WA Secretary of State Blogs

Great news for Washington Digital Newspapers!

April 22nd, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized No Comments »

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The Washington State Library has been awarded a Veridian Newspaper Conversion Grant to process and present up to 10,000 newspaper images from our Historic Newspapers Collection.  In March we competed against other national and international academic, public and special libraries with digital collections for the opportunity to have the Veridian software company convert our metadata and cloud-host a full-text searchable collection for two years.

We will have new features to explore, such as advanced search techniques, improved search results, comment opportunities and personal search lists! By converting our keyword, subject-based collection of historic newspapers to METS/ALTO metadata standards, a standard approved by Library of Congress for newspapers in their Chronicling America program, this grant will enable us to capture the text from news articles in a form that allows researchers to use advanced search techniques such as proximity search, exact phrases and date ranges to find their favorite topics. It also encourages users to help improve search results with crowd-sourced correction features when poor Optical Character Recognition (OCR) resultKeepLightBurning_Stars occur from smudged or blurry originals.

 The Washington Digital Newspapers program has the largest collection of Washington state and territorial newspapers in the world, but we are still quite shy of having as extensive a digital collection as we have on microfilm. There are also plenty of community newspapers ready to be digitized across the state. This grant will help us compare the best online software features available for newspapers and we will use this experience to determine the future growth of our online newspapers collection for the residents and researchers of Washington.

Progress for Digital Newspapers!!

pioneer-and-democrat

DL Consulting provides Veridian Software

Here are some examples of their work:

Newspaper collections from our NDNP partners

Library of Virginia

California Digital Newspaper Collection

Non-newspaper collections

Princeton University

 

 

 

From the desk of Shawn Schollmeyer- Washington Digital Newspapers Coordinator

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Washington Congressional Senators and Representatives sign off on legislation crucial to Washington.

April 8th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized No Comments »

From the desk of Rand Simmons

Rand0714Two pieces of legislation important to the people of Washington are working their way through Congress. Optimum support requires members of both the House and the Senate and from both parties sign on to “Dear Appropriators” letters.

The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is administered by the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State. The Senate letter notes that “LSTA is the only federal program that helps public libraries meet community needs, provide enhanced services through technology, reach underserved populations, and retain librarians while recruiting new entrants to this important field. Robust federal support for the state formula program and competitive grant provided by LSTA is more essential now than ever.”

Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) chair the Senate committee to obtain maximum allowable funding for the Act. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) signed the letter. State Librarian Rand Simmons had urged her to do so. Representative Rick Larsen (D-WA 2nd) signed the House letter. Currently the State Library receives about $3.3 million annually in LSTA funding and all types of libraries in Washington are eligible to receive funding and services.

Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) is a grant program under the Fund for the Improvement of education. The Senate letter states, “IAL provides competitive awards to school libraries and national not-for-profit organizations, including partnerships that reach families outside of local educational agencies, for providing books and childhood literacy activities to children and families in high need communities. The program also supports parental engagement and focuses on promoting student literacy from birth through high school.” Senators Blunt and Murray are also leading the quest for this funding.

Signers in the House include Representatives Denny Heck (D-WA 10th), Jim McDermott (D-WA 7th) and Adam Smith (D-WA 9th).

  • Learn more about how the Washington State Library administers the Library Services and Technology Act at the Library’s web site.
  • Information for this article came from the American Library Association’s Advocacy Works: Broad number of legislators back library funding. Links to Senate and House letters are provided.
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Washington State Library promotes technology

March 20th, 2015 Rand Simmons Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized No Comments »

Picture4The good ol’ card catalog. How we miss it?

The card catalog was a dominant technology for several centuries harkening back to the French Revolution when after raiding religious houses of their books and manuscripts the revolutionaries established a system of public libraries and the French Cataloging Code of 1791. The bibliographic information for each book was recorded on the blank back of playing cards, hence the card in card catalog.

In the 1960s with the development of machine readable automated cataloging – the MARC record – and the rise of OCLC, a bibliographic utility that stores library information electronically, libraries abandoned their card catalogs seduced by computer catalogs otherwise known as online public access catalogs.

Along came Bill and Melinda Gates and Bill Gates, Sr. with their vision of placing PC’s in every public library in the United States. Thus the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s U.S. Libraries program was born around 1997.

At that time only about 25% of public libraries offered access for the public to the Internet.

