of learning although one hopes the two intersect. However, some who study learning believe that the most effective learning happens not in formal education environments but in informal settings.

Once called the “people’s university” the public library has filled an important role in society, that of facilitating informal learning. The goal of lifelong learning ranks high on many library mission statements. We know that once a person completes formal education he or she will continue to learn and it makes sense that they turn to public library and use its resources. Libraries remain a trusted place to learn.

Much of the STEM movement has focused on children and on encouraging girls to become engaged in science, technology, engineering and math. But, STEM is important to adults, too. Adults need to find and hold jobs, to enter STEM careers or simply to enrich one’s knowledge.

Sally Chilson, Spokane Public Library

Sally Chilson, Spokane Public Library

The Washington State Library has invested federal funds to purchase STEM kits – Legos to be exact – that circulate among rural libraries so that kids can experience the wonders of science. 3-D printer is a popular STEM educational tool in libraries. We recently purchased a well-loved Egg Bot (a friendly art robot that can draw on egg-shaped objects) and demonstrated it at the annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Library Association. (See this short You Tube video of the Egg Bot).

Another State Library STEM program is the Microsoft IT Academy, an online technology training program provided free to the residents of Washington through public, two-year academic and tribal libraries. The IT Academy is a partnership between the State Library/Secretary of State and Microsoft and is funded by the State Legislature. Over 15,000 state residents have accounts on the site and are taking advantage of the hundreds of online courses over the past two years.

Project manager Elizabeth Iaukea notes, “Every time a learner takes an IT Academy course they are engaging in STEM. Public libraries have been supporting STEM education for at least two decades.”

11699044_898830330182470_7504914450782232784_o“Libraries and museums are improving learning in science, technology, engineering and math, a national priority for US competitiveness.” (Institute of Museum and Library Services)

Rand Simmons and Elizabeth Iaukea recently attended the Public Libraries and STEM conference in Denver, CO.

According to State Librarian Rand Simmons, “Public libraries are amazing. They constantly adapt to meet societal needs. STEM addresses a national concern that the U.S. not fall behind in science, technology, engineering and math. Public libraries partnering with STEM industries and non-profits and government agencies that focus on STEM are part of the solution. Despite predictions of their demise public libraries remain viable and vibrant.”

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Clippings August 7, 2015 (published August 28, 2015)

August 28th, 2015 Marilyn Lindholm 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 August 7, 2015 (published August 28, 2015)

Library News

Everett libraries to let outsiders share (Everett/Mukilteo Tribune, Snohomish, 7/8/15)

Tech upgrade to close library for a bit (The News Tribune, Tacoma, 7/28/15)

Library Lego contest winners
Winners of this summer’s Lego contest at the library under the “Every Hero Has A Story,” theme were Seth Lustig for grades 4-6, Caleb Lustig for grades K-3, and Jenna Harwood for grades 7-12. The projects were judged on creativity, originality, and theme. (Whitman County Gazette, Colfax, 7/9/15)
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WSL Updates, August 27, 2015

August 27th, 2015 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 11, August 27, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:






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Visit the San Juan Islands – Winter and Spring 1907!

August 26th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

From the desk of Marlys Rudeen – Deputy State Librarian

Traipsing through issues of the San Juan Islander for January-April 1907 is serious business.  For the islanders are a litigious lot and there seems to be a fair amount of news regarding lawyers, courts, suits and arrests in what we think of today as an idyllic vacation spot.  I’ve picked out a few events that struck me as interesting, but there is far more to be explored.

Feel free to browse through the issues for 1898-1914 on your own at the Chronicling America site,

(http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88085190/) at the Library of Congress.  Choose the link to ‘Browse’, then use the drop down to choose a year, and the calendar display to choose an issue.

Jan. 5, 1907

  1. 1 The first electric street light in Friday Harbor lights up the intersection of Spring and Main streets. Voluntary contributions from citizens will be necessary to purchase additional lights.  The paper takes the stance that incorporation is advisable in order to fund such civic improvements.

Jan. 12, 1907

  1. 1 The danger working in lumber mills is underlined by the report of the accident suffered by Dutton McNallie, a 19-year old, who lost his left arm to the planer at the Friday Harbor Mill.
  2. 3 Under the heading “No Women Politicians”, the paper quotes Pope Pius X where he exhorts women to do everything they can to care for the poor and uplift civilization, including education. “They should study everything, with, of course, the exception of theology.”  He continues that women should be lawyers, doctors and teacher, but should not enter politics.  “Women in Parliament!  The idea is preposterous.  Men there make blunders sufficient.”

