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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WSL Updates for February 12, 2015

February 12th, 2015 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, News, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 11, February 12, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) SUPERCHARGED STORYTIMES

2) IYOUTHCON 2015

3) CHARITY& NONPROFIT TRAINING SESSIONS

4) LLOPS SPRING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP

5) FREE E-RATE WEBINAR

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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Statewide Database Licensing Needs Assessment Survey

January 22nd, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Technology and Resources No Comments »

 

DATABASE at Postmasters, March 2009 by Michael Mandiberg / CC BY-SA

DATABASE at Postmasters, March 2009 by Michael Mandiberg / CC BY-SA

The Washington State Library’s Statewide Database Licensing (SDL) project announces the release of two important needs assessment surveys, one for library staff, and one for library users. All library staff who are aware of the library’s electronic resources, especially research databases, are encouraged to take the staff survey, and all Washington libraries are encouraged to promote the user survey to their clientele, through their web sites, social media, patron newsletters, and any other appropriate media or opportunities.

The surveys will be available through Friday, February 20, 2015. Here are the survey links:

• Library user survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SDL-2015
• Library staff survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SDL-Staff

The library audience for both surveys includes all types of libraries that participate in SDL: public libraries, private academic, community and technical colleges, hospital and research libraries, and K-12 schools, both public and private. In the case of K-12 schools, the end user survey is intended for classroom teachers and administrators, rather than students, but college and university students are strongly encouraged to take the survey.

In promulgating the survey links, be sure to notice that they use the secure https protocol. Visit sos.wa.gov/q/SDL for additional information, including suggestions for promoting the survey to your users. For questions about the surveys or the SDL needs assessment process, please contact SDL project manager Will Stuivenga will.stuivenga@sos.wa.gov 360.704.5217. Thank you in advance for your participation and cooperation in making these surveys a success.

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WSL Updates for January 15, 2015

January 14th, 2015 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, News, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 11, January 15, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) 10 TECHNOLOGIES TO MAKE LIBRARY LIFE EASIER

2) BOOK YOUR BANK PILOT PROGRAM OPPORTUNITY

3) 2015 LIBRARY LEGISLATIVE DAY

4) WLA AWARD NOMINATIONS OPEN

5) GOT MOOC?

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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The WSL has a new Master.

January 12th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education 3 Comments »

MOS-Master

By now I think most of you have heard about the Microsoft IT Academy (ITA) program which is offered through the Washington State Library. The ITA is a collection of over 400 online courses and other IT instructional materials that are available to all Washington residents. But have you heard yet about the newest addition to the program, the opportunity to prove your skills with certification?

Thanks to the hard work of Elizabeth Iaukea, certification sites are being set up all over the state. While completing the trainings provides the necessary skills to be competitive in a 21st Century workplace the certification tests are the best way to prove to employers the depth of your knowledge. Having attempted just a basic test myself I can attest to the fact that they are not easy.

Well, on Monday January 5th, the Washington State Library’s IT Academy program certified their first Microsoft Office Specialist Master (MOS).   And now I’d like to introduce (drumroll…) Jeremy Stroud, WSL’s graphic designer, web guru and now Master of the Universe (er.. of Microsoft Office). In order to earn this lofty title Jeremy first passed the entry level tests in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook. Then for the Master certification he also passed the expert level class in both Word and Excel.

Here’s what Jeremy has to say,

“I have been using Microsoft Office programs since the mid 1990’s, being first introduced to the suite of programs while in high school. I’m not shy about facing challenges so if I came across issues while using an Office product, I dug around until I found a solution. This tinkering and experimenting with Microsoft Office, in addition to the courses taken through the years, have allowed me to have a very broad and in-depth knowledge of the programs. The rise of the internet has made this even easier as there is now a wealth of knowledge available, such as the Microsoft IT Academy. When opportunity to take the certification arose, I decided to see how far my knowledge went. I believe that having my MOS Master certification will open many doors for me as I continue throughout my career.”