The nation’s state libraries partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and by 2004 the Foundation had invested $240 million in placing computers in libraries and had connected 99 percent of U.S. public libraries to the Internet.

However, as wonderful and as crucial as the U.S. Libraries Program was, it was just the beginning of libraries adapting new technologies.

Over a period of time, roughly 1998 to 2014, the Washington State Library through its administration of federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds invested $4.2 million in technology-related grants to libraries.

These grants have helped bring connectivity to libraries; have provided laptop and tablet training labs; and we helped libraries dip their toes into the pool of digital imaging.

Later we taught local libraries how to digitize their historical treasures, how to make the images find-able through metadata, and hosted these digital collections for libraries who retained the originals.

In the early 2000s the State Library helped create a “virtual reference network.” The concept was to create a network of participating libraries across the state that would, by collaborating with and linking to a national network, share responsibility for providing customers with information 24/7/365 – that is, to anyone, anywhere they might be, and at any time. Customers are served even when the library is not open. That program lives on as Ask-WA.

Perhaps the most ambitious project we have undertaken was joining a loose-knit collaborative of anchor institutions (schools, hospitals and libraries), non-profits, state and local government agencies and others to apply for Broadband Technology Opportunity Program grants. Two successful applications, one in summer 2009 and the other in Spring 2010 netted $138 million awarded to the Northwest Open Access Network to bring higher bandwidth connectivity to rural Washington communities. When in the second round application the federal government added a matching fund requirement to the application our friends the Gates Foundation stepped up and provided the match for several state libraries including Washington.

We have also provided professional development grants to individuals to take technology courses and have provided technology-related training.

Lately we have engaged in the provision of free online technology training by partnering with Microsoft. With funding from the Washington legislature and large discounts from Microsoft the Washington State Library is able to offer the Microsoft IT Academy free to any resident of Washington through public, two-year, and tribal libraries. Schools also offer the Academy and it is administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

We are taking the Academy to a deeper level by pairing with Workforce Development and supporting training among the tribes using the Academy to address digital literacy needs on the reservations.

So while the card catalog remains an object of fond memories, one which many of us lovingly display in our homes, if we were lucky enough to snag one, I doubt any of us would go back.

Technology will change libraries. The Washington State Library, as a change agent, is committed to lead the charge.

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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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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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WLA Library Legislative Day -January 30, 2015

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

Library staff, trustee and friends from all points in Washington State gathered in Olympia for the Washington Library Association’s Library Legislative Day. Library Legislative Day

Following a morning briefing these library advocates swarmed the Capitol campus to make their legislators aware of issues that affect Washington libraries.

Among the issues discussed was the Washington State Library’s budget crisis. Many legislators are probably unaware that the State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State is in crisis.

State Librarian Rand Simmons said, “The Washington State Library is facing a $2.4 million shortfall in its budget. The legislature must provide a backfill during this session or the State Library will lose its ability to serve the people of Washington beginning July 1, 2015. Washington libraries depend on federal funding to serve their local communities. Currently $1.8 million in state dollars results in $3.3 million federal dollars. These funds help bring reading to the blind and others who cannot read traditional print material, provide library service to those in institutions and enhance Washington communities statewide. Without state funding for libraries we will lose federal dollars.

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Secretary of State Kim Wyman spoke to the group about the partnership of the State Library with the libraries of Washington State.  She stressed that the State library touches everyone in the room through opportunities provided by LSTA funds. She explained that she is working diligently to address the situation, visiting legislators and newspaper editorial boards, but she also urged the crowd to speak to their legislator about the State Library and how it impacts their community in a very tangible way.  “They are used to hearing from us, they need to hear it from you, their constituents.” Just how does the State Library serve the people of Washington?  We talked to several of the librarians at the gathering and got a wide range of answers, answers that reflect the wide range of services that are offered by the State Library.  Here are just a few of the comments we “collected”

Tony Wilson – Retired librarian from Highline Community College.

The State Library are national leaders in library database licensing, as well as leaders in reference.  When I needed a map of where forest fires were happening I couldn’t find one anywhere (and I’m a librarian!)  Then I turned to the State Library.  I had the map in minutes.

 Chris Skaugset – Director of the Long view Public Library.

The State Library allows us to do things we simply couldn’t do on our own.Without the State Library we wouldn’t be able to offer the wide variety of digital resources, databases and ebooks that we have available to our patrons.  We also recently received a grant from the State Library that allows us to offer technology training to our community. 

