WA Secretary of State Blogs

WSL Updates for April 28, 2016

April 27th, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, April 28, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) MEMOIR WRITING FOR ADULTS WEBINAR

2) RELEASE THE ROBOTS

3) SUPERCHARGED STORYTIMES – THE VIEWS2 WAY

4) REFRESHING SCHOOL LIBRARIES GRANT CYCLE OPENS

5) DIGITAL LITERACY 2016 GRANT CYCLE OPEN

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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WSL Updates for April 7, 2016

April 7th, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, April 7, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) NEW WSL PILOT PROJECT

2) DIGITAL LITERACY 2016 GRANT CYCLE OPENS

3) WASHINGTON RURAL HERITAGE DIGITIZATION GRANTS NOW ACCEPTING PROPOSALS

4) FREE SUPERCHARGED STORYTIMES WORKSHOPS WITH SAROJ GHOTING

5) 2016 NORTHWEST ELEARN CONFERENCE

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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WSL Updates for March 31, 2016

March 31st, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, March 31, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) FREE FOOD FOR THOUGHT WEBINAR

2) A THIRD GAINING STEAM WORKSHOP ADDED

3) HIGHLINE COLLEGE ONLINE LIBRARY COURSES

4) WALE CONFERENCE PROPOSALS WANTED

5) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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WSL Updates for March 24, 2016

March 24th, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, March 24, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) GAINING STEAM WORKSHOPS ADDED

2) SUPERCHARGED STORYTIMES – THE VIEWS2 WAY

3) COOL CREATIONS COMEBACK

4) SERVING DIVERSE COMMUNITIES ONLINE COURSE

5) WALE CONFERENCE PROPOSALS WANTED

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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WSL Updates for March 3, 2016

March 2nd, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in Digital Collections, For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library No Comments »

Volume 12, March 3, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) STATEWIDE DATABASE LICENSING RFP RELEASED

2) WASHINGTON RURAL HERITAGE DIGITIZATION GRANTS NOW ACCEPTING PROPOSALS

3) FREE BOOKS FOR WASHINGTON LIBRARIES

4) ARMS OPEN WIDE: LIBRARY OUTREACH TO CUSTOMERS WITH PRINT DISABILITIES

5) STAR_Net Webinar Series Announced

6) NN/LM PNR TRAINING OFFERINGS

7) CONFERENCES, ANYONE?

8) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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WSL Updates for February 25, 2016

February 25th, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, February 25, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) WORKING TOGETHER TO REACH THE UNDERSERVED

2) GAINING STEAM WITH LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3®

3) 2016 WASHINGTON VIRTUAL REFERENCE CONFERENCE

4) ARSL 2016 CONFERENCE SEEKS PRESENTATION PROPOSALS

5) GREAT STORIES CLUB GRANT APPLICATIONS OPEN

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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Gaining STEAM through Lego Robotics

February 22nd, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Training and Continuing Education No Comments »

From the desk of Joe Olayvar

Anacortes_5Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, also known as STEAM, is currently a catch phrase that personifies a push to elevate those topics into mainstream thinking (and coolness).  In its effort to further 21st Century learning, the Washington State Library (WSL) is doing its best to be part of that push.  What started out as a potential use of Lego Mindstorm EV3 robotics to bring STEAM topics to rural and tribal libraries, quickly became a full-fledged regional workshop with thirteen scheduled stops.

Utilizing funding opportunities from the Institute for Library and Museum Services (ILMS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), WSL purchased ten Lego Mindstorm EV3 Core sets, extra components, and ten laptops that will comprise a pair of circulation kits.  However, because the EV3 programming software may at first glance seem intimidating, a training program was developed by Evelyn Lindberg and Joe Olayvar to take the sting out of it and demystify some of the uncertainties.

The idea was simple; provide all the tools necessary, introduce the Lego Mindstorm EV3 robot with a few of its basic capabilities and programming aspects, then allow the imagination of library staff to formulate their own workshop based on their community’s likes and needs.  Out of that idea was born the “Gaining STEAM – Lego Mindstorms EV3” workshop launched in late January and will continue through April.  The kits used for this training will then be available for circulation to Washington’s rural and tribal libraries. SedroWoolley_1

Our first stop was Port Angeles where the participants were subjected to our grand scheme. Which turned out to be a little more than time permitted and stretched their capacity to absorb three tons of information.  Basically, our ambition and volume of content for the six hours we had…was a bit overzealous.  The deer in the headlights look afterwards said it all.  But we did warn them that they were our guinea pigs and thankfully, they eagerly rose to the occasion and conquered the challenges.  We have since then adjusted our curriculum so that future participants would leave with less of a headache and still gain a lot of STEAM.

So here we are now wrapping up our west side tour with seven workshops under our belt and six more scheduled for the east side of the mountains.  We’ve been as far north as Sedro Woolley and as far south as Fort Vancouver with roughly seventy library staff participating.  I say “participating”, because this is very much a hands on workshop with most of the time spent programming the robots for mini challenges that progressively increase in complexity.  Then, for added danger, they get to activate the Legotron Blaster to neutralize a container of weaponized gnomes in the final, culminating challenge.

As you can see by these photos, it’s serious business discovering your inner kid again.  Since there’s absolutely no prerequisites for this workshop, most have gone from knowing nothing about programming, to assembling a Lego Mindstorm robot and programming it to tackle the various challenges.  Not to mention the highly acclaimed “I Robot” challenge with its chocolatey goodness reward that sets the stage for a day full of skill set expanding fun.

Anacortes_2If you have any kind of experience with Lego’s, even if it’s through observation only, you know how grippingly fun and immersing Lego’s can be.  Now add the creative exhilaration of building and programming a robot to that, and you’ll understand the magnetic attraction that kids of all ages have for it.  Then add the fact that you’re sneaking in STEAM curriculum and you’ll understand the benefits to the individuals and families that make up the communities where our libraries live…and serve.

 

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WSL Updates for February 18, 2016

February 18th, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, February 18, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) TEEN VIDEO CHALLENGE

2) GAINING STEAM WITH LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3®

3) 2016 WASHINGTON VIRTUAL REFERENCE CONFERENCE

4) WORKING TOGETHER TO REACH THE UNDERSERVED

5) FAMILY ENGAGEMENT IN LIBRARIES

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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WSL Updates for February 11, 2016

February 10th, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, News, Public Services, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, February 11, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) 2016 WASHINGTON VIRTUAL REFERENCE CONFERENCE

2) ASK A LIBRARIAN SERVICE AT WSL

3) NONPROFIT TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

4) FAMILY ENGAGEMENT IN LIBRARIES

5) SPRING HAPPENINGS

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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WSL Updates for February 4, 2016

February 4th, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, February 4, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) CSLP REPRESENTATIVE NEEDED

2) NATIVE VOICES EXHIBITION

3) BIG TALK FROM SMALL LIBRARIES 2016

4) NEW RESEARCH GRANT OPPORTUNITY

5) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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