WA Secretary of State Blogs

Horrible Murder!! – The Case of the Aged Bride

July 24th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, Technology and Resources, Uncategorized No Comments »

From the desk of Marlys Rudeen
I will admit to a weakness for a murder mystery – but one from the early 1920’s with shady characters, a missing trunk, divers in Lake Union, forgery, fraud and general unsavoriness?  Well, that’s irresistible.  And all done up in purple prose by the Seattle Star?  Even better!

Feel free to follow the story yourself by looking at the Seattle Star in Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87093407/issues/1921/).  I’ve listed the dates and pages below.

Mahoney

May 25, 1921, p. 1

Meet James and Kate Mahoney.  James is 37, an ex-convict, paroled from Walla Walla in December of the previous year after assault and robbery charges in Spokane, and a former train conductor before that.  He is being held on forgery charges at the time the story breaks.  He marries Kate Mooers on Feb. 19, 1921.  Kate is 72 and quite well off, owning several buildings in Seattle.   Kate Mooers is the former Kate Keeler “whose dance hall and allied activities at Butte in the late 80s were celebrated thruout the Northwest.”  (Hard to see what could go wrong.)

A few months after the wedding the “aged and wealthy bride” is missing.  Her husband insists she is traveling… in Cuba.  The Captain of Detectives is planning on dragging Lake Union for a mysterious trunk. And James Mahoney “the ex-convict bridegroom” is held in the city jail on charges of forging various documents that allow him access to his wife’s resources.

Mahoney insists that they went to St. Paul, MN for their honeymoon, where they quarreled (coincidentally after Mrs. Mahoney signed papers allowing her husband power-of-attorney and access to her safety deposit box.)  The bride then departed to travel to Havana via New York.  The forgery charge arose after he used the papers to gain access to the safety deposit box.

In the weeks and months to come there are rumors, mysterious witnesses, blind alleys of inquiry, charges and countercharges, dueling lawyers and a cast of peculiar characters.  I’ve tried to list some of the more significant points on the timeline below.

May 26, 1921, p.1

A trunk lid and hair found in Lake Union by a houseboat resident near the Lake Union auxiliary power plant!  (Not the right trunk.)

A floating body seen in the bay at Edmonds! (Later determined to be a logger – May 27, 1921)

Mahoney sends a telegram to his wife care of the  N.Y. hotel where they had reportedly arranged to meet after her travels!  (No one has seen her there.)

May 27, 1921, p. 1

The female friend of one of the witnesses against Mahoney goes missing.  Rumors spread that Mahoney’s first wife also disappeared on a trip east.  Officials continue to drag Lake Union. 

May 28, 1921 p. 1

When grappling hooks fail to produce a body, divers (looking like something out of Jules Verne) are brought in to search Lake Union.  They fail to find a body.  Due to testimony of witnesses seeing someone like Mahoney rowing about Lake Union in the dead of night in a small white boat with some sort of large object in the stern, Capt. Tennant of the police remains convinced the body will be found in the Lake.

Mrs. Mahoney’s niece insists a letter, purportedly from her aunt, is a forgery.

May 30, 1921, p. 1

Stories and counterstories continue.  Mahoney’s first wife is located alive! (Score for Mahoney.) But says she left him because he was smuggling opium and tried to kill her! (Score for the police.)

May 31, 1921, p. 1

Mystery witness claims to have heard Mahoney jest about his wife’s death.  Divers still searching.  Police assert the Mahoneys did not board the train for St. Paul as claimed.

June 2, 1921, p. 1

A submarine or U-boat sled is brought in to be used in search.  Forgery hearing set for June 14.

As the days and weeks go by, the story occupies less and less space in the paper.  The County Commissioners offer a reward for information about Mrs. Mahoney’s whereabouts (June 2).  The search for the trunk goes on, but one can imagine that Capt. Tennant of the police is beginning to get some odd looks around headquarters.

July 30, 1921

Headlines again when a trunk (empty) is found in Lake Union.

