WA Secretary of State Blogs

What can you find in a city directory?

April 7th, 2014 Kim Smeenk Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, Uncategorized 1 Comment »

directories
Do you know what you can find in a city directory?

If you want to research your home, your family history,
or local history you’ll want to use city directories.

They are similar to telephone books in that they were published every year, and they list the people living in a city….but city directories have so much more information.

You can find out the name of a spouse, both living and deceased.

Everett City Directory 1939

Everett City Directory 1939

 

You can find out someone’s profession.

cd profession

Wenatchee City Directory 1936

 

You can look up a company, and find out who was in charge.

Spokane City Directory 1893

Spokane City Directory 1893

 

If you are researching the history of your house you can search most city directories by street
address, instead of by a name, and find out who lived at a particular address.

Bellingham City Directory 1939

Bellingham City Directory 1939

This is a partial list of people and businesses located on Meridian Street in Bellingham in 1939.

In 1939, the Fountain Plumbing Co. could be found at 2309 Meridian.  Today, over 70 years later,  there is still a home improvement business at that address.

Not a plumbing company,  but a store selling recycled and salvaged building supplies.

 

You can track your ancestors year by year.

You not only find out if their address changed, but also if their employment or marital status changed.  These 1936 and 1938 Wenatchee city directories tell us that Don Miller got promoted during those years, becoming the President/Manager of North Central Chevrolet.

1936

1936

1938

1938

 

City directories also provide a historical snapshot of the city.  There is usually a profile of the city
at the beginning of each one, along with some statistical data.

Ellensburg City Directory 1968

Ellensburg City Directory 1968

The information provided varies from year to year and city to city.

This example from the 1968 Ellensburg City Directory tells us what their population was, and what their media, entertainment and transportation options were.

It gets even more detailed, and tells us how many beds the hospital had, how many volumes the library held, how many telephones were in use.
*click on the image to read those numbers*

There might not be surviving data from the Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce, but since they provided these statistics, along with the historical and economic data for the directory, we still have this historical snapshot of Ellensburg in 1968.

 

 

The directories after about 1920 usually have a yellow pages section where the businesses, churches, and government offices are listed by subject.

You can find out who all the local officials were….the mayor, police chief, and so on.
If the town happens to have Federal Government offices, you can find out who was in charge of them, as we can see in this  1955 Moses Lake city directory.

cd government

Moses Lake City Directory 1955

 

You can even find a future president….living with his mother in Seattle in 1961-1962.

cd_obama

Seattle City Directory 1961-1962

 

The Washington State Library has a collection of city directories for cities all over the state.

This page on our web site lists all of the city directories in our collection.
www.sos.wa.gov/library/cityList.aspx#washington

Contact us if you have any questions about using our city directory collection.
askalibrarian@sos.wa.gov   /   360.704.5221

 

 

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Double Trouble in Walla Walla

April 2nd, 2014 Kim Smeenk Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, Uncategorized, Washington Reads No Comments »

Double_Trouble cover

Double Trouble in Walla Walla.

The Adventure on Klickitat Island

What do these titles have in common?

Well, they contain two of Washington State’s very unique place names.  Walla Walla and Klickitat are just fun to say.

They are also part of our collection of children’s books here at the Washington State Library.

We don’t just have history books and microfilm here at the State Library.  We collect any book written about, or set in, Washington State.  That includes picture books.

 

Double Trouble in Walla Walla by Andrew Clements is a wonderful tongue twister of a tale that is great fun to read aloud.Double_trouble 2

In Lulu’s English class one morning, there is an outbreak of “lippity-loppity jibber-jabber.”

Everyone is double talking - the students, the teachers, the nurse and even the principal.

He tries to deny it by saying “Tut-tut, sounds like silly-willy hocus pocus to me”.

It seems he has caught the double talk bug too.


Adventure on Klickitat Island
by Hilary Horder Hippely is a beautifully illustrated nighttime adventure.  A little boy and his bear head out to help animals on the island who are wet and cold in a thunderstorm.