Jan. 26, 1907

  1. 1 Former San Juan Co. resident, W. C. Boone, is in jail in Salem, OR, charged with bigamy. Also it seems his name is actually D. M. Richards.  He married a Miss McFadden in Salem on Sept. 15, 1906, failing to mention that he already had a wife in the Bellingham area (and several children) from whom he had never obtained a divorce.  It is also charged that when he married the wife in Bellingham, he already had a wife in Ohio.

The Whatcom County Bar Association has instituted proceeding for the disbarment of E. J. Grover.  Specific charges include misappropriation of funds and soliciting a bribe.  Grover is known for “having been associated with Mr. Garrett in the trial of the Wold-Ziegler cow case.”

The case of the McCrary Liquor License – whether or not to issue a liquor license to W. H. McCrary becomes a burning question in San Juan County.  There will charges and countercharges, sworn affadavits, lawyers and county commissioners weighing in over several months.  See “Officials Clash on License Question.”

Feb. 2, 1907

  1. 1 “McCrary Liquor License Held Up.”

Feb. 9, 1907

  1. 1 “The ‘Pirates of Penzance’ would have to ‘go away back and sit down’ if they were to come into competition with the fruit and produce commission pirates of Seattle. Compared with them the ‘Forty Thieves’ of the Arabian Nights were mere novices in the art of robbing the public.”

What sort of tactics do fruit and produce pirates employ?  An Orcas Island orchardist shipped 70 boxes of choice apples to the commission, for which he expected payment of about $60 according to current fruit prices.  After considerable time and several letters he went to Seattle and confronted the owner of the shop which had sold the fruit.  The shop owner admitted he had received the fruit in good order and sold it at good prices, but instead of paying the grower he had used the money in his business and so didn’t have it to make payment, and “what are you going to do about it?”  (Pirates, indeed!)

Street lights  – It turns out the single street light was being donated free for a couple months by the local power company.  Now they announce that it will be shut off unless someone raises the money to pay the monthly fee.

Feb. 16, 1907

  1. 1 “Special Meeting of Commissioners” (McCrary Liquor License.)

Feb. 23, 1907

  1. 1 An argument between citizens, A. Stoliker and Fred Peasley became heated, with such florid language that Mr. Peasely went so far as to attempt to have Mr. Stoliker placed “under bonds to keep the peace.” There was a hearing before Justice Oscar Bergman of the Valley Precinct. “While the evidence showed that the language used by Stoliker wasn’t indicative of a feeling of brotherly love toward Peasley and that it would be somewhat out of place in a Christian Endeavor meeting or high class literary symposium, it did not impress the justice as being of such a character as to indicate that Stoliker was really thirsting for Peasley’s gore… and he was accordingly discharged.”

Mar. 2, 1907

  1. 1 “A repeated Misstatement Corrected” (McCrary Liquor License.)
  2. 6 The current serialized novel is “The Iron Pirate” by Max Pemberton.iron pirate

Mar. 16, 1907

  1. “A Statement from Commissioner Sandwith.” (McCrary Liquor License.)

Also a new physician settle in Friday Harbor, Dr. George H. Shrodes.

Mar. 23, 1907

  1. 1 “Mr. Frits Demands a Retraction.” (McCrary Liquor License.)

Apr. 6, 1907

  1. 1 Another saloonkeeper, Fred Lightheart is acquitted in a case involving gambling in his saloon. “While the fact of gambling in the saloon was clearly established, the evidence failed to show that it was done with his knowledge or consent.”  (Perhaps they limited their play to darkened corners?)

Apr. 27, 1907

  1. 1 A proposed tax on dogs ($1 for a male, $2 for a female) is said to be unconstitutional by the attorney general. The county attorney had consulted him after the county commissioners proposed the tax.

Ed Gilshenan who was thought to be drowned in the San Juan Channel, turned up safe and sound at his home on Waldron Island.  He did indeed capsize, but managed to reach Brush Island.  Once there it took several days to flag down a steamer that picked him up and allowed him to find his way home.