And finally – Aug. 9, 1921, p. 1

The trunk is found with a badly decomposed body! Mahoney is back in jail.  The body is identified as Kate Mahoney by the wedding ring and false teeth.

Aug. 10, 1921, p. 1

Mahoney announces he will make a fight of it at his trial, and five people attempt to claim the reward for finding the trunk. Police search for a hammer which they believe was the murder weapon, along with poison, and sightseers from all walks of life visit the morgue to observe the remains.

There are then several days of reporting on various facets of the case leading up to trial.

Aug. 13, 1921, p. 1

This piece concentrates on the expected testimony of the expressmen that conveyed the trunk from the Mahoney apartment to Lake Union at Mahoney’s request.

Aug. 16, 1921, p. 1

There are reports of Mahoney’s increasingly odd behavior in jail and how his possible insanity would affect the trial.

Aug. 17, 1921, p.1

Mahoney is brought before a board of physicians to evaluate his mental ability to understand trial procedures and the charges against him.

Aug. 18, 1921, p. 1

Mahoney is declared sane, and doctors remark that he overplayed his role.  His mother and sister in an effort to help ”admitted that insanity was rampant in their family tree.”

(Probably not as helpful as they might have wished.)

Various legal maneuvers take up several weeks and are boring enough not to make the front page.  Plus the escape and pursuit of a convict from McNeil Island provides enough thrill for the reporters.

Sept. 19, 1921, p. 1

The case is back on the front page just before trial, with fellow prisoners charging that Mahoney plans to shoot up the courtroom.  Sightings of Mrs. Mahoney – alive – are also reported.  (But never verified.)

Sept. 20, 1921, p. 1

At the beginning of the trial process, one reporter interviews Mahoney and remarks, “Jim Mahoney ‘went insane’ in his cell again at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon…”  A history of the case is printed to assist folks in following the trial, and a lengthy jury selection begins.

Sept. 22, 1921 and following

Actual arguments and testimony begin and continue over several days with both prosecutor and defense attorney scoring points, shaking witnesses, and building their cases.  Mahoney gives an interview every few days.

Oct. 3, 1921, p. 1

Verdict of guilty is returned on Oct. 3.  Mahoney’s lawyer announces plans to appeal. 

Dec. 1, 1922, p. 1

More than a year later, James Mahoney is executed on Dec. 1, 1922, at the State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.  His demeanor is described (stoic), as is his smile (sour).  One side article describes the reaction of his mother to the notification of his death.  Another describes how his 13-year-old niece, Margaret, led him “back to the faith in which he had been raised.”

The Seattle Star was digitized through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under the National Digital Newspaper Program.  The Star 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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Digitization grants awarded for Washington Rural Heritage, 2015-2016

July 14th, 2015 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, Uncategorized No Comments »

nesset0059Congratulations to the latest group of public libraries and heritage organizations recently awarded digitization grant through the Washington Rural Heritage program!

Over the next year Washington State Library staff will be working with these organizations to digitize unique, historically significant materials held in their collections. Awardees will be trained in all aspects of digitization, and their collections will be publicly hosted and digitally preserved through the Washington Rural Heritage website and digital repository.

The statewide digital collection currently provides access to photographs, documents, audio and video recordings, and digitized cultural objects from more than 100 Washington institutions. In addition, the project includes more than 300 family photo collections, making these previously inaccessible materials available freely to the public.

Below are this year’s grant recipients. To read about the details of each project, go to: http://www.sos.wa.gov/q/2015WRHAwards.

  • $5,000 – Asotin County Library in partnership with the Asotin County Museum.
  • $2,141 – Ellensburg Public Library.
  • $4,259 – Kettle Falls Public Library, Libraries of Stevens County.
  • $5,000 – La Conner Regional Library District, in partnership with the Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA) and Western Washington University Libraries, Special Collections.
  • $5,000 – Port Angeles Public Library, North Olympic Library System, in partnership with the Clallam County Genealogical Society.
  • $3,600 – Whitman County Library, in partnership with the Colfax Fire Department, Town of Farmington, and Washington State University Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections.