“On Klickitat Island
just think of the rains,klickitat
now soaking the otters
and poor baby cranes”

Once they get to the island, all of the animals work with him to build a shelter.  They triumph over the cold rainy night.

“With deer hauling driftwood
and cranes helping sort,
soon standing up tall
was a Klickitat fort!”

Come and visit us, or browse our catalog, if you’re  looking for a children’s book set in, or written about, Washington State.

 

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Digital Literacy Innovation Grant Opportunity

March 5th, 2014 jfenton Posted in Articles, For Libraries, Grants and Funding, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized No Comments »

diglitAre you ready to innovate in your community? Would your library like to:

  • Hold a community-wide tech fair?
  • Teach computer classes to senior citizens?
  • Recruit teen volunteers to help teach tech classes at the library?
  • Implement a video production lab with the latest technology?

If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” apply now for a Digital Literacy Grant from WSL. The purpose of this grant cycle is to provide funding to help public, academic, college, tribal, and school libraries implement Digital Literacy projects that focus on the skills and resources needed by a library’s community and its patrons. Projects should meet at least one of the following objectives:

  • Encourage the development of skills required to communicate and perform business transactions in a digital environment;
  • Use diverse technologies appropriately to retrieve quality information;
  • Support the development of skills to collaborate with others or to enhance employability in a digital and evolving world.

Digital Literacy grant applicants are urged to utilize project partners such as non-profits, hospitals, credit unions, and local businesses. Overall funding to support this grant cycle is $75,000, with a limit of $7,500 per application. It is anticipated that ten (10) or more applicants may receive awards.

Due to staffing limitations, WSL staff are not able to offer detailed one-on-one consulting on the final application. However, they are available to answer questions from potential applicants and can help them determine if they should adjust or proceed with their proposal or modify the proposal budget before expending the resources necessary to fully plan the project and prepare a full grant application.

For grant guidelines and specifics, go to sos.wa.gov/q/grants. For contact information for Digital Literacy staff, consult “Section 10″ of the guidelines. To find out more about Digital Literacy initiatives, visit sos.wa.gov/q/DLwa.

Applications deadline: Postmarked or hand delivered by Friday, April 18, 2014.

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A Library with No Books

March 5th, 2014 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, State Library Collections, Uncategorized No Comments »

Kathleen Benoun, long time Library Associate at the Western State Hospital Library in Lakewood, WA, is an amateur historian who spends a lot of personal time researching the history of the hospital, and the library itself.  Kathleen recently shared this interesting story about opening day of the library back in 1950.

Can you imagine opening day at a library without a book or librarian in sight?  That’s exactly what happened in 1950 on the grounds of Western State Hospital.  The Tacoma newspaper photograph you see below accompanied a story about the budget crisis of 1949 that diverted monies for the Staff Research and Patient Libraries to other building projects on campus.

Thankfully, the Legislature held a special session to fund both libraries and the Research Institute that occupied other floors of the building.

Washington State Hospital Library 1950

Washington State Hospital Library 1950 (from the Tacoma News Tribune??)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since then and many budget crises later, the Patient Library has endured to provide leisure, educational, and therapeutic resources for both patients and staff.

Washington State Hospital Library 2014

Washington State Hospital Library 2014

The shelves are no longer empty.  Now the library houses 8574 books and 5610 CD/DVDs in the collection, as well as popular magazines and local newspapers

Beyond the physical resources the library provides, over the years, Kathleen visited every ward in the hospital to present Library programs.  Her goal was to both entertain and encourage the patients to borrow from the collection or use library services such as the listening center where patrons could enjoy radio or music or outreach programs for ward-bound patients and staff. The most popular ward programs were interactive–such as trivia contests and poetry readings.  Kathleen reports, “One month, I visited a ward with older men and women and challenged them to play the board game Chauvinist Pigs.  Its trivia questions were based on gender-specific common knowledge.   We had such a spirited time together, the staff came over to shush us.  First time that ever happened to me, but it wasn’t the last.”

