WA Secretary of State Blogs

New books for Washington School Libraries

Friday, January 8th, 2016 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public | No Comments »


Physics of SuperheroesDid you know the average publication year of STEM books in many Washington school libraries is 1997?  While it’s true that “Trees haven’t changed much in the last 20 years.” formatting and the visual appeal of books have.  If we want to attract children to our collections it’s important that the material we provide is current and appealing.

With this thought in mind, last summer Youth Services Coordinator Carolyn Petersen solicited ideas from her Teacher Librarians advisory group. Out of this meeting of the minds came “The Future STEMS from Reading” grant cycle.  The Follett Book Publisher won the contract to supply three different collections of award winning books, Elementary, Middle and High School levels.Ruby Goldberg's bright idea

When the grant opened in the fall of 2015, the applications came pouring in.  Boy did this show how great the need truly was!  249 applications later we read about collections that were over 20 years old, books that were kept even though they were falling apart because there were no funds to replace them, and kids doing science projects with only the web as a resource because the school library had one or no up to date books on a topic.

In the end 230 collections are being sent out in January: 120 to elementary school libraries, 59 to middle school libraries and 51 to high school libraries. We can’t wait to see the pictures of the kids as they open the boxes and check out their new books.

WSL Updates for September 24, 2015

Thursday, September 24th, 2015 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | No Comments »


Volume 11, September 24, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) HR – LOOKING OUT FOR RED FLAGS

2) STEM LSTA GRANT CYCLE OPENS

3) IMPLEMENTING WIOA IN RURAL AREAS

4) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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1) HR – LOOKING OUT FOR RED FLAGS

Most supervisors are surprised at the amount of time they spend on human resource issues. Do you have questions about Family Medical Leave, overtime/comp time, or how to deal with difficult employees? Join us for a First Tuesdays session with Pam Ward and Lynda Ring-Erickson of LRE Solutions as they tackle the topic “Things Librarians Should Know about Human Resources.” Bring your questions; as consultants they have worked through these issues and can help you find the answers.

First Tuesdays webinar: October 6, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. For more information, visit sos.wa.gov/q/FirstTuesdays. Instructions for joining the session are at sos.wa.gov/q/FirstT.

First Tuesdays was designed as a continuing-education opportunity for staff of libraries in Washington State; this free web presentation allows attendees share their skills and successes and learn about new topics. The special-subject presentations, lasting about 60 minutes, are recorded so that others may listen at their own convenience.

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2) STEM LSTA GRANT CYCLE OPENS

The Washington State Library (WSL) is pleased to announce “The Future STEMs from Reading” grant cycle. The recent recession resulted in cuts to many school library budgets. Since materials in science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) fields become dated quickly, budget shortfalls mean that many school library STEM book collections were particularly hard hit.

In response, WSL is providing an opportunity to help school libraries update their STEM collections. 230 STEM book collections aimed at elementary, middle, and high school students were put together from lists of award-winning books as suggested by an advisory committee of teacher-librarians.

230 STEM collections will be available. Of those, 120 will be awarded to elementary school libraries, 55 to middle school libraries, and 55 to high school libraries. All collections will contain 50 titles plus three professional development titles. The majority of copyrights are within the last 3 years. The book collections will be shipped to successful grant awardees.

All public school libraries are eligible to apply. The collections will be awarded via a one-page grant application process that will be made available at sos.wa.gov/q/grants. The grant cycle will open on Monday, September 28, at which time the application forms will be posted. Applications are due by 4 p.m. October 30, 2015. For questions, contact Carolyn Petersen carolyn.petersen@sos.wa.gov.

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3) IMPLEMENTING WIOA IN RURAL AREAS

The WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) is federal legislation. This webinar will focus on what’s different about making workforce investment for youth meaningful in rural areas. Rural areas face challenges related to widely dispersed populations and distance from places to access goods and services in addition to poverty, lower educational attainment, and lower earnings.

In the webinar you will hear how the White House and the Administration are focused on rural areas, the goals and strategies of the Domestic Policy Council on rural affairs, and the important role the workforce system plays in helping young adults meet their education and employment goals. The new law provides opportunities for rural areas to establish regional strategies for youth service delivery, to coordinate planning across workforce system partners, and to use technology to ensure access to workforce services in remote areas. Hear about promising approaches that local youth service providers in two states have taken to solve some of their rural challenges.

The “Implementing WIOA In Rural Areas” webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, September 30, at 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Pacific Time. Use this link: sos.wa.gov/q/WIOA. A WorkforceOne site registration is required.