I’ll leave the islands now but hope you will visit and make the acquaintance of the early citizens.  And in case you’re wondering, Mr. McCrary does indeed get his license, though I would be hard put to identify exactly where and when it happened.

The San Juan Islander was digitized through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under the National Digital Newspaper Program.  The Islander and many other American newspapers can be found online at Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov) at the Library of Congress.

Additional newspapers for Washington can be found at Historic Newspapers (www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/newspapers.aspx) at the Washington State Library’s web site.  The State Library is a Division of the Office of the Secretary of State.


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Even boring machines can be interesting.

August 17th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections No Comments »

With Big Bertha in the news on a regular basis we got to thinking about boring machines in general. Or rather, interesting boring machines.  One in particular comes to mind, from the historic coal mining community of Roslyn, Washington:


From Roslyn local historian, Sue Litchfield:

Steep-pitched mines predominated the Roslyn-Cle Elum Coal Field, making it more expensive to extract coal than the relatively flat coal seams in the east and Midwest. In an effort to cut costs Tom Murphy the mine’s general manager designed and built the N.W.I. Company’s coal boring machine. The boring machine was able to drill crosscuts and air tunnels in a third of the time required by conventional means. “Murphy earned recognition from engineers throughout America and other countries for his genius in coping with the problems of steep-pitch mining in the Roslyn Cle Elum Field,” wrote Cle Elum’s Miner Echo. “A boring machine, first put on paper about 1940 and finally constructed in the Roslyn shops about 2 years ago, was one of his pet projects. Employed at the No. 3 Mine, the machine has eliminated the expensive upkeep of ordinary main airways by boring them 42 inches in diameter through the coal.

These photos of the Northwest Improvement Company’s coal boring machine, as well as other mining machinery and equipment photos were digitized by the Roslyn Public Library with grant assistance from the Washington State Library. They are part of the Washington Rural Heritage Collection and come from the family photo collection of a descendant of Frank Badda, who worked for decades in the Roslyn mines, working his way up to the position of Superintendent until the last mine was closed in 1963.

Oh and back to Big Bertha, she does have one thing that the Roslyn boring machine lacked… a Twitter page.

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Clippings July 31, 2015

July 31st, 2015 Marilyn Lindholm 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 July 31, 2015

Library News

Little libraries with big hearts (Mercer Island Reporter, Mercer Island, 7/8/2015)


Tukwila is growing up
Drive by the corner of South 144th Street and Tukwila International Boulevard and you’ll see big piles of dirt. It’s hard to miss that Tukwila Village is becoming reality. And, soon, work will begin on the new King County Library branch for Tukwila. (Tukwila Reporter, Kent, 7/–/15)


Library recognizes three with Bullitt scholarships
The Seattle Public Library Foundation has announced the winners for the 2015 Stimson Bullitt Civic Courage Scholarship. Three scholarships were awarded to: Natalie Quek, $5,000, for her essay “Preserve Our Islands’ Fight to Protect Maury Island”; Noah Foster-Koth, $2,500, for his essay “Washington State’s Greatest Civil Rights Advocate”; and Lena Easton-Calabria, $2,500, for her essay “Reviving an Ancient Whaling Tradition in the Face of Discrimination: Cultural Courage by the Makah Tribe”. The winning essays can be read at www.civiccouragescholarship.com. (City Living Seattle, Seattle, 7/–/15)
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WSL Updates Special Edition for Friday, July 31, 2015

July 30th, 2015 Diane Hutchins Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »


Note: The next regular edition of WSL Updates will appear on Thursday, August 6, 2015.



The Washington State Library is pleased to offer a new learning opportunity for all public library staff members and volunteers in Washington State who are interested in early childhood literacy and storytimes. Supercharged Storytimes, made possible through a partnership of the Washington State Library, Thrive Washington, and OCLC, introduces public library storytime providers to a more effective way to plan and deliver storytimes. Supercharged Storytimes does not replace existing library programs, such as Every Child Ready to Read – it enhances them through techniques proven to be effective by Project VIEWS2 research.

After joining the Supercharged community, public library staff members and volunteers in the state of Washington have access to:

  • Recorded webinars that provide an overview of the science and the significance of Supercharged Storytimes;
  • Online supporting materials, such as videos, articles, and tools and tip sheets;
  • Supercharged discussion forums, offering the ability to share ideas and collaborate with other public library colleagues around the state.

