WA Secretary of State Blogs

Amy Ravenholt honored by a National Library Service Award

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library | 1 Comment »


Amy Ravenholt 2014Amy Ravenholt recognized by a National Library Service Award for Knowledge, Creativity and Expertise

Keystone Systems announced today that Amy Ravenholt, Assistant Director at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) is the recipient of the 2014 Julie Klauber Award.

Individuals honored with this annual national award must provide noteworthy service to their library and community and use KLAS (Keystone Library Automation System) to perform their daily job responsibilities.

WTBBL Director & Regional Librarian, Danielle Miller, says Amy “exemplifies knowledge, expertise, and creativity that benefit our patrons and all aspects of library services.” “She is kind and patient and makes learning new processes and technologies fun.”

Danielle says Amy’s position and expertise as WTBBL’s KLAS Administrator enhances the library’s overall service. As an example of her creativity, she cites Amy’s project “to use tablet computers running KLAS to streamline some of the circulation procedures that were cumbersome with desktop computers on carts. She worked closely with Keystone and our local IT department to make this happen and it has been a huge benefit to our circulation process.”

Amy says this year’s award is an acknowledgement of all of the work WTBBL’s circulation and advisory staff do with KLAS. “They identify the problems, they help develop and test solutions, and they use the software to its fullest extent every day.”

The award includes a trip to the 2014 KLAS Users’ Conference in Boston, MA, where Amy was recognized for her outstanding service to WTBBL and its patrons.  Keystone Systems, CEO, Kay Holloman presented the award during a special ceremony.

“It means I get to go to conference and geek out with people who care about what I care about,” Amy says. “We use specialized software to get our readers the books they want as fast as possible.  We make a lot of patrons happy on a daily basis, and the conference is the place to be to find out how to do that even better.”

“Amy is well deserving of this award,” observed State Librarian Rand Simmons. “Her dedication to serving WTBBL patrons and her leadership in the use of KLAS makes this award spot on. Job well done, Amy!”

Amy has been with the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library since July 2008. The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library is a program of the Washington State Library, Office of the Secretary of State.

 

 

Spotlight on Staff: Judy Pitchford

Monday, June 16th, 2014 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public | 2 Comments »


“Judy is my bulldog. She’ll sink her teeth into a project and finish it!” These are the words of Judy’s supervisor Marlys Rudeen, Deputy State Librarian.

JudyandMurphy What a great picture this paints of a woman with a long and varied career with the Washington State Library. Judy started in 1998 at WSL as a prison librarian working at Washington Corrections in Shelton. She loved this job because she felt that it was like all libraries rolled into one. Depending on the patron she could be called upon, in any given day, to be a medical librarian, a school librarian or a public librarian. Before moving to Washington, Judy had worked as a school librarian at some tough inner city schools in Virginia and said the transition to working in the prisons was really not that hard.

In 2002 Judy left the Prison library and came to work in Digital Collections for WSL and has been there ever since. Judy sees her work as building on itself over time. Her work as a school librarian made her a better prison librarian. Her experiences at both libraries made her understand the importance of the digital collections; how they could be used by school children for research and how the prisoners could use state agency information.

Marlys also said that with the turnover in the last few years that Judy has been invaluable as she has completed many projects which other people have started and left.   Their department is considerably smaller than when Judy first came to work in Digital Collections but it hasn’t slowed her down. In addition to the work she completes on her own, Judy also works with volunteers to help with the digitization projects. She has worked on the Emma Smith DeVoe papers, the Josephine Corliss scrapbook, the digitization of Washington Newspapers, has digitized Historical Maps and oversees the Classics in Washington History. Then there is her pet project, digitizing the Washington State Voter’s pamphlets which she does when she needs a relaxation break. Judy sees these as full of a rich history that would be fascinating and informative for school projects. One example she gave is the sorts of initiatives that were being proposed during prohibition. Speaking of interesting initiatives Judy discovered a gem from 1952 – Initiative 180 – a proposal to the voters to allow yellow coloring to be added to margarine. You can read the arguments for and against on pages 6+7 of “A Pamphlet containing…”   As you can imagine these voter’s pamphlets contain a snapshot of history and what was important to people of the time. In 1952 apparently margarine was high on that list!