“Implementing WIOA In Rural Areas” is the eighth webinar in the “Enough is Known for Action” series for the youth community, hosted by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) Division of Youth Services and Regional Offices, to inspire strategic planning and action now as the system is in the early stages of implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The full series is available on the WorkforceOne website via this shortcut: sos.wa.gov/q/Action.

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4) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

September 28

September 29

September 30

  • Total Boox and New Ebook Pricing Models (Minitex); 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PDT
  • Getting Your Slice of the Pie – Identifying the Assets You Need in Your Community (4Good); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT
  • Enough is Known for Action: Implementing WIOA In Rural Areas (WorkforceOne), 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., PDT
  • STEAM & Día: Offering Informal Learning with a Mind Toward Diversity (Texas State Library and Archives); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT
  • Libraries & Technology: The Librarian’s Online Management System (American Association of School Librarians); 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. PDT

For more information and to register (unless otherwise linked above), visit the WSL Training Calendar at sos.wa.gov/q/training.

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Libraries and STEM learning

Monday, August 31st, 2015 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public | 1 Comment »


Keva CityFrom the desk of Rand Simmons, Washington State Librarian

Do you consider those years in elementary, middle, or secondary school as the primary time you invested in learning? Perhaps you went on to college or graduate school. But, over the course of a person’s life only about 3% is spent in formal education.

Education is not the equivalent of learning although one hopes the two intersect. However, some who study learning believe that the most effective learning happens not in formal education environments but in informal settings.

Once called the “people’s university” the public library has filled an important role in society, that of facilitating informal learning. The goal of lifelong learning ranks high on many library mission statements. We know that once a person completes formal education he or she will continue to learn and it makes sense that they turn to public library and use its resources. Libraries remain a trusted place to learn.

Much of the STEM movement has focused on children and on encouraging girls to become engaged in science, technology, engineering and math. But, STEM is important to adults, too. Adults need to find and hold jobs, to enter STEM careers or simply to enrich one’s knowledge.

Sally Chilson, Spokane Public Library

Sally Chilson, Spokane Public Library

The Washington State Library has invested federal funds to purchase STEM kits – Legos to be exact – that circulate among rural libraries so that kids can experience the wonders of science. 3-D printer is a popular STEM educational tool in libraries. We recently purchased a well-loved Egg Bot (a friendly art robot that can draw on egg-shaped objects) and demonstrated it at the annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Library Association. (See this short You Tube video of the Egg Bot).

Another State Library STEM program is the Microsoft IT Academy, an online technology training program provided free to the residents of Washington through public, two-year academic and tribal libraries. The IT Academy is a partnership between the State Library/Secretary of State and Microsoft and is funded by the State Legislature. Over 15,000 state residents have accounts on the site and are taking advantage of the hundreds of online courses over the past two years.

Project manager Elizabeth Iaukea notes, “Every time a learner takes an IT Academy course they are engaging in STEM. Public libraries have been supporting STEM education for at least two decades.”

11699044_898830330182470_7504914450782232784_o“Libraries and museums are improving learning in science, technology, engineering and math, a national priority for US competitiveness.” (Institute of Museum and Library Services)

Rand Simmons and Elizabeth Iaukea recently attended the Public Libraries and STEM conference in Denver, CO.

According to State Librarian Rand Simmons, “Public libraries are amazing. They constantly adapt to meet societal needs. STEM addresses a national concern that the U.S. not fall behind in science, technology, engineering and math. Public libraries partnering with STEM industries and non-profits and government agencies that focus on STEM are part of the solution. Despite predictions of their demise public libraries remain viable and vibrant.”

WSL Updates for October 23, 2014

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | No Comments »


Topics include:

1) CE GRANTS FOR STEM INSTITUTE

2) CAYAS FALL WORKSHOP REGISTRATION OPEN

3) $2.2 BILLION REASONS TO PAY ATTENTION TO WIOA

4) PNLA CONFERENCE PROGRAM PROPOSALS SOUGHT

5) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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1) CE GRANTS FOR STEM INSTITUTE

Continuing Education (CE) grants are available from the Washington State Library (WSL) for librarians and support staff who need financial assistance to attend the 2014 Early Learning STEM Institute. To provide additional support during these hard economic times, WSL is temporarily lowering the match for CE grants to 25%, and will cover the remaining 75% of eligible expenses.

The 2014 Early Learning STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Institute, presented by the Early Learning Public Library Partnership (ELPLP) and the Washington State Head Start/ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program) Association will include sessions on the following topics:

  • Math Common Core and its relation to early learning;
  • Project VIEWS2 and the benefits of storytime;
  • Integrating STEM in the classroom.