To learn more about participating in Washington Rural Heritage, contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian at evan.robb@sos.wa.gov.

imls-logo-2c.jpgWashington Rural Heritage is supported with Library Services and Technology Act funding provided by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services.

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Washington State Library Co-hosts Pacific Northwest Digital Collections Summit

July 7th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, Uncategorized No Comments »

In March 2015, the Oregon and Washington State Libraries co-hosted a summit of approximately 50 library, archives, and museum professionals to explore avenues for increased collaborative digitization throughout the region. The one-day meeting, held at the Oregon State Library in Salem, Oregon, featured presentations by collaborative projects at local, state, regional, and national levels and allowed participants to discuss topics ranging from leadership and funding of collaborative projects to metadata standards and shared infrastructure for digital projects.

WSL staff representing our Washington Rural Heritage and State Library Digital Collections were on hand to share their projects and experiences.

Learn more about the meeting and read the entire final report here: http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/Pages/NWDigSummit.aspx
 

Below: Explore the digital collections of cultural heritage organizations throughout the region.

Washington library, archives, and museum professionals interested in providing feedback on the report, or participating in future discussions regarding collaborative digitization should contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian, Washington State Library: evan.robb@sos.wa.gov

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We declare this to be Bridge week in Washington State– June 28 –July 4th

June 30th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Uncategorized No Comments »

Val Reinhart Photo colleciton

Last week Ben Helle over at the Washington State  Archives pointed out to us that the week of June 28th- July 4th is a week of anniversaries for several bridges in Washington State.  It is the 75th anniversary of the opening of two massive public works – the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the Lake Washington Floating Bridge.  A quick visit over to Historylink revealed several others.  The Seattle’s University Bridge replaced the Latona Bridge on July 1, 1919; the Montlake Bridge opened on June 27, 1925; the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (also known as Galloping Gertie) opened for traffic on July 1, 1940, and Lake Washington Floating Bridge was dedicated on July 2, 1940.  And that’s just to name a few.  Ben threw down the gauntlet and said let’s search through our collections to see what we have on bridges.  First stop of course was to Sean Lanksbury, Head of Special Collections.  He suggested several items but the ones we dug through (can you say treasure hunt?) were Lucy Hamilton’s collection of Washington State bridges and railways construction photographs, and Val Rinehart’s photograph collection of road and bridge construction projects in WashingtonVal Rinehart PhotoAlbum2.Tif
If you love engineering your heart would have started beating a little faster when you opened these boxes. Photo albums galore, including pictures of bridges under construction from all over the state.  But that of course is just the historic items we have in our collection.  The State Library also collects ALL documents published by Washington State Agencies.  Want to know what’s happening with the 520 Bridge replacement?  A search of our catalog will give you both historic and current information many of them in digital format so instantly at your fingertips.

We are keeping our eyes open for the State Archives contributions which we plan to share.  So if you have a secret. or not so secret. love of bridges watch our Facebook and Twitter pages this week. And remember for all things Washington, the State Library and Archives are a good “one stop shop” errr, make that two.

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Steve’s last post…

June 15th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Random News from the Newspapers on Microfilm Collection, Uncategorized 4 Comments »

Although this article was found at random in the January 23, 1914 issue of The Mason County Journal, the story actually concerns a man from Spokane, and one of the great unsolved missing persons cases in Washington State history. The subject in question had a perfect name for a Pacific Northwest character– F. Lewis Clark:

WEALTHY SPOKANE MAN DISAPPEARS

Wealthy Spokane Man DisappearsSanta Barbara, Cal.–F. Lewis Clark, one of the wealthiest residents of Spokane, Wash., heavily interested in mines, flour mills, real estate and other enterprises, has been missing ever since he attended his wife to the train last week. His disappearance is proving a deep mystery.