Patients and staff often express their gratitude for the presence of an on-site library to provide a comforting environment within the state psychiatric hospital.  Over the years, both patients and staff have donated materials to supplement the meager library budget.  Patients have also donated poetry and original art.  One patient read so many novels, he told the Library staff he could write his own book, which he did and donated two copies to the Library collection.

The Western State Hospital Library is a unique library which serves a key purpose; a place that responds to the needs of its patrons and provides a welcoming, non-judgmental space to visit. But isn’t that the definition of all good libraries?

 

 

 

 

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March 3rd, 2014 Nono Burling Posted in Uncategorized No Comments »

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Go Hawks!

January 30th, 2014 steve.willis Posted in Articles, For the Public, News, Uncategorized No Comments »

Jan2014GoHawksFrontDoor

The 12th man is alive and excited at Washington State Library.  The 4th floor windows on the Library’s south side urge the Seahawks to victory in Super Bowl 48!

Need something to read before the big game?  Here are a few books about the Seahawks:

Tales from the Seattle Seahawks sideline:  a collection of the greatest Seahawk stories ever told by Steve Raible.

Super Seahawks:  the story of the Seahawks magical run to the Super Bowl.

Notes from a 12 man:  a truly biased history of the Seattle Seahawks by Mark Tye Turner.

For these titles and other books about the Seahawks, check out your local public library.  Enjoy the game and Go Hawks!

[From the desk of Shirley Lewis. Photos by Sean Lanksbury and Steve Willis]

0129140952

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Gadget Menagerie Takes Off

January 29th, 2014 jfenton Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, Library 21 Initiative, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized No Comments »

Less than a month into a whirlwind tour of over 40 libraries around the state and the Gadget Menagerie is officially a big hit in libraries. January kicked off the Gadget Menagerie with visits to Skagit and Lincoln Counties as well as the Ritzville Library and Mid-Columbia Libraries. Now, we are preparing for a super-busy February with visits to Gonzaga University, Richland Public Library, Timberland Regional Library, Washington State Library, Spokane County Library District, Sno-Isle Libraries and Everett Public Library. Wow, that’s exhausting just at a glance!

sedro2

Sedro-Woolley staff show off devices at the Gadget Menagerie

The exciting thing about the Gadget Menagerie program is that it is not only for staff, but also for the public. Libraries wishing to offer a public program are partnering with Washington State Library staff to bring the Gadgets to the library for patrons as well. Working directly with library users has been a joy. It is so much fun to help people discover the world of eReaders and tablets. Everyone has different needs when it comes to using a tablet and our job is to help people understand how they are all similar, yet different. Is this a contradiction in terms? Perhaps, but it is very true.

By working with staff and encouraging them to approach devices in a “device agnostic” manner, we hope to get staff more comfortable helping patrons coming to the library on a daily basis with various devices. Each day of the Gadget Menagerie, we are learning more about devices and about our communities.
Devices in the current menagerie include: Kindle, Nook Touch, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD, Galaxy Tab 10.1, iPad Mini, Microsoft Surface RT and a Chromebook.

New devices are coming soon and will include more android-based tablets. Patrons and students may bring their own device or explore one from the Washington State Library.

gadgets

Just a few of the available devices at the Gadget Menagerie.

At the public workshops, we assisted many people with their own devices and showcased the gadgets from our menagerie. An 83-year old woman wanted to compare tablets. After working with the various tablets in the Menagerie, she was able to narrow her interest down to 2 tablets. At another session, a 70-something farmer wanted to know when high speed internet would come to his county and town. He loves technology and has quite a few of his own gadgets already. He enjoyed showing us what he liked about the different tablets and was enthusiastic when telling us that when high-speed internet comes to his town, he’d be able to do so much more with all his high-tech toys. When the local librarian asked him “How did you get so tech savvy?,” he responded with, “My grandkids, and I have a lot of them!”