There is no cost for public library staff and volunteers in Washington State to participate. To sign up:

  • Go to webjunction.org and click on “Log in” in the upper right-hand corner.
    • Have a WebJunction account? Simply log in with your username and password.
    • New to WebJunction? Follow the instructions to create a new account.
  • After logging in, enroll in Supercharged Central -Washington by going to the WebJunction Course Catalog and search courses by entering: Supercharged
  • At the enrollment options page, enter the following enrollment key: superchargedWA and then click on “Enroll me.”
  • After you select “Enroll me,” you will be see the Supercharged Storytimes community of practice page.
  • Welcome to the community – and get ready to supercharge your practice!


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


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


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The Lives and Times of Bookmobile Librarians – A piece of our library history.

July 28th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public 1 Comment »

bookmobile “Never were maidens more ardently pursued than we were by the elements in the pioneer days of rural bookmobiles in the great Pacific Northwest.”

Thus begins the December 1947 issue of the Library News Bulletin (LNB). The LNB was a publication of the Washington State Library from 1932 – 1975, and one that we have recently decided to digitize.  It contains the early history of the libraries of Washington State.  They have been silently lurking on a shelf near my desk and have only today made themselves known to me.  What a treasure trove they are for those of you interested in Library history.  In the spirit of Steve Willis I pulled the aforementioned issue off the shelf and discovered an entire “Bulletin” dedicated to Bookmobiles. In 1947 bookmobiles were apparently the hot ticket in Washington.  These staunch librarians ventured out all over the state, bringing books to their most remote patrons.  Here are a series of quotes from the issue, including stories that they reported from their rounds.

“’I have an emergency request,’ Declared a ten year old bookmobile patron.  “My penguin is sick.  Have you a book telling what to do for a sick penguin?” – Snohomish County Library.

When the cranberry growers on the Burrows Road were too busy to come to the bookmobile in the midst of harvest this fall, driver Charles Jackson and librarian Mary Botten walked out on the bogs and helped with the harvesting.” – Grays Harbor County Library

“’My wife wants this book renewed.’ “I’m sorry sir but I have another reservation for that book.  I shall have to keep it for the next reader.’ “Good enough for her, serves her right.  I told her she should be reading her books instead of moving the furniture around the house to some new place where nobody can find anything.’” – Snohomish County Library

“At one stop, a woman and her two children always arrive in the family ‘jeep.’  She was absent one day, and the bookmobile had traveled several miles when the driver heard a queer sound and looked back to discover that we were being chased by a jeep!” – Whatcom County Library.

“Along a lonely country road a lady, scarcely middle-aged, flagged the bookmobile. ‘Could I have library books?  I can’t get to any of the scheduled stops and I am so ill that there is nothing left for me to do but read.’  Dropsy, from which she is suffering has already developed to such an extent that boarding the bookmobile is physical impossibility.  Our schedule was already crowded.  An added stop threw off the whole day’s program.  So what?  There were always the few minutes assigned to lunch. We found a way.” – Snohomish County Library

“The traveling library again reaches the flats and there stands ‘Grandpap,” one-eyed and 90 years old, with his book-filled suitcase ready for exchange, A woman, nearly out of breath, hurries into the library gasping, ‘I was in Vancouver and I almost didn’t get back in time to meet you here and I just don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have anything to read.” – Clark County Library

“One of our patrons had trouble remembering when he should go to the bookmobile and always arrived just as we were pulling away from the stop.  One day he arrived exactly on time and someone asked him how it happened.  ‘Oh,’ he replied, ‘my wife sets the alarm for me now, so I’ll know when to leave the house.’” – Whatcom county Library

“At one of our stops the patrons rate only second in our affections.  A little golden cocker spaniel is always there to greet us.  He barks his welcome and wags his tail impatiently until the door is opened, and in he jumps to receive our words of greeting.  After a quick inspection to be sure everything is ship-shape and the librarian and driver on deck, he skips out, quite satisfied that he has exercised true community spirit by recognizing and appreciating the new bookmobile and its staff.” – Snohomish County Library. 

Now a days we reach our patrons on bicycles, at festivals, by email, through electronic chat, and on and on.  These bookmobile stories are just an early example of what we did and what we still do as librarians. We go where our patrons are.  Have a good story to share of going that “extra mile” for your patrons?  Tell us in the comments.

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