One of Judy’s main jobs is to run herd on the State Agencies digital publications. It is the law as well as the mission of the State Library to collect all documents that are published by Washington State agencies, no small task. She accomplishes this in a variety of ways. If she is lucky the agency sends her a copy of a newly published document, sometimes electronically through email or FTP, sometimes on a CD or DVD. But she also has a special tool, a “Page Checker’ built for this specific purpose. Whenever a state agency makes a change to their page Judy will receive a notification through the checker. She then is able to go in, download the document and begin the process of adding it to the State Library’s collection. After a weekend there can be as many as 50 pages to check. Imagine what it’s like after a vacation! All this hard work creates a rich resource in our catalog for researchers to learn about the work of the Washington State agencies.

Outside of work Judy has many other things to keep her busy. She has two children, now grown, two dogs and four cats. In addition to her full time job at the WSL Judy and her husband, along with good friends, run their own t-shirt printing business, a true labor of love as Judy loves t-shirts and personally owns over 100 of them. Most days she leaves her job at the library to head over to their warehouse for an evening of work. judy's socksA mild mannered librarian on the outside, take a look at her crazy socks and you’ll catch a glimpse of what lurks beneath the surface.

The State library as well as the researchers of Washington are fortunate to have this “bulldog” librarian on our staff. Thank you Judy for all that you do.

Washington State Library Reduces Service Hours

Monday, June 9th, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library | No Comments »


From the desk of Rand Simmons Washington State Librarian

Washington State Library, Tumwater, WA

Washington State Library, Tumwater, WA

Based on an OSOS Press Release, 6/9/2014.

In-person service hours at the main Washington State Library in Tumwater will be reduced by four hours a day, effective June 16, as the service-and-research institution grapples with continuing significant budget challenges.

The Library at 6880 Capitol Blvd. in Tumwater traditionally has been open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  But like other states facing budget difficulties, the State Library faces an immediate shortfall that must be addressed through layoffs and fewer direct service hours.

The dedicated fund that finances Library operations now projects a potential shortfall of more than $1 million, due primarily to an unexpected slump in the number of recording fees collected by county auditors. This is on top of a $664,000 budget cut that was required at the beginning of the biennium, following a decade budget and staff reductions.

Beginning June 16, the central Library will be open daily from noon to 5 p.m. for walk-in patrons.  Chat and email help will still be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

“The State Library staff have become more efficient in their operations over the past 10 years, providing the same general level of services while reducing employee count by 42 percent. Secretary of State Kim Wyman, whose office hosts the Library said, “We have reached the point where we must reduce our in-person hours at the central library, at least temporarily, because of additional staff cuts.”

The shorter hours in Tumwater do not affect the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library in Seattle or the institutional libraries at state hospitals and corrections centers. Grants to local libraries, a central role of the Washington State Library, will be maintained, and the State Library-Microsoft IT Academy will not be affected.

“The decision to reduce service hours is something that pains us very much – librarians are absolutely passionate about serving patrons directly, either in person or online or over the phone,” Wyman said. “That service ethic will not diminish one bit, but the hours we’re open will be fewer, sadly.”

Instead of 45 hours of in-person service each week, it will be 25 hours.

Wyman said the action reflects continuing challenges of sustaining the Library, which is the oldest cultural institution in Washington, dating to 1853, when the first territorial governor, Isaac Stevens, and Congress created it with books shipped around the Horn. The Library was assigned to the Secretary of State by the Legislature about a decade ago, and was formerly a separate agency.

“The State Library has been a core service of government for 160 years, but for some years now, it has been a struggle to survive. In the past decade, state support has dropped by 42 percent and staff levels have shrunk from 158 to 63 today.”

Wyman acknowledged that recent library usage around the country is turning to online access, rather than solely relying on a brick-and-mortar library building.  The State Library is committed to service excellence to all customers, whether online or in-person, and is working to make more of its collections available online, she said.

“We are busy transforming the State Library information services, meeting people where they live,” Wyman said. “As the old saying goes, crisis meets opportunity. We intend to be the model Library of the 21st Century.”

State Librarian Rand Simmons is at 360-570-5585.