Our youngest patron at the Gadget Menagerie was 9 years old. She had a tablet and wanted to learn about YouTube. Unfortunately, since she has no access to internet at home, her tablet has limited functionality when items aren’t downloaded directly onto it. She loves coming to the library and now knows that she can bring her tablet in and use the library’s wi-fi to download what she needs and ask the friendly staff for help.

So, by now you are probably wondering, what exactly is this Gadget Menagerie?

The Washington State Library is partnering with local libraries across the state providing gadget training for library staff. Library patrons and students will be given similar training focused on the needs of the device user. Over 40 locations and 70 trainings are scheduled for the Gadget Menagerie through June 2014.

“We are very excited to be able to provide this training,” State Librarian Rand Simmons said. “We hope these skills will be beneficial to both library staff and those who rely on library resources.”

burlington

Staff at the Burlington Public Library study devices at the Menagerie.

Library staff will learn how various eReaders, tablets and other devices work. They will discover what these devices have in common, how they differ, and learn basic operating tips. Staff will learn basic troubleshooting and tips for helping patrons with their devices, including how to download books from the library.

The Gadget Menagerie will familiarize local library staff with the variety of gadgets available, allowing for staff to be more comfortable and skilled in helping library patrons.

Not all libraries are offering both types of training; some libraries are focusing only on staff training since they either already offer public workshops or don’t have the resources to offer trainings at this time.

These trainings are funded by the Washington State Library via the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

For this project, which is part of the Washington State Library Digital Literacy project, we are actively encouraging feedback and stories. So far, 100% of the public attendees say they have learned something valuable and would recommend the program to another. Comments from the public vary, but this one is very typical of the responses we have been receiving; “It was useful to have knowledgeable persons explain the equipment-what they will and will not do. Thank you for bringing the variety of devices.”

As one staff person said in a thank-you note, “We couldn’t have asked for better, more useful, hands-on training!”

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New Digital Collection: Ocean Shores Heritage

November 27th, 2013 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized No Comments »

Larry Tommer with Japanese glass fishing float found near Ocean Shores, Washington.

Larry Tommer with Japanese glass float found near Ocean Shores, Washington, 1966.

A new digital collection from Ocean Shores, Washington documents the area’s rapid transformation from a sleepy, rural seaside locale to a developed resort community during the 1960s and 1970s. The Ocean Shores Heritage Collection includes material from the local history archives of the Ocean Shores Public Library, digitized in 2013. Digitization was made possible with assistance from the Washington State Library’s Washington Rural Heritage Initiative.

Standout material from the new collection includes:

Didi Anstett, 1968's Miss America, posing with the Ocean Shores Clam Prix oversized razor clam shovel.

Didi Anstett, 1968′s Miss USA, posing with the Ocean Shores Clam Prix oversized razor clam shovel.

Ocean Shores Public Library joins more than 90 cultural heritage organizations contributing to Washington Rural Heritage, a statewide collaborative digitization initiative coordinated by the Washington State Library.  Public libraries, tribal libraries, and partnering heritage institutions are eligible to participate in the project, which provides grant funding, training, digitization support, and digital collections hosting to its participants.

To learn more about participation, as well as upcoming digitization grant opportunities, please contact Evan Robb at the Washington State Library, evan.robb@sos.wa.gov, 360 704-5228

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Inmates at Clallam Bay Donate $1,000 to CBCC Library

October 28th, 2013 vmullen Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services, Uncategorized 2 Comments »

Clallam Bay Library

Clallam Bay Library

The CBCC Branch Library was given a check this month in the amount of $1000.00 to spend on any and all kinds of books for the library. The check was donated by the CBIT (Clallam Bay Improvement Team) which is made up of offenders serving life without parole. The money comes from them holding fund raisers, such as pizza sales or baked goods made in the bakery by inmates and purchased by inmates through the whole institution. The bakery is run by Peninsula college and is a certified class. The purpose of the team is to improve life in the institution for all inmates. They are always craving new, up-to-date items that have to do with re-entry, medical, jobs and of course popular fiction authors. Due to the size of our budget at this time the library was grateful for the check and we thank them all.