 Friends and the police believe Mr. Clark either was murdered or committed suicide. In support of one of these presumptions, Mr. Clark’s hat was found on the ocean beach, a mile north of the Santa Barbara wharf.

 Mr. Clark, who had been in this vicinity for the past three months, coming from Spokane for the benefit of his health, was staying at a hotel.

 It is said that Mrs. Clark does not believe her husband is dead and will institute a vigorous search for him on the theory that he merely wandered away. When Mrs. Clark left Santa Barbara Friday night for Spokane she left her husband in his usual good spirits. Immediately thereafter he dismissed his chauffeur at the depot and he has not been seen since.

 It was learned that the domestic life of the Clarks has not been entirely tranquil. Mr. Clark has been a sufferer for many years from a physical ailment.

Maine-native Francis Lewis Clark was 52 years old at the time he vanished. Starting in the 1880s he had established himself as one of the industrial giants of Spokane. He owned the largest flour mill in the Northwest. He was an executive with a railroad company. He was a yachtsman who was one of the founders of the America Cup race. He was a millionaire with two mansions: his main home in Spokane (by architect Kirtland Cutter) and his “summer home” on Hayden Lake, Idaho (called “Honeysuckle Lodge“), the latter of which was considered the most expensive home in Idaho when it was built in 1910.

At the time Clark vanished he left behind a wife, Winifred, and a son, Teddy, who was attending Harvard.

F. Lewis Clark’s disappearance has never been explained. Naturally many felt he had drowned himself, but Mrs. Clark initially suggested he had anonymously checked himself into a sanitarium. His valet told the press Mr. Clark was really in no physical shape to go anywhere unassisted. He was 135 pounds and believed to have been suffering from cancer.

The police dynamited the channel in hopes the blasts would dislodge his body, but to no effect. Some suggested that Clark faked his death.

The case grew murkier as police received a note from a purported group called the “Blackmailers” demanding $75,000 ransom for Clark. The kidnapping angle quickly fizzled. And ultimately the disappearance of F. Lewis Clark became one of the great missing persons mysteries in Pacific Northwest history.

Mrs. Clark had to sell off the estate by 1922 and died in 1940 under much more financially modest conditions. Both of the Clark mansions survive today as relics of an era of opulence. Just when I wondered why no one has dramatized this unsolved case, I discovered Northwest author Jamie Ford has used this mystery as a springboard for his latest story, Wish You Were Here at the Bottom of a Well.

F. Lewis Clark’s name can be found in our online Pacific Northwest card file!

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Stafford Creek’s Favorite Author, Garth Stein, Visits Yet Again!

May 22nd, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, Uncategorized No Comments »

From the desk of Karen S. Diehm, Secretary Senior, Stafford Creek Corrections Center

Write fat, edit lean – Garth Stein

Sccc2

SCCC’s Library crew with Garth Stein (L-R): Clerks Harold E., Jacob M., and Nate H., stand with Stein, Program Manager Laura Sherbo, and SCCC Librarian Jeannie Remillard stand to the right.

On Friday, May 8th, 2015 Garth Stein made his 3rd visit to Stafford Creek Corrections Center (SCCC) . We think he’s beginning to like it here!

We originally invited Garth to SCCC due to his novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, which is narrated by a dog. This beautiful book has over 4 million copies in print and was on the New York Times bestselling novel list for 3 years! Garth graciously accepted our invitation, met with the Freedom Tails handlers and dogs, and proceeded to discuss the book with program volunteers. With some cajoling from the handlers, Garth agreed to come back for a book read which involved the general population and was an overwhelming success.