WSL Updates for May 22, 2014

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | No Comments »


Volume 10, May 22, 2014 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) FIRST TUESDAYS – MAKE YOUR WEEDING EASIER

2) CE GRANTS FOR STARTING STRONG

3) WALE 2014 SESSION PROPOSALS

4) 2014 SUMMER READING LISTS AVAILABLE

5) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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1) FIRST TUESDAYS – MAKE YOUR WEEDING EASIER

Weeding – whether it’s in your garden or in your library, it’s a chore. Find out how to make weeding in your library easier at the next First Tuesdays, Weeding made easy. At this free webinar, Chris Rippel of the Central Kansas Library system, will demonstrate how to use “Collection Manager,” a free Excel spreadsheet that he has developed to produce data to make it easier for public librarians to weed their collections. Chris will explain how to use this tool to discover:

  • Which collections to weed;
  • Which collections to expand;
  • Which collections to decrease;
  • How many titles to purchase in each collection.

Designed as a continuing education opportunity for staff of libraries in Washington State, this free web presentation, which will take place on June 3, 2014, from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. PDT, lets attendees share their skills and successes and learn about new topics. Sessions are recorded so that others may listen at their own convenience. For more information about First Tuesdays, visit sos.wa.gov/q/tuesdays. For instructions on joining the presentation, visit sos.wa.gov/q/FirstTuesdays.

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2) CE GRANTS FOR STARTING STRONG

Each year, the Starting Strong Institute brings together members of Washington’s early learning community in a conference that facilitates the sharing of innovative ideas and strengthens the connections between early learning and K-12 professionals. The 2014 Starting Strong Institute will be held at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, Tuesday, August 5 – Wednesday, August 6, 2014. The conference will include breakout sessions focused on P-3 (pre-school through 3rd grade) alignment and implementation including WaKIDS, the Early Learning Guidelines and Common Core, and Community Collaboration. For more information about the conference and to register, visit sos.wa.gov/q/OSPIStrong.

Librarians and support staff who need financial assistance to attend this event may be eligible for Continuing Education (CE) grants, provided they work ten or more hours per week (paid or volunteer) in a library or library consortia that is eligible to receive LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) funds. Training must meet one or more of the 7 LSTA priorities and have a direct benefit to the library customer. To provide additional support during these hard economic times, the Washington State Library is temporarily lowering the match for CE grants to 25%, and will cover the remaining 75% of eligible expenses. CE Grant applications must be postmarked no later than 30 days before the beginning of the conference. For additional information about CE Grants and to apply, visit sos.wa.gov/q/CE.

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3) WALE 2014 SESSION PROPOSALS

WALE (Washington Library Employees), an interest group of the Washington Library Association, is seeking presenters for its 2014 annual conference, “Prism of Possibilities: Lighting the Future,” which will be held October 27 – 29, 2014, at Campbell’s Resort in Lake Chelan, Washington. Please consider sharing the experiences that have enabled you to better yourself, your job, and those you serve. Potential topics include anything that you have developed, borrowed, or improved upon – a new tool for the trade, a new skill set, a new way of looking at things. Also – think outside the library. Presenters from outside of libraries are welcome to submit proposals.

To submit:

All conference proposals are due by Friday, June 13, 2014.

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4) 2014 SUMMER READING LISTS AVAILABLE

Starr LaTronica, president of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA, has stated, “Summer reading helps prevent the summer slide that affects many children each year. By encouraging children to stay engaged in reading throughout the summer at home and at their library they will be more prepared for the next school year.”

To encourage K-8 students to continue to read during the summer months, ALSC has updated and released three Summer Reading lists that offer a multitude of book titles to keep children engaged in reading throughout the summer. Each list may be downloaded for free from the ALSC website and is available in color or black and white. Lists can be customized to include library information, summer hours, and summer reading programs for children. To find out more and to download the lists, go to ala.org/alsc/2014-summer-reading-list.

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5) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

Monday, May 26:

  • ProQuest Administrator Module (Language: Spanish) (ProQuest); 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/PQ1040;
  • ProQuest Administrator Module (Language: Portuguese) (ProQuest); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/PQ1041;

Tuesday, May 27:

  • Secrets to Harnessing Powerful Employee Performance (Training Magazine Network); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/Harness;
  • Introduction to Fundraising Planning (GrantSpace); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/GS27May;
  • My Library’s Future – What is a MakerSpace and Deciding If Your Patrons Would Benefit From a 3D Printer (Texas State Library); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/TSL27May;
  • Understanding Software Agreements: The Legal Concerns Nonprofits Should Know (4Good); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/4Good27MayPM;

Wednesday, May 28:

  • NCompass Live: Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: Introducing GAFE (Google Apps for Education) to Elementary Students (NCompass Live); 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/NComp28May;
  • Diversity Awareness for Effective Nonprofits (4Good); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/4Good28May;
  • Transforming Novices into Experts – Faster and Cheaper Ways (Training Magazine Network); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/novice;
  • Feeding a Need: Helping Youth Find Summer Meals (TechSoup); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/feedneed;
  • Advanced Searching: Beyond the Single Search Box (ProQuest); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/PQ1038;
  • Health Happens in Libraries: Technology Planning for eHealth (WebJunction); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/WJ28May;
  • Getting Answers: OCLC WorldShare Management Services Online Chat (OCLC); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/OCLC28May;
  • Spotlight! on National Library of Medicine (NLM) Resources: Mobile Resources (National Network of Libraries of Medicine MidContinental Region); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/NLM28May;
  • 45 Great FUNdraising Ideas in 60 Minutes (4Good); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/4Good28MayPM;
  • Proposal Writing Basics (GrantSpace); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/GS28May;

Thursday, May 29:

  • Introduction to the ProQuest Platform (ProQuest); 7:00 – 7:30 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/PQ1039;
  • Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want (Training Magazine Network); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/growgo;
  • Proposal Budgeting Basics (GrantSpace); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/GS29May;
  • Leading Without Authority (WSL); 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. PDT, North Central Regional Library Distribution Center, Wenatchee: sos.wa.gov/q/LeadWithout.

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Preserving the History and Culture of Washington State

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Library 21 Initiative, State Library Collections, Tribal | No Comments »


From the desk of Brian Frisina

Washingtonians know the importance of preserving the history and culture of our great state.

Mr. Jackson is shown in the Illustrated History of Mason County, by Susan Olsen and Mary Randlette (1978) Additional information on Dick Jackson can be found in the rise and decline of the Olympia oyster, by E. N. Steele [Elma, Wash., Fulco Publications, 1957]

Mr. Jackson is shown in the Illustrated History of Mason County, by Susan Olsen and Mary Randlette (1978) Additional information on Dick Jackson can be found in the rise and decline of the Olympia oyster, by E. N. Steele [Elma, Wash., Fulco Publications, 1957]

One way to preserve our history is by supporting the Washington State Library. Established as a territorial library, the Washington Territorial Library was created by the Organic Act of 1853, which also created the Washington Territory. The Washington State Library is the oldest cultural institution in Washington State and its original collections were chosen by Governor Isaac Stevens, the first Territorial Governor, before he headed West from the East Coast.

Libraries play a very vital role in society. They provide access to both printed and online information, their collections preserve historical moments, and above all they are the stewards of the history and culture of society.

Libraries also provide people with free opportunities to learn through books, magazines, newspapers, and documents. These opportunities uplift our society and helps us to be the best human beings we can be.

I would like to take a moment and share my experience with the Washington State Library. I was working on a project that required digging deep into the history of the State, the history of the First People. I am interested in telling the story of Washington State through the eyes of the First People.

In my research I was looking for some rare images. One image I was looking for was of a person name Dick Jackson, from the Sqauxin Island Nation. Mr. Jackson played an important role in keeping his people from starving during the 1900s. The image on the right was preserved at the Washington State Library.

Through the collections of the Washington State and help from the staff I was able to locate the research material I needed. I share my story with you to highlight the Washington State Library and its role in preserving the history and culture of our great state.

Thank you Washington State Library.

Brian Frisina works at the Washington State Library branch in the Department of Labor and Industries, He is active in American Indian issues.

What would you do on a rainy day?

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 Posted in Articles, For the Public | No Comments »


From the desk of State Librarian Rand Simmons

Graphic from the National Weather Service Graphic from the National Weather Service

It isn’t unusual to have rain, even constant rain, in Western Washington this time of year. But the current predictions are a bit more extreme. We are expecting one to three inches of rain in South Puget Sound area and Mason County may have flooding. So, I pondered this morning as I drove in to work, what I would do if I had the time off on a rainy day. I posed the same question to my staff and here are some of their answers in the order received:

  1. Read the entire “F” volume of the World Book Encyclopedia cover to cover. [Me: seriously?]
  2. Re-read some historical fiction, such as My Antonia, by Willa Cather or Scott Odell’s Sara Bishop, from my early teen reading classes.
  3. Read Birds of Prey by Wilbur Smith. It will get you through any rainy day.
  4. Curl up with a good book or someone who has read one!

