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WSL Updates for June 11, 2015

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | No Comments »

Volume 11, June 11, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:









Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, is sponsoring the 1st Annual Historical Zine Contest with co-sponsors Washington State Archives and Timberland Regional Library. Participants are asked to create a zine about some aspect of Washington History.

Entries will be accepted from four age groups:

  • Grades 4-6;
  • Grades 7-9;
  • Grades 10-12;
  • Adults of all ages.

Workshops will be held to learn how to make a zine at:

  • Olympia Timberland Library – Saturday, July 11th from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Yelm Timberland Library – Saturday, July 25th from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

For more information go to sos.wa.gov/q/zine. Questions? Please contact Judy Pitchford at judy.pitchford@sos.wa.gov.



The Professional Development (PD) Grant Cycle is open. The Washington State Library has phased out Continuing Education (CE) grants. Professional Development (PD) grants replace CE grants. PD grants use a revised process for applying, reporting, and claiming reimbursement. There are some major changes.

Applying for PD Grants:

  • Only libraries may apply for PD grants;
  • Individuals can no longer apply;
  • Qualifying libraries include public libraries, schools and their school libraries, academic institutions and their libraries, tribal libraries, and non-profit institutions and their libraries.

Libraries can apply for two types of PD grants:

  • Libraries may apply on behalf of individual staff members. The grant can allow up to $1,000 per person per year. The maximum per library is $6,000 per year.
  • Libraries may apply to bring training into the library. The maximum is $3,000 per library per year.

Either a library or its parent institution, depending on their structure, has the authority to apply for these grants and receive reimbursements. In either case, only libraries and library staff are eligible to use the grants. If branches of a library or library system apply, they are considered part of a single library for award limits. Libraries serving a population of less than 5,000 are eligible for a waiver of the required match.

For more information, including application forms, visit sos.wa.gov/q/pdgrants. Questions? Please contact Maura Walsh at maura.walsh@sos.wa.gov.



Bank On Washington’s mission is to provide un-banked and under-banked individuals with access to financial education and mainstream financial services. Sponsored by the Washington State Treasurer’s Office, Bank On Washington is a network of government entities, financial institutions, and non-profit organizations which includes nine local Bank On partners in eleven counties. These partners work closely within their communities to fulfill this mission. Currently, the counties included are Cowlitz, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Whatcom, and Yakima.

Bank On Washington has been awarded a grant from Bank On 2.0 to reach out to the un-banked and under-banked in rural and hard-to-reach communities. Bank On Washington’s grant creates a pilot project called “Book Your Bank” which plans to work with local public and tribal libraries to create a financial safe place where community members can come once or twice a month to receive financial counseling and classes, get their credit score checked, access computers to do online banking, and open up bank accounts.

If your library is interested in participating in Book Your Bank or for more information, please contact Gina Stark, Director of External Affairs, Washington State Treasurer’s Office at 206-550-7329 or Regina.stark@tre.wa.gov.



Registration is now open for the tenth annual Northwest eLearn Conference. This year’s event will be held in Olympia, Washington from Thursday, October 22 – Friday, October 23, 2015. Two exceptional keynote speakers, Jesse Stommel of Hybrid Pedagogy and Audrey Watters of Hack Education, will launch Northwest eLearn Conference 2015.

NWeLC provides an opportunity for higher education and K-12 faculty, administrators, instructional designers, and technologists to come together to discuss best practices, collaborations, and ideas in integrating technology in learning.

This year’s NWeLC will be held at the Olympia Red Lion. To reserve a room at the conference rate and find out about transportation options, visit the conference travel & hotel page at nwelearn.org/travel-hotel.

Register for the Northwest eLearn 2015 Conference at nwelearn.org/registration by Friday, September 11, 2015 for discounted rate.



The American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Round Table announces June as GLBT Book Month. Librarians, booksellers, and community advocates are invited to celebrate and highlight the work being done in GLBT literature. Visit www.ala.org/glbtrt/glbt-book-month for more information.



June 15

  • Conference Attendee Tips – ALA in San Francisco (Idaho Commission for Libraries); 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PDT
  • Digital Literacy Services in Action: Online Webinar (Washington State Library); 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. PDT
  • Developing Competencies for Virtual Classroom Facilitators (InSync Training); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT

June 16

June 17

June 18

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


The Washington State Library has gone social! Friend/follow us at:

         Facebook: on.fb.me/FBWSL;

         Twitter: twitter.com/WAStateLib.


Washington State Library promotes technology

Friday, March 20th, 2015 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.

WSL Updates for March 12, 2015

Thursday, March 12th, 2015 Posted in Digital Collections, For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | No Comments »

Volume 11, March 12, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:







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WSL Updates for March 5, 2015

Thursday, March 12th, 2015 Posted in Digital Literacy, For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | No Comments »

Volume 11, March 5, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:







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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.