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Sing With Our Kids: WSL Workshops Wrapping Up

October 24th, 2013 jfenton Posted in For Libraries, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized No Comments »

Parachute play

Parachute play

Music powers the young brain and children’s musician, Nancy Stewart, brought that message to over 300 librarians across Washington State. Nancy launched a pilot program last year to connect families with free resources for early learning through community singing. Her project takes place in her own community of Mercer Island and has been expanded to last through at least summer 2014. The ideas shared at the trainings provided by Nancy around the state for library staff will be incorporated into her resources. Nancy’s free website for “Sing With Our Kids” is available at http://singwithourkids.com/.

Nancy’s free website includes songs, videos, book recommendations, community toolboxes, a grandparents corner, tips on using technology, advice from the experts, early learning and music information, your voice and ears and much more. All the information is available freely as long as credit is given and not profit is made.

Programs related to the project have included flash mobs, scavenger hunts, caroling, may pole celebration, storytimes,  campfire sing-alongs and early literacy talks for parents and care-givers. When Nancy demonstrated the may pole at the library workshops, excitement was so high that many libraries now have their own maypole for singing and dancing. In addition, one librarian in Everett came up with the idea of theming the may pole to reflect the current season and a new version about a spider was created. Check out Nancy’s flash mob video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnFA4DOIwdc&feature=share.

marthamaypole

Martha Shinners and the May Pole

Making inter-generational connections and getting out into the community is what Nancy’s pilot project is all about (in addition to encouraging singing and the development of early literacy skills in young children.) Nancy has partnered with the local library, bookstore, parks, churches and even families she has never met while working on this project. Using social media (blog, facebook, twitter) helps Nancy reach a wider audience and connect with new people. For her community Christmas caroling, Nancy’s basic idea was to get families together and go caroling. She threw out the idea that someone could do this in their own neighborhood and even project the lyrics onto a big screen if available at someone’s home. Next thing she knew, Nancy was contacted by a family inviting her to lead caroling at their home with lyrics projected. Neighbors and family came together to sing making for quite the memorable event.

Early literacy skills are vital to helping children prepare for kindergarten. Nancy has great videos on the six early literacy skills and five practices of early literacy at http://singwithourkids.com/video.htm. She collaborated with Charlie the Noiseguy to make the videos both educational and fun.

Feedback from the workshops held in 13 locations around the state was extremely positive. Participants shared the following comments on the impact of the workshop:

Campfire Sing-Along

Campfire Sing-Along

  • I would say the project was great to learn about and Nancy was very motivating. It helped me feel encouraged to understand the importance of music in a child’s life and the need to incorporate it more into storytimes. I also enjoyed the live examples of how to use a parachute, maypole, etc. Great ideas!
  • Being reminded about the power of music once again and how it can connect families together.
  • It was just listening to Nancy talk about the power of song. It gave me a lot to think about and also a new way of talking to patrons about the importance of song. Also, her website looks incredible! I think this will be invaluable.
  • Building the confidence and providing the outstanding free resources for integrating songs and singing into children’s programming in the community.
  • The wealth of ideas and all the connections that were made. The reminder about the importance of music in my professional life and personal life!
  • I really enjoyed the videos that Nancy shared of herself going out into the community. Breaking up in to small groups and brainstorming gave us a “hands-on” approach and I think that helps us retain the information better and we also learn from each other.

The final workshop takes place tomorrow in Spokane at the Moran Prairie branch of the Spokane County Library District. After the final workshop, Nancy will continue to share her project with libraries throughout Washington via her website, blog and other avenues. Interested in giving it a try yourself? Check out Nancy’s community toolbox at http://singwithourkids.com/toolbox.htm.

 

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