Did I mention all these people work in a library?

  1. Read your favorite books from childhood! Matilda by Roald Dahl and a cup of hot chocolate makes any rainy day cozy.
  2. The adventures of Sherlock Holmes. They never get old.
  3. I always snuggle up with a Nancy Drew Mystery.
  4. One of my rainy day favorites: Ella Fitzgerald and The Inkspots – “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall”.

Now we’re groovin’.

  1. Light a fire in the fireplace, bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies and have a family read aloud.
  2. Heat milk, add Nestlé’s syrup, find your miniature marshmallows; have yourself a cup of hot chocolate while curled up in your most comfy chair reading a favorite quick read and escapist adventure, The Chronicles of Narnia.

Food and reading, always a good choice, but remember to wash your hands before you turn pages.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some other staff ideas. In the meantime, tell me, what would you do on a rainy day?

My most unforgettable person, Lillian Walker

Monday, February 3rd, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public | No Comments »


We begin our celebration of Black History month with this reminiscence of an unforgettable person. John Hughes is the Chief Oral Historian for the Legacy Project, Office of the Secretary of State. 

From the desk of John Hughes, Historian.

In my half century as a journalist and historian, I’ve interviewed three U.S. presidents, governors and senators galore, movie stars and members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But the most unforgettable person I’ve ever met was a tiny, self-effacing 95-year-old African American lady from Bremerton. When Martin Luther King Jr. was still in junior high, Lillian Walker was staging sit-ins and protest marches in Kitsap County and lobbying legislators in Olympia for fair housing laws, yet few outside Kitsap County knew her story.

Bremerton_LillianWalker-1944

Lillian Walker (1913-2012), Bremerton, 1944. Courtesy Legacy Project, Washington Secretary of State.

Lillian Walker and her husband James arrived in Washington State from Illinois in the spring of 1941. They quickly landed jobs at the booming Bremerton naval shipyard. With Europe in Fascist flames, FDR had vowed that America would be “the great arsenal of democracy.”

Before the war, only about 100 blacks lived in Bremerton. By 1944, there were 4,600. The newcomers had come from all over America, especially the South and the industrial cities of the North, happy to have jobs and expecting to leave Jim Crow behind. Many racists made the same trip, however, joining earlier transplants and home-grown bigots. Bremerton-area cafes, taverns, drug stores and barber shops displayed signs saying, “We Cater to White Trade Only.”

Mrs. Walker became the recording secretary for the Puget Sound Civic Society, a civil rights coalition, and helped found the Bremerton branch of the NAACP. She was 31 years old and flabbergasted that prejudice was so prevalent in a place where the air was clean and “everything was green.” She always said, “Well, you’re either with me or against me. And if you’re against me, that means we’re going to have to fight!” She went on to become state secretary of the NAACP. The Walkers were active in the push for a Fair Employment Practices Act, which was enacted by the Legislature in 1949. The Walkers, the NAACP and Church Women United scored a major legal victory in 1954 after a Bremerton drug store owner refused to let James Walker buy a cup of coffee at his soda fountain.

Helping to found the YWCA of Kitsap County was one of Mrs. Walker’s proudest achievements. She also became chairman of the Regional Library Board. In 1997, Kitsap County’s Martin Luther King Memorial Scholarship Fund Committee named the Walkers “MLK Citizens of the Century” for producing a total of 100 years of service to the community and the nation. James Walker said he was surprised because he didn’t think the work they’d been doing “was such a big deal.” Lillian added, “We knew we had a lot of friends, but getting this award for doing what we thought was right … well, I feel really honored.”

James Walker died at 89 in 2000. They were married for 59 years. Lillian carried on. She was “deeply humbled” by all the awards she received as she marched toward 100, quipping that she had just “out-lived” most everyone else in the running. The PTA gave her its Golden Acorn. The YWCA gave her its Founder’s Award and the Democrats presented her their Lifetime Achievement award. The NAACP called her “a living treasure.” She was particularly proud of the 2009 Liberty Bell Award from the Kitsap County Bar Association. Her friend Robin Hunt, a judge on the Washington Court of Appeals, nominated her, saying that Mrs. Walker had “contributed in countless ways to the effective functioning of our government and promoted better understanding of our Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law. Her courageous persistence to insist on equal rights has brought about change in our community. … She is the living embodiment of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and Martin Luther King’s dream. And she has accomplished these goals without rancor, but rather with an attitude that others simply needed to be ‘educated.’ ”

Mrs. Walker died at 98 in January 2012. She had seen her life story become one of the most-read books produced by the Secretary of State’s Legacy Project.