The Microsoft IT Academy and MOS certification testing has been available in all of WA’s public high schools for almost four years now, but has only been available to the rest of the state since November 2013 (MOS certification followed a year later), through special Legislative funding provided for the program to the State Library and available through all public, tribal, and community and technical college libraries in the state.

Adding certification was the natural next step, and missing piece to make the online training pay off.” Iaukea explains. “As the many who have suffered through periods of unemployment know all too well, it’s not enough to have the skills – you have to be able to prove to employers that you have them. Microsoft Office is the third most requested job skill, and MOS, as THE industry recognized credential for this software, is the BEST way to demonstrate that you have those in-demand skills.”

That’s why, in 2013 the Legislature approved money to support the program for the biennium ending June 2015. As a result, anyone can take the online courses and use the Study Guides provided by their local libraries to take a MOS exam – without having to travel as far or pay as much to test ($50 or less rather than $125).

We are proud and extremely lucky here at the State Library to have a MOS Master in our midst. But don’t just take my word for it. Let’s hear what some of his co-workers have to say

Jeff Martin – Head of Library Development

“I always knew Jeremy was talented when it came to Microsoft Office software. I frequently ask him the “how do I” questions that stumped me. I consider myself an intermediate user of the software suite when it comes to Word, Excel, and Outlook. After mixed results with the basic certification tests on Word and Outlook, neither of which I passed, only one of which I came close to passing, I have a new found respect for how in-depth Jeremy’s knowledge of these products truly is. Jeremy is a great problem solver for Microsoft Office. My problems, his solutions.”

Rand Simmons – Washington State Librarian

“Jeremy is my go to guy for Outlook, Excel, Word and PowerPoint. I know the rudiments of the software but when I am baffled he saves my bacon by making a quick fix. I have yet to encounter a problem he couldn’t resolve. His mastery of Microsoft products shows in the excellent products he produces.”

Will Stuivenga – Cooperative Projects Manager

I consider myself to be a relatively savvy computer user, especially when it comes to Microsoft Office products … But I know that I can count on Jeremy to run circles around me in terms of his exhaustive knowledge of specific features and functions of any MS Office product. And if he doesn’t know the answer off the top of his head (which he often/usually does), he can quickly find it (by sitting down briefly at my computer), or (if needed) look it up online. In some cases, I can look things up myself, but in many situations, it’s simply easier and faster (i.e., more efficient) to just ask Jeremy, than to struggle on my own. Having him here in the department is a wonderful and convenient resource that I have used and relied on countless times over the almost 11 years I have worked here in Library Development.

While Jeremy’s co-workers will certainly reap the benefits of his expertise we hope that this mastery will be reproduced around the state as more people complete the courses and take advantage of the certification program. Go Washington!

 

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Davenport Public Library – Providing Broadband Access to their community

December 1st, 2014 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Grants and Funding, Technology and Resources 1 Comment »

davenportOver in Lincoln County the Davenport Public Library is doing business, but not quite as usual. In 2013 they were the beneficiaries of a Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program (BTOP) grant as well as a LSTA grant both administered by the Washington State Library. We recently heard from Katy Pike, a librarian at the Davenport library about some of the ways that implementing this grant has impacted the Davenport community. First the numbers. Their speeds used to be a slow 1.5 mbps download and .5 upload. After on average they now receive 20 mbps download and 22 mbps upload speeds. Quite a change.

Katy reports that before the grant it was impossible to run a public and staff computer on the same internet line without competing for the very limited bandwidth.  With the upgrades this is no longer true. Other benefits to the patrons are that many people in the community now use the library computers for filing tax returns, applying for DSHS benefits, career development, online education, and information or entertainment needs. And because of the broadband the Davenport Library now has the capacity to run Microsoft IT Academy from its public computers which will allow the local residents to increase their computer skills, which hopefully will lead to better jobs.

But the best part of the story is not about numbers but about people. Katy told us three of the kind of stories we love to hear, and they seemed like stories to share.