Recently, when we contacted Garth, he was happy to visit SCCC for another book read. Not only that, but he donated all the books! This time, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets was introduced to the SCCC’s general population. The theme of this novel is based around a man who has found out, long after the fact, that he has a 14 year old son. There are many offenders who have been in, or are in, this situation, so it made for a great novel of choice. garth stein

While discussing the book, many other questions came to light – especially on the art of writing itself. Stein informed his audience that the first and foremost rule of writing is: “There is no rule”. Questions abounded from the offenders ranging from dialog tagging, point of view, the voice, and the process. One by one, Garth answered all questions – and of course more questions ensued. One point Stein stressed to the offenders was: “The easiest thing to do in the world is to not write. The hardest thing to do is write – and, it’s easy to find excuses not to write.”

Among the questions asked, many offenders wanted to know how to deal with editing your work. Garth explained that is was necessary to get people you trusted and who would give you honest feedback, but to keep in mind that “other people can tell you where you went wrong, but they can’t fix it. Only the writer can fix it.”

scccAs usual, Stein’s visit was an overwhelming success. Everyone at SCCC truly appreciated him taking the time to come share his talent and knowledge, and we look forward to him coming for another book read in the future!

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2015 Proposed Legislation Affecting Libraries 4/24/2015

April 28th, 2015 Jeff Martin Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized, Updates No Comments »

Courtesy of the Legislative Planning Committee, Washington Library Association Library Related Legislation. The Washington Library Association (WLA) tracks state legislative activity that will potentially affect Washington Libraries. Their tracker is posted weekly on this blog.

For information on the legislative process or becoming involved, see the WLA site referenced above.

 

Bill Title Sponsor Status Date HRG Date Latest Cmte Mtg Info Companion Bills
SHB 1105 Operating sup budget 2015 Hunter C 3 L 15 2/19/2015 2/9/2015 Feb 9 Executive action taken in the Senate  Committee on Ways & Means at 3:30 PM. SB 5076(SWays & Means)
ESHB 1106 Operating bdgt 2015, 2015-17 Hunter S Ways & Means 4/6/2015 3/31/2015 Mar 31 Executive action taken in the House  Committee on Appropriations at 1:30 PM. SB 5077(Ssubst for)
HB 1168 Retiree return-to-work/PERS Ormsby Del to Gov 4/20/2015 3/24/2015 Mar 24 Executive action taken in the Senate  Committee on Ways & Means at 3:30 PM. SB 5211(SRules X)
SHB 1919 Special elections, timing of Hunt, S. Del to Gov 4/22/2015 3/31/2015 Mar 31 Executive action taken in the Senate  Committee on Government Operations & Security at 10:00 AM.  
HB 2156 City and county fiscal T.O. Reykdal H Finance 2/19/2015 4/17/2015 Apr 17 Public hearing in the House  Committee on Finance at 8:00 AM.  
HB 2158 Spec purpose tx distrct T.O. Carlyle H Finance 2/19/2015      
               
SB 5076 Operating sup budget 2015 Hill S Ways & Means 1/13/2015     HB 1105(Hsubst for)
ESSB 5077 Operating bdgt 2015, 2015-17 Hill H Approps 4/8/2015 4/1/2015 Apr 1 Public hearing and executive action taken in the Senate  Committee on Ways & Means at 1:00 PM. HB 1106(Hsubst for)
SSB 5294 School library & tech progs McAuliffe C 27 L 15 4/17/2015 3/24/2015 Mar 24 Executive action taken in the House  Committee on Education at 1:30 PM. HB 1331(HRules X)
SSB 5348 Joint utilization contracts Miloscia Del to Gov 4/23/2015 3/19/2015 Mar 19 Executive action taken in the House  Committee on State Government at 1:30 PM. HB 1079(HRules X)
SB 5466 PEBB benefits eligibility Becker Del to Gov 4/20/2015 3/25/2015 Mar 25 Executive action taken in the House  Committee on Appropriations at 3:30 PM.  
SSB 5721 Expanded learning opp’s cncl Billig Del to Gov 4/24/2015 3/30/2015 Mar 30 Executive action taken in the House  Committee on Education at 10:00 AM.  
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Great news for Washington Digital Newspapers!

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

StateofWashington1897

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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