Here’s the link:

http://sos.wa.gov/legacyproject/oralhistories/lillianwalker/default.aspx.

 

Supporting Teacher-Librarians

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public | No Comments »


Upon recommendation of Washington State Librarian Rand Simmons, the Office of the Secretary of State supported Senate Bill No. (SB) 6105 at a recent hearing. The bill addresses teacher-librarians and the provision of resources and materials for the operation of school library information and technology programs. It changes the name of “school-library media programs” to the “school library information and technology programs” thus updating the criteria for school library programs bringing them into Craig Seasholes, Teacher Librarianthe 21st Century!

Katie Blinn, Deputy Policy Director for the Office of the Secretary of State, said, “The bill reinforces the idea of libraries providing technology, not just books.” Certainly school libraries have been battered by the budget woes of the past few years. “Too often, it seems, cutting the school library is an easy budget reduction,” said State Librarian Rand Simmons. “But, I believe that teacher-librarians are integral to the education of students and this bill clarifies their role.”

The bill is a request of the Washington Library Media Association (WLMA). Sharyn Merrigan, the teacher-librarian at Marshall Middle School in Olympia and President-Elect of WLMA noted in her testimony before Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education

“Teacher-librarians play a central role in their schools and in the education of students. At WLMA, we have identified the three main responsibilities of the 21st century teacher-librarian. Those responsibilities are:
• Support for information and technology literacy instruction
• Reading advocacy for lifelong learning and enrichment
• Equitable access to information resources and services
As an organization, we have adopted a framework for these three responsibilities, which can be summed up as Library, Information, and Technology, or LIT . . .”

WLMA’s legislative liaison, Sara Glass, teacher-librarian at Tumwater’s Peter G. Schmidt Elementary School supported the new language in SB 6105, by stating, “teacher-librarian in the school library information and technology program … describes how we provide both the vision and the leadership for emerging technologies that can transform student learning and the classroom curriculum.”

By the way, have you noticed the term “school librarian” hasn’t been mentioned? For at least a decade school librarians have adopted the term teacher-librarian because it both clarifies they are certified professional teachers and points to their focus on teaching.

The bill is supported by the Washington Education Association (WEA). Chief Lobbyist Lucinda Young says WEA will introduce a bill that “. . . would provide the funding for school districts to hire enough teacher-librarians for all our schools and return para-educators to full employment.”

SB 6105 was heard in committee of January 22, voted out of committee on January 24, and passed to Rules Committee on January 27. The next step will be a vote of the Senate. WLMA leaders are optimistic that the bill will receive favorable treatment in the House.

Public librarians and teacher-librarians met with legislators on Friday, January 24. The buzz over the reception of legislators to SB 6105 was both electrifying and gratifying.

Protection Island

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For the Public, Random News from the Newspapers on Microfilm Collection, State Library Collections | 2 Comments »


protectionislandmap

From the desk of Steve Willis, Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library:

Some people just don’t know their boundaries. This Seattle Daily Times article from April 9, 1908 actually describes two problematic boundary issues in the Strait of Juan de Fuca:

 ISLAND OWNERSHIP IS IN DISPUTE

Judge Albertson of Seattle Hears Rival Claims of Jefferson and Clallam Counties at Port Townsend.

Will Require Some Time to Decide Puzzling Question–Bit of Water in Straits Said to Belong to No One.

The Times Special Service.

PORT TOWNSEND, Thursday, April 9.–The hearing of the case involving which of the two counties, Jefferson or Clallam, is entitled to collect the taxes from the owners of Protection Island, which has been occupying the attention of the superior court here for the past week, with Superior Judge Albertson, of King County, sitting instead of Judge Still, came to a close yesterday afternoon after the introduction of an endless amount of testimony, ranging in scope and description from a single sheet of certified tax receipts to the professional opinions of civil engineers, as well as master mariners long operating in the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.”port townsend

“According to prevailing opinion, the whole discussion hinges on the construction Judge Albertson will be called upon to place on the legislative enactment defining the boundaries between Jefferson and Clallam Counties, as to whether the use of the term ‘north’ in the paragraph means true or magnetic north. There is a material difference between the two.”

Case Under Advisement.