WSL Updates for September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 Posted in For Libraries, News, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | No Comments »

Volume 10, September 11, 2014 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:







The Washington State Library/Washington Library Association Continuing Education Needs Assessment (CENA) Survey is now available.

Your participation will help WSL and WLA offer valuable, targeted continuing education opportunities over the next 2 years. Please share this survey widely with all library staff in public, school, academic, college, tribal and other libraries.

The survey should only take 15-20 minutes to complete and is available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/WACENA2014



The WSL Statewide Database Licensing Project and AWE Digital Learning Solutions are again announcing a multi-state special group purchase pricing to all public libraries for both the Early Literacy Station™ and AfterSchool Edge™. To take advantage of this special offer, orders should be placed before December 15, 2014.

The Early Literacy Station™ (ELS) is a dynamic all-in-one digital learning solution for early learners, ages 2-8. It is available in English and Bilingual Spanish and features over 70 content applications. The AfterSchool Edge™ features content for all elementary age students (approximately 6-12 years old). The educational programs, which are correlated to Common Core and state standards, span all seven curricular areas. Each product features engaging graphics, intuitive menus, usage tracking, and administrative functions. No Internet connection is required to use either of these products.

Pricing will be available from the Statewide Database Licensing AWE group purchasing page at sos.wa.gov/q/AWE-2. For more information, contact Cynthia Busse, AWE Senior Account Executive at bussec@awelearning.com or 281.210.4799.



Protecting Cultural Collections: Disaster Prevention, Preparedness, Response & Recovery is a free two-part workshop sponsored by the Western States & Territories Preservation Assistance Service (WESTPAS). Funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The instructor, Gary Menges, is a retired Preservation Administrator, UW Libraries, a WESTPAS trainer, and a member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works Collections Emergency Response Team (AIC CERT).

Who should attend? Administrators and staff responsible for emergency preparedness, response and decision-making, in all types of cultural institutions. By registering for the workshop, the institution commits to supporting the attendee(s) to achieve the workshop’s disaster preparedness goals. When possible, please commit two attendees so they can work together on the disaster preparedness activities.

Event details:

  • Part 1: ON-LINE WEBINARS – Prevention & Preparedness (archived 2½ hours total)
  • Part 2: IN-PERSON WORKSHOP – Response & Recovery
  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014 – 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – Yakima Valley Museum, 2105 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98902.

Participation in the in-person workshop requires viewing the archived Part 1 webinars BEFORE attending the Part 2 in-person workshop AND completing the workshop assignments. Any exception requires the permission of the instructor.

For more information or to register visit sos.wa.gov/q/WESTPAS-Yakima. For registration assistance, contact Alexandra Gingerich, gingerich@plsinfo.org; for general & content information, contact Gary Menges menges@uw.edu.



September 15

  • VIP Webinar with Ken Burns (Baker&Taylor); 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/kenb

September 16

  • Shared Print Repositories (ALCTS), two-day webinar; 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/spr
  • When Remembering Really Matters: The Power of Serious Games for Learning (Training Magazine Network); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/whenre
  • Walking the Walk: Engage Volunteers in your Volunteer Engagement Program (VolunteerMatch.Org); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/volwalk
  • Executive Branch Documents (ProQuest); 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/exdoc

September 17

  • Shared Print Repositories (ALCTS), two-day webinar; 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PDT wa.gov/q/spr
  • Grant Proposal Feedback Clinic (4Good); 12:00 – 1:00 PDT wa.gov/q/grtfeedback
  • Strategic Decision Making: Shifting Your Culture from Reactive to Proactive; 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/strdec
  • Storymakers: Tell Your Library’s Story (Techsoup); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/storym
  • Subject Matter Expert + Tablet = Faster, Cheaper, Better Video Learning Content (Training Magazine Network); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/subjmex
  • The Team Equation: Managing Teams that Deliver (Training Magazine Network); 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/teameq
  • ProQuest Health and Medical Complete; 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/medcompl
  • ELibrary for Schools (ProQuest); 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/eschool
  • My Research & RefWorks: Perfect Together; 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/myres
  • Busqueda Avanzada en la Plataforma (Spanish – ProQuest); 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/spapro

September 18

  • Making Our Gadgets Work for Us, Spokane County Library, Argonne Branch, Spokane; 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • You Can Do I.T. On Your Own (Infopeople); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/doit
  • Teen Books Buzz Fall 2014 (School Library Journal); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/bookbuzz
  • Funding Rural America: Finding Support for Small Communities (Techsoup); 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/fundrur
  • Measuring Success: How to Strategically Assess Your Program (VolunteerMatch.Org); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/volmeasure
  • ABI/INFORM FAQ (ProQuest); 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/abipro
  • Ebrary-ebooks for Schools (ProQuest); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/ebraryproq
  • New Literature Online LION (ProQuest); 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/lionpro