Institute specifics:

  • What: Washington Early Learning STEM Institute;
  • When: Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PST;
  • Where: The Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle (Exit 158 off Interstate 5);
  • Registration: Free for ELPLP members; $100 for non-members; registration deadline is Monday, November 24. To register, go to sos.wa.gov/q/ThriveSTEM14;
  • Questions? Contact Susan Yang, Program Director at Thrive by Five Washington at susan@thrivebyfivewa.org or 206.621.5573.

If you need financial assistance to attend the STEM Institute, apply now. CE Grant applications must be postmarked no later than 30 days before the beginning of the conference on December 3. For additional information about CE Grants and to apply, visitsos.wa.gov/q/CE.

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2) CAYAS FALL WORKSHOP REGISTRATION OPEN

Registration is now open for the 2014 CAYAS Fall Workshop.  CAYAS (Children’s & Young Adults Services) is proud to bring you the 2014 Fall Workshop. This year’s workshop is a confluence of trendsetters in children’s and young adult services programming.

Friday, November 21, 2014

  • 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • King County Library System Service Center
  • 960 Newport Way NW, Issaquah, Washington 98027

For more information, please contact Jose M. Garcia, Jr. at 253-931-3018. CAYAS is an interest group of the Washington Library Association.

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3) $2.2 BILLION REASONS TO PAY ATTENTION TO WIOA

The American Library Association will host “$2.2 Billion Reasons to Pay Attention to WIOA,” an interactive webinar which will explore ways public and community college libraries can receive funding for employment skills training and job search assistance from the recently-passed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Monday, Oct 27, 2014

  • 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PDT
  • Free webinar – Please register now as space is limited: sos.wa.gov/q/WIOA

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act allows public and community college libraries to be considered additional One-Stop partners and authorizes adult education and literacy activities provided by public and community college libraries as an allowable statewide employment and training activity. Additionally, the law defines digital literacy skills as a workforce preparation activity. The webinar will be archived and emailed to subscribers of the District Dispatch, ALA’s policy blog.

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4) PNLA CONFERENCE PROGRAM PROPOSALS SOUGHT

The Pacific Northwest Library Association (PNLA) conference planning committee is seeking program proposals for one hour presentations. The 2015 conference “Pushing the Boundaries” will take place August 5-7 at the Hilton in Vancouver, Washington.

Please submit proposals to Karen Yother atkareny@communitylibrary.netor mail to 8385 N Government Way, Hayden ID 83835.

  • For more information, please email Karen or call her at 208-772-5612 ext. 121.

The deadline for submitting proposals is January 9, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.

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5) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

October 27

October 28

October 29

October 30

October 31

For more information and to register (unless otherwise linked above), visit the WSL Training Calendar at sos.wa.gov/q/training.

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The Library as a Makerspace

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »


Libraries are no longer simply a holding area for books, they are community hubs. People gather at the library to share ideas and enrich their lives. Computers and internet are now standard in libraries and are often in demand. Unemployed individuals can come to the library and apply for jobs. Kids can do their homework (or play games) at the library. But did you know that libraries are now becoming much more than books, computers and internet? Libraries are becoming creation spaces, often called maker spaces (or makerspaces).

What is a makerspace? Personally, I like this definition “Modeled after hackerspaces, a makerspace is a place where young people have an opportunity to explore their own interests, learn to use tools and materials, and develop creative projects. It could be embedded inside an existing organization or standalone on its own. It could be a simple room in a building or an outbuilding that’s closer to a shed. The key is that it can adapt to a wide variety of uses and can be shaped by educational purposes as well as the students’ creative goals.” (Makerspaces, Participatory Learning, and Libraries).

Sound familiar? It is not really that much of a stretch for libraries that already offer book clubs with knitting or various craft programs.

Makerspaces in libraries are also connected to STEM which is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. There is also a group wanting to add art into the mix to create STEAM. Both ideas dovetail nicely with offering maker space for people to experiment and create.

Is your library already a makerspace? If not, can you envision it becoming one?

Here are more resources on makerspaces:
Westport Library Maker-Space
Maker-Spaces-in-Libraries
News story from the Capital Gazette
IMLS

Photo courtesy of Helen K via photopin cc

WSL Updates for February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 Posted in For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | No Comments »


Volume 7, February 17, 2011 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) FREE GENEALOGY EVENT – BING CROSBY’S FAMILY HISTORY

2) WLA ANNUAL CONFERENCE – REGISTER NOW

3) PUBLIC RECORDS & OPEN MEETING FORUM

4) FREE WEBWISE CONFERENCE

5) HOST THE KING JAMES BIBLE TRAVELING EXHIBIT

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

Read the rest of this entry »