 Mary Thornton – Director of the Hoquiam branch of the Timberland Regional Library.

The digital resources and archives provided by the State Library are the first place we send our Genealogy patrons.  The Grays Harbor Genealogical Society in particular go right to the State Library’s website.

 Devin McCosh – Library Associate from the Olympia Timberland Regional Library

Devin really appreciates the professional development opportunities made available by the State Library.  He mentioned attending online “First Tuesdays” webinars and the fact that the State Library provides Professional Development Grants  to Timberland staff allowing them to keep on top of the profession.

 Donna Schuman – Computer Services Department at Timberland Regional Library

Donna mentioned the Database Licensing that the State Library coordinates, allowing group pricing so that all Washington state libraries are able to provide access at a reasonable cost to the library.  She says the State Library makes a tremendous difference both  in her work and for her professionally. 

How does the State Library impact you or help you get your work done?  How do the services offered by the State Library impact your community?  We’d love to hear your story.

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Clippings December 12, 2014

December 15th, 2014 Staci Phillips Posted in Uncategorized No Comments »

 

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Library Clippings for the week of December 12, 2014

Library News

First Wind supports local libraries
Miguel Rosales, First Wind’s Western Region Operations Manager who is based in Temecula, Calif., stopped in Rosalia to present a check supporting the Rosalia and Oakesdale branch libraries. In its second year of funding, First Wind supports Rosalia’s Saturday hours and 24 community programs each year at the Oakesdale library. (Whitman County Gazette, Colfax, 10/30/14)

At the Upper Skagit Library
The Washington State Library Now app is available for free download on your mobile devices. The app allows you to search the nearest libraries, access your library account, search the catalog, request holds, and connect to Facebook and library Web sites. Plus, access your OverDrive account through this app and download e-Books. (Concrete Herald, Concrete, 11/–/14)
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Clippings – December 5, 2014

December 5th, 2014 Staci Phillips Posted in Uncategorized No Comments »

 

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Library News

Libraries partner with Thrive by Five, focus on early learning
The Libraries of Stevens County has partnered with Thrive By Five Washington, the Washington State Department of Early Learning and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Thrive By Five Washington has created a program called Love.Talk.Play, to help provide early education information and encourage positive connections between young children and their parents/caregivers. (The Independent, Chewelah, 10/23/14)

Carlson new library board member
Sonja Carlson has been appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to the Spokane County Library District’s board of trustees. Carlson will fill the remainder of a term due to the resignation of Daniel Davis, whose term expires Dec. 31. (Valley News Herald, Spokane, 10/24/14)

Grandview Library marks its centennial in 2014
In 2014, Grandview Library celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding, which took place April 12, 1914, the date of the first meeting of the Library Board of Trustees. That birth date was commemorated April 15, with a party in the main area of the library, hosted by the Grandview Friends of the Library. That was the first of a number of other activities. (Grandview Herald, Grandview, 10/29/14)
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WSL Updates for December 4, 2014

December 3rd, 2014 Shirley Lewis Posted in Uncategorized No Comments »

Volume 10, December 4, 2014 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) WLFFTA ADVOCATE FOCUSES ON WSL

2) JOHN TORNOW: VILLAIN OR VICTIM? EVENT

3) LETTERS ABOUT LITERATURE 2015

4) 2015 LIBRARY LEGISLATIVE DAY

5) BUILDING BRIDGES TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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Clippings – November 21, 2014

November 25th, 2014 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 News

PA council eyes bridge measures (Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, 10/19/14).

Library levy lift would help maintain services, meet requests (The Independent, Chewelah, 10/16/14).

Planning for new $7M library underway (Central Kitsap Reporter, Silverdale, 10/17/14).

Library grant to fund science, technology lab (Skagit Valley Herald, Mount Vernon, 10/19/14).

Book Corner: County library programs promote food awareness (Skagit Valley Herald, Mount Vernon, 10/26/14).

Uniontown Library aims for new space. The Uniontown Library may be three times as big by this time next year if plans by Whitman County Library staff and volunteers come to fruition. The Uniontown branch is now housed in a 10 x 14 foot room at city hall. A new proposal would move the library into a current fire department garage next door. (Whitman County Gazette, Colfax, 10/16/14).
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