September 19

  • Leading without Authority, Bellingham Public Library, Bellingham; 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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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Spotlight on Staff: Jennifer Fenton

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Training and Continuing Education | No Comments »

If you had to use one word to describe Jennifer “Non-stop” would be a good one. Other words that apply are enthusiastic, friendly, and knowledgeable.  library photo

Jennifer has worked in libraries for over 25 years starting in her high school years at King County Library (KCLS) as a Page. She continued working for KCLS all through her college and graduate school days honing her skills as she went. Her dream job and where she focused her education was in Children’s Services and fresh out of library school she went to work for the Ellensburg City Library as the youth services librarian. Pulling on her experience at KCLS and knowing what was possible, Jennifer took the children’s program to a new level introducing baby and toddler story times, school age programs as well as teen programming. With her quiet charm she roped in the Police and Fire Departments, the City Manager and the Mayor to come and read to the kids. She participated on behalf of the library with the kids in the Ellensburg parade, rode on a float and had on average four programs A DAY! One of the most popular programs was an American Girl Doll event. It started as a Victorian tea complete with real china but soon became a multi-age event for both boys and girls where they put on plays. As she said “The kids enjoy being stage managers and lighting engineers even if they won’t appear on stage.” Sets were made, costumes produced, the show must go on! Jennifer stressed however, that the kids did the work, she just coordinated the event. Did I say “non-stop”?

Besides her day to day work, while in Ellensburg, Jennifer was also the backup Library Director and was often called on to function in this role. In her “free time” She became involved in CAYAS and has been active in the Washington Library Association (WLA) since 1997.

Jennifer loved her time in Ellensburg but wanting to be closer to family she moved back to Western Washington and to the Sno-Isle Libraries, specifically the Mukilteo Library. While at Sno-Isle she was promoted to Assistant Children’s Service Manager. She co-implemented an early learning program called “Ready Readers”. She reports that working with the Children’s staff at Sno-Isle is “Where I got my love of training.” Jennifer’s tenure at Sno-Isle was before Washington’s state-wide involvement with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), each library had to create their own Summer Reading Program.

Richard Jesse Watson’s Sno-Isle’s Summer Reading Logo

Richard Jesse Watson’s Sno-Isle’s Summer Reading Logo

She developed a partnership with authors/illustrators to help produce programs and materials for the SRP and other programming and is still friends with many of these authors.

While at Sno-Isle, Jennifer also worked as a collection development librarian and was “loaned” to Lake Stevens Library as a Branch Manager. She found she really liked the “high level work” and that is what eventually led her to the State Library.

Ready for new challenges, in 2008 Jennifer became the Training Coordinator for Washington State, coordinating trainings both in person and online. She plans at least two major “on the ground” events a year, this year’s being the wildly successful “Gadget Menagerie” and “Mental Health First Aid”.   “She also partners with the WLA on a Continuing Education Needs Assessment which goes to all  librarians in Washington state. This fall look for a Social Media training and more sessions of “Leading without Authority.” Judging on the success of Jennifer’s past programs you might want to sign up early.

You would think with ALL this going on in her life there would be no time for anything else but Jennifer has a husband and two dogs to keep her busy in her off hours. She and her husband make jewelry (just look the next time you see her) and love to travel. Her cubicle walls are covered with gorgeous pictures taken in London, Hawaii and Egypt. Jennifer Egypt

But enough from me, let’s see what her fans have to say about her.

“Jennifer is a person of many dimensions but more than anything she is patient, everywhere and every when, she is cool, calm and patient with, well, everybody.”

Lauren L R Murphy, Senior Librarian, Bonney Lake Pierce County Library

“I have worked with Jennifer on numerous projects and her depth of knowledge is always a great asset to each one. She brings a genuine enthusiasm to everything she does and her professional joy is infectious. Jenn is such a treasure to work with!”

Brianna K. Hoffman Richland Public Library

“I admire her as a ‘connector’ creating networks with people state-wide as well as with CE people in other libraries around the country.”

Jeanne Fondrie, Learning Coordinator, Whatcom County Library System

‘I first met Jennifer when I was a new librarian – I followed her as children’s librarian at the Mukilteo Library.  From the beginning, I appreciated the way she took me under her wing and mentored me… I can always count on Jennifer to offer advice on potential trainers, improving training or leadership.  She is knowledgeable, friendly and approachable.”

Kristin Piepho, Children’s Coordinator, Sno-Isle Libraries

Are you tired reading this? I could barely keep up with taking notes. Do you have a training need? Washington Librarians and libraries are in good hands with Jennifer Fenton.




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 | 3 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.