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WTBBL director learns about global disability issues during Egypt trip ?>

WTBBL director learns about global disability issues during Egypt trip

WTBBL Director Danielle Miller visits the Federal Egyptian Association for Intellectual Disabilities during her trip to Egypt. (Photos courtesy of Danielle Miller)

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library provides a comprehensive library service to Washington residents unable to read standard print. As its director, Danielle Miller is very aware of issues involving persons with disabilities.

During a recent trip to Egypt, Miller had a chance to discuss and learn more about issues involving rights for persons with disabilities globally.

After hosting two participants in the U.S. Department of State’s Professional Fellows Program at WTBBL last May, Miller traveled to Egypt on a reverse exchange program Jan. 28-Feb. 8.

The trip was made possible by Hands Along the Nile Development Services, Inc. (HANDS), administrator of a Professional Fellows Program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“My time spent in Cairo was filled primarily with site visits to NGOs working in disability-related areas, and attending presentations on the current state of affairs relating to disability rights and rights and issues relating to women in Egypt,” Miller said. “My colleagues and I had the opportunity to present on proposal writing and our own organizations. We also visited the Library of Alexandria. There was some time for sightseeing and you can’t go wrong beginning an adventure with a trip to the Pyramids.”

Danielle at the Pyramids outside Cairo.

Miller said meeting people working in disability advocacy and going on the site visits were the high points of the trip, adding she looks forward to continuing new relationships and exploring opportunities for collaboration.

Some of the organizations Miller visited include the Alhassan Foundation, Takfik Namati TV, and the Federal Egyptian Association for Intellectual Disabilities. The Alhassan Foundation focuses on the diversity and inclusion of differently abled people by providing customized wheelchairs and offering programs like equipped rides, source of living, and social awareness.

“I had the opportunity to see someone getting fitted for a customized wheelchair and learn so much about the impact the mobility and programming has on people’s lives,” Miller said.

Danille and others visit Taha Hussein Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Takfik Namati TV is a channel serving people with disabilities, started by a blind photographer, and run by a staff of many persons with disabilities. The channel’s goals are seeking the rights of the disabled, linking to education and employment, holding computer trainings for people who are blind, and more.

Miller said the Library of Alexandria has several specialized areas and collections, but the most directly related to WTBBL was the Taha Hussein Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This library within a library provides computers with screen readers and magnification for patrons, training, audio books to read while in the library, and programming like art education and orientation and mobility. There is also a recording studio where books in Arabic are being produced in DAISY format for audio readers.

What was one takeaway from the trip for Miller?

“We all have work to do to improve rights and services for people with disabilities, regardless of location, and the strong spirit of empowerment and inclusion I found when speaking with people throughout my trip will certainly go a long way toward that goal.”

WTBBL is part of the Washington State Library, which is a division of the Office of Secretary of State.

A poetry book just for Valentine’s Day ?>

A poetry book just for Valentine’s Day

(Photo courtesy of Washington State Library)

For those of you who love poetry and rank Valentine’s Day among your favorite holidays, the State Library has just the thing for you. It’s a hand-pressed book of romantic and Valentine’s Day-themed poems from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Ted Kooser. The book is called “Out of That Moment: Twenty-one Years of Valentines.” It was published by Brooding Heron Press, operated by former State Poet Laureate Samuel Green and his wife, Sally. The book is found in the State Library’s Rare Collection.

Archives and Library’s connection to `Queen of the Fakers’ ?>

Archives and Library’s connection to `Queen of the Fakers’

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Maud Wagnon’s State Penitentiary mug shots. (Image courtesy of Washington State Archives)

Many people associate our State Archives and State Library with old government documents and historic books and collections that are like gold to genealogists and history buffs.

But many of those documents and collections kept by the Archives and Library also tell fascinating stories.

One example focuses on an Oregon woman named Maud Wagnon (aka Maud Johnson), who defrauded interurban railroads more than a century ago, earning her the nickname “Queen of the Fakers.”

The State Library’s state publications collection includes an old wanted prisoner catalog from 1913. The State Digital Archives has the digital copy. Recently, Logan Camporeal, an Eastern Washington University graduate intern who works at the Archives’ Eastern Regional Branch in Cheney, came across the story about mischievous Maud, the only female convict listed in the document, while doing research for this Treasures of the Archives story.

Logan shared his story about the con artist with KNKX Radio (formerly KPLU). The NPR station recently did a story on the turn-of-the-century swindler. You can listen to the audio version of the story here. (Go to the 5:06 mark to hear Logan’s story.)

’17 Teen Video Challenge under way ?>

’17 Teen Video Challenge under way

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The Washington State Library and the Collaborative Summer Library Program have launched the 2017 Teen Video Challenge, a national video competition for teens to get involved with reading and their public library’s summer reading program.

Teens are invited to create a 30-to-90-second video with their unique interpretation of the 2017 summer reading slogan “Build a Better World.” The idea is to involve teens in summer reading, before and during the summer months, by being part of the process. This is an opportunity for teens to showcase their creativity and have their ideas heard by a national audience. The winning video will be named one of the 2017 Teen Videos to promote summer reading nationwide.

$100 will be awarded to the creator of Washington’s winning video and his or her associated public library will receive prizes worth at least $50 from Upstart. Winners will be announced in April.

For full details about the Teen Video Challenge and to find out how to enter Washington’s competition, please visit http://sos.wa.gov/q/teenvideo. Entries must be received by Feb. 15.

Questions? Please contact Nono Burling at the Washington State Library at nono.burling@sos.wa.gov.

Ancestry Day event draws packed crowds ?>

Ancestry Day event draws packed crowds

Kim with Sons of the Revolution

Secretary Wyman with Sons of the Revolution at Ancestry Day Saturday in Tacoma. (Photos courtesy of Washington State Archives)

It takes a special event to keep sun-craving Northwesterners indoors on a nice September weekend, but that was the case Saturday as hundreds packed themselves into a large meeting room at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center for Ancestry Day.

The event was co-hosted by Ancestry, the Washington State Historical Society, and the Office of Secretary of State’s Washington State Archives,
Washington State Library and Legacy Washington.

Steve at