As soon as the library was set up with higher speeds, a teen girl in our community was able to utilize DPL’s internet to meet her homework and entertainment needs. Originally, the internet speed was not sufficient enough to load online programs that were accessible to visually impaired patrons. Now, this young lady uses the library’s downloadable book service and Wi-Fi.

Our fire station across the street from DPL utilized the library’s Wi-Fi when retraining volunteer firefighters in CPR/First Aid. (It was needed to access the instructor’s online education materials.)

The sewing business next door to DPL is utilizes the Wi-Fi to teach crafting classes and to conduct other business transactions.

Katy said that while the library is open only sixteen hours a week, the Wi-Fi extends beyond the walls of the library. People often use the library’s Wi-Fi just by sitting in their cars after hours. All in all, it sounds like the library’s broadband is having a wide range effect on the Davenport community.

Finally a quote from Katy, “E-rate, the equipment awarded from the 2013 Broadband grant, and technology expertise from the Washington State Library allowed the Davenport Public Library to successfully participate with the BTOP grant. The [Davenport] library doesn’t have consistent tech support and doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure to have participated without guidance from the Washington State Library.”

The Washington State Library is working diligently to help support the libraries and by extension the residents of Washington State. Thanks to Katy for sharing her story with us. How has the State Library impacted your community?

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WSL Updates for November 6, 2014

November 5th, 2014 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, News, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 10, November 6, 2014 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY ACT

2) LETTERS ABOUT LITERATURE 2015

3) FREE BOOKS FOR WASHINGTON LIBRARIES

4) EARLY LEARNING STEM INSTITUTE

5) CAYAS FALL WORKSHOP REGISTRATION OPEN

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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WSL Updates for October 9, 2014

October 9th, 2014 Diane Hutchins Posted in Digital Literacy, For Libraries, For the Public, News, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 10, October 9, 2014 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) WSL ESSENTIAL SERVICES SURVEY

2) GET THE GUIDE

3) CALL FOR PROPOSALS – BUILDING BRIDGES

4) LIBRARY NOW RENEWALS AND SIGNUPS

5) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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WSL Updates October 2, 2014

October 1st, 2014 Shirley Lewis Posted in Digital Literacy, For Libraries, News, Technology and Resources, Updates No Comments »

Volume 10, October 2, 2014 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) NATIONAL INFORMATION LITERACY AWARENESS MONTH

2) LIBRARY NOW WEBINARS

3) 2013 WASHINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY STATISTICAL REPORT – NOW AVAILABLE!

4) ALA SCHOLARSHIPS

5) EXPLORING HUMAN ORIGINS TRAVELING EXHIBITION OPPORTUNITY

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

 

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WSL Updates for September 11, 2014

September 10th, 2014 Will Stuivenga Posted in For Libraries, News, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 10, September 11, 2014 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) CE NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY

2) AWE GROUP PURCHASE OFFER

3) FREE DISASTER RECOVERY WORKSHOP

4) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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1) CE NEEDS ASSESSMENT SURVEY

The Washington State Library/Washington Library Association Continuing Education Needs Assessment (CENA) Survey is now available.

Your participation will help WSL and WLA offer valuable, targeted continuing education opportunities over the next 2 years. Please share this survey widely with all library staff in public, school, academic, college, tribal and other libraries.

The survey should only take 15-20 minutes to complete and is available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/WACENA2014

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2) AWE GROUP PURCHASE OFFER

The WSL Statewide Database Licensing Project and AWE Digital Learning Solutions are again announcing a multi-state special group purchase pricing to all public libraries for both the Early Literacy Station™ and AfterSchool Edge™. To take advantage of this special offer, orders should be placed before December 15, 2014.

The Early Literacy Station™ (ELS) is a dynamic all-in-one digital learning solution for early learners, ages 2-8. It is available in English and Bilingual Spanish and features over 70 content applications. The AfterSchool Edge™ features content for all elementary age students (approximately 6-12 years old). The educational programs, which are correlated to Common Core and state standards, span all seven curricular areas. Each product features engaging graphics, intuitive menus, usage tracking, and administrative functions. No Internet connection is required to use either of these products.