“Before terminating the hearing, Judge Albertson announced that he would take the matter under advisement owing to the fact that so many cited authorities had been introduced into the taking of the evidence and that it might be some time before he was prepared to announce his findings.”

“The precipitation of the present litigation recalls the fact that county boundaries are not the only ones over which some question might be raised in Washington. By a coincidence there is a point in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, not too distant from the little speck of dry land now in dispute, that neither Uncle Sam nor John Bull have any jurisdiction over.”

“This fact was brought out some years ago when the steamship Rosalie, with Capt. Charles W. Ames in command, was operating on the Sound-Victoria route. Coming over from Victoria one day, Capt. Ames had occasion to reprove one of the men aboard the boat for his actions, and the fellow, who was a much smaller man than the herculean master, believing that he was about to suffer bodily injury, drew a revolver and shot Capt. Ames through the shoulder. Fortunately, the bullet was only a flesh wound.”

“The man was arrested here on a charge of murderous assault, but was later discharged upon hearing for lack of jurisdiction. His attorney, after demonstrating the speed of the vessel, the time she had run and the distance covered, showed conclusively that the offense had not been committed in American waters. A similar complaint was accordingly filed in Victoria, and at the hearing the same procedure was followed in the investigation.”

No Punishment for Crime.

“At this hearing the exact designated international boundary line between the two countries was brought out from the government charts, and then the attorney for the defense sprang a great surprise by claiming that the offense, as alleged in the complaint, had not been committed within the jurisdiction of the British courts. Expert testimony, which was taken at length, finally proved beyond question that this contention was well founded, and the prisoner was discharged.”

“The only deduction to be drawn is that at some points in the Strait of Juan de Fuca there is a narrow strip of water, but in ‘no man’s land,’ and where almost any crime, even up to a capital offense, can be committed without fear of retribution at the hands of the court.”

“It is a very fortunate thing, be it said, that this strip of no country’s high seas is very narrow in width and short in length and could be located by no one but a man versed in the art of navigation. Few of these, in fact, know anything about the boundaries of the unusual strip of salt water, and it is said that Puget Sound mariners who know exactly where it is located, always ease her off half a point while crossing the Strait to avoid the place in which it has been legally proven is entirely without the pale of the law of any country.”

Protection Island was eventually award to Jefferson County. The problem might have started back in 1854, when Clallam County was carved out of Jefferson. There was an odd border arrangement just south of Protection Island. James G. McCurdy in By Juan de Fuca’s Strait (1937) explains:

rosalie

Rosalie

“Living in that district was a family with a very sinister reputation. Even murder had been laid at its door. The people of Jefferson said very emphatically: ‘We don’t want that family of killers in our county– let Clallam have them.’ So the lines were run to eliminate the undesirables from the county in which they had so long been residents. At the time of the division, the population of Jefferson County was but 189 persons.”

The shooting of the Captain known as “Big Ames” aboard the Rosalie must have taken place between 1894-1897, when he was the skipper of that steamer. A couple months after the above 1908 article the International Boundary Commission was formed to finalize some of the irregularities of the Canada-U.S. border. Presumably if such a no-man’s strip of water really existed in Juan de Fuca as described in the Rosalie case, this Commission would have addressed that.

Staff Spotlight: Pam Bell

Thursday, October 24th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public | 3 Comments »


Although she describes herself as a “blue jeans kind of girl,” few people know that Pam Bell is also a royal personage.

Pam Bell 061213Tucked away in WSL Technical Services, Pam has a long history with the Washington State Library. In the 1980s she did the first inputting for that late great bibliographic utility, WLN. WLN was a “bibliographic utility” — think service organization to libraries in the Pacific Northwest – conceived by and born from the Washington State Library. 

Pam made her way to ILL, Acquisitions, Processing, and now Cataloging. Her specialty is government publications, where her duties include close copy cataloging. Pam has excelled at rolling with the changes in the ever-changing world of Technical Services in the wake of staff turnover and budget cuts.

A native of Lewis County, Pam loves outdoor life and organizing social events. She also enjoys collecting Popeye memorabilia and lives by his credo, “I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam,” and terrifying the State Librarian with wacky ideas.

 Oh, back to the royalty thing. Pam was the Prairie Days Princess in Yelm AND the Rodeo Princess in Rainier.

Thanks, Pammer. You are vital to helping us make federal publications available to the people of this state.