WA Secretary of State Blogs

Why Do We Need a State Library?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, Library 21 Initiative, News, Public Services, State Library Collections, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library | No Comments »


Slice of Advocate headerTo quote a prominent library administrator: “Every library is designed to serve a specific community:

  • Public libraries serve the people of a specific city or county.
  • Academic libraries serve the faculty, staff, and students of a specific college or university.
  • School libraries serve the students and teachers of a specific school.
  • Medical libraries serve doctors, nurses, and patients at a specific hospital.
  • Law libraries serve the attorneys and staff of a specific law firm.

Each library is designed to add value to the specific community that it serves.”

The Washington State Library (WSL) is none of the above. Its broad mission is to collect and preserve materials of value for the entire State of Washington.

This theme is developed in the current issue of the WLFFTA newsletter, the Advocate. WLFFTA stands for Washington Library Friends, Foundations, Trustees & Advocates, and is an interest group of the Washington Library Association.

The current issue of the Advocate focuses on the Washington State Library and some of its key services and programs. It also highlights the precarious budget situation in which the State Library currently finds itself. Read the entire newsletter at http://sos.wa.gov/q/AF2014.

 

Sharon Brewer Receives her 30 year pin

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | 3 Comments »


Rand giving Sharon her 30 year pin 2012

Sharon has worked for Washington State Library for 30 years.  She has been shuffled around several times as lay offs impacted her positions, but she has never lost heart.  She contines to do her best work now at  the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton.

Library Memories

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »


Libraries are the setting for many good memories, and over the next few weeks, Washington State Library’s Institutional Library Services staff would like to share a few of their memories about libraries.  Some of them will date back to childhood, others will tell stories of their own children or grandchildren, but all of them show the impact libraries have had on our lives. I wish you happy reading as we bring you our memories.

Grateful for Another Day

Thursday, February 16th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »


Western State Hospital Library

The last few years have been difficult for all due to the state of the economy.  In spite of shrinking budgets and the uncertainty of the future, the staff in Institutional Library Services have lived up to their mission by continuing to serve their customers “with spirit and fortitude”. Over the next few weeks ILS will be sharing what they have been thankful for in the year 2011 and how they look forward to 2012.  Please check out the upcoming posts from the library staff in the prisons and psychiatric hospital libraries across the state.

Author of Sisters Brothers visits Coyote Ridge Corrections Center

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services, Uncategorized | No Comments »


Patrick deWitt

Sisters Brothers is a book about two brothers from gold-rush era Oregon and California who are employed as henchmen. They ride horses, camp out on the trail, try to gather clues about their target, and eventually uncover a lot more than they probably wanted to know about him. What starts out as a simple job becomes something more fantastic, and the two become entangled in the life of a man they set out to eliminate.

As I was reading this book last summer, I noticed the author, Patrick deWitt, was local to the Pacific Northwest, and I immediately thought to ask if he would visit Coyote Ridge for a reading. I wanted this particular author to read from this particular book. Sisters Brothers is modern, funny, and easy to read, but also thought-provoking. I felt that inmates might relate to all the characters in the book on some level, not just the hired killers but also the side characters who display a variety of weaknesses that make them human.

To my surprise, Patrick was immediately agreeable and enthusiastic about the idea. He told me he had been wanting to do some sort of work with inmates related to books and writing. He arrived on November 30, 2011, and read from Sisters Brothers for about thirty minutes to an audience of forty inmates. Many of those who attended said they had never been to a live author reading before. There was a seemingly endless supply of questions about the book, writing, publishing. Some had read the book prior to the event and had complex questions about the themes and characters. Others were interested in learning how to improve their own writing, or the process of getting a book published. Patrick patiently answered all the questions, never departing from his kind and gracious demeanor, until the time ran out. He even volunteered to take the unanswered questions, written on slips of paper, and answer them by email after he returned home.

Patrick has written two books and is working on a third.

Small Hunch Pays Big Results!

Monday, October 3rd, 2011 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | 1 Comment »


Some months ago, two ILS staff decided to write to some publishers of mental health resources and ask them about the possibility of receiving donated materials.  National Recovery Month is every September and their collections were sadly depleted from the demand for such materials.  They hoped that one or two of the companies might respond with an offer of a few donations.  Much to their amazement and profound appreciation three companies responded within weeks of the letters being sent.

Hazelden and New Harbinger are outstanding publishers of educational and inspirational literature about substance abuse and recovery.  Their products are consistently of the highest quality, and highly sought for library collections.  Sounds True produces wonderful spoken word and music CDs for relaxation, meditation and health & healing.  The gifts received from these generous companies resulted in dozens of books and several multiple CD sets.  The cost to buy these materials would have been hundreds of dollars.

Western State Hospital immediately processed and published a “hot list” of the new Hazelden titles.  The books started flying off the shelves within hours.  Eastern State hospital patients will benefit from these gifts as well as staff who can use these resources for treatment groups.  This bounty will also be shared among the other ILS branches either directly or through the ILL program.

Anna Nash, Employee of the Year 2010

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »


Lyla Brekke awards Anna Nash with Employee of the Year 2010

The youngest and most energetic member of ILS was awarded with Employee of the year for 2010.  Anna has grown up in the library with a family that loves libraries and books.  Anna continues to look towards her future with her entrance to library school at the University of Washington this fall.  In the last year Anna spear-headed the ILS Library Snapshot Day (the first in Washington), inspiring her coworkers to join her in her advocacy of libraries.  She has brought a breath of fresh air to her co-workers, giving them a chance to see new perspectives on a job they all love.

30 Years of Service to Western State Hospital

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | 1 Comment »


Kathleen accepting 30 years of Service certificate from Rand Simmons Washington State Librarian

Kathleen is a wonderful storyteller with a patience that has served her well as the Library Associate at Western State Hospital.  On June 15, 2011 Kathleen will become the longest working member of the Institutional Library Service team.  30 years of wonderful service was celebrated with a presentation of a certificate and award by State Librarian Rand Simmons.

Keeping the Connection

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »


ILS Retreat

Each year staff of Institutional Library Service of the Washington State Library meet to discuss strategy, share experiences, and learn from each other.  As budgets have been slashed, co-workers and friends have been lost, but the connection to each other has not.   Our most recent meeting the first week of June was a time of sorrow and celebration.  As we looked around we thought of the people who were missing, but we also had cause for celebration Milestone birthdays for several of the team included ages 25, 35, 60, and 65 to reveal a group of people who may vary in age, but who share a passion for their work in the institution branches.

Representative Troy Kelley visits Western State Hospital Library

Thursday, June 9th, 2011 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »


Representative Troy Kelley

Representative Troy Kelley accepted an invitation to visit the Western State Hospital Library on June 7.  Despite the grueling legislative session and hectic personal schedule, he made the time to meet with hospital superintendent Jess Jamieson and the library staff.  State Library Branch Manager Laura Sherbo and library associate Kathleen Benoun welcomed Rep. Kelley into the Patients Library and told him about the State Library’s role in providing services to enhance the recovery and re-entry of those currently housed in state institutions.   He was presented with a copy of the colorful “ILS Snapshot Day” summary report, created by Jill Merritt, Anna Nash and Molly Mooney.  Rep Kelley was given a brief tour of the WSH History Museum.

Troy Kelley represents district #28, that includes Dupont, Lakewood, Steilacoom, University Place, Fircrest, and Tacoma.  He is a businessman and Army reservist, who recently joined the National Guard.