Pricing will be available from the Statewide Database Licensing AWE group purchasing page at sos.wa.gov/q/AWE-2. For more information, contact Cynthia Busse, AWE Senior Account Executive at bussec@awelearning.com or 281.210.4799.

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3) FREE DISASTER RECOVERY WORKSHOP

Protecting Cultural Collections: Disaster Prevention, Preparedness, Response & Recovery is a free two-part workshop sponsored by the Western States & Territories Preservation Assistance Service (WESTPAS). Funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The instructor, Gary Menges, is a retired Preservation Administrator, UW Libraries, a WESTPAS trainer, and a member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works Collections Emergency Response Team (AIC CERT).

Who should attend? Administrators and staff responsible for emergency preparedness, response and decision-making, in all types of cultural institutions. By registering for the workshop, the institution commits to supporting the attendee(s) to achieve the workshop’s disaster preparedness goals. When possible, please commit two attendees so they can work together on the disaster preparedness activities.

Event details:

  • Part 1: ON-LINE WEBINARS – Prevention & Preparedness (archived 2½ hours total)
  • Part 2: IN-PERSON WORKSHOP – Response & Recovery
  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014 – 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – Yakima Valley Museum, 2105 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98902.

Participation in the in-person workshop requires viewing the archived Part 1 webinars BEFORE attending the Part 2 in-person workshop AND completing the workshop assignments. Any exception requires the permission of the instructor.

For more information or to register visit sos.wa.gov/q/WESTPAS-Yakima. For registration assistance, contact Alexandra Gingerich, gingerich@plsinfo.org; for general & content information, contact Gary Menges menges@uw.edu.

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4) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

September 15

  • VIP Webinar with Ken Burns (Baker&Taylor); 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/kenb

September 16

  • Shared Print Repositories (ALCTS), two-day webinar; 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/spr
  • When Remembering Really Matters: The Power of Serious Games for Learning (Training Magazine Network); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/whenre
  • Walking the Walk: Engage Volunteers in your Volunteer Engagement Program (VolunteerMatch.Org); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/volwalk
  • Executive Branch Documents (ProQuest); 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/exdoc

September 17

  • Shared Print Repositories (ALCTS), two-day webinar; 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PDT wa.gov/q/spr
  • Grant Proposal Feedback Clinic (4Good); 12:00 – 1:00 PDT wa.gov/q/grtfeedback
  • Strategic Decision Making: Shifting Your Culture from Reactive to Proactive; 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/strdec
  • Storymakers: Tell Your Library’s Story (Techsoup); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/storym
  • Subject Matter Expert + Tablet = Faster, Cheaper, Better Video Learning Content (Training Magazine Network); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/subjmex
  • The Team Equation: Managing Teams that Deliver (Training Magazine Network); 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/teameq
  • ProQuest Health and Medical Complete; 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/medcompl
  • ELibrary for Schools (ProQuest); 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/eschool
  • My Research & RefWorks: Perfect Together; 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/myres
  • Busqueda Avanzada en la Plataforma (Spanish – ProQuest); 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/spapro

September 18

  • Making Our Gadgets Work for Us, Spokane County Library, Argonne Branch, Spokane; 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • You Can Do I.T. On Your Own (Infopeople); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/doit
  • Teen Books Buzz Fall 2014 (School Library Journal); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/bookbuzz
  • Funding Rural America: Finding Support for Small Communities (Techsoup); 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/fundrur
  • Measuring Success: How to Strategically Assess Your Program (VolunteerMatch.Org); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/volmeasure
  • ABI/INFORM FAQ (ProQuest); 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/abipro
  • Ebrary-ebooks for Schools (ProQuest); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/ebraryproq
  • New Literature Online LION (ProQuest); 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/lionpro

September 19

  • Leading without Authority, Bellingham Public Library, Bellingham; 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information and to register (unless otherwise linked above), visit the WSL Training Calendar at sos.wa.gov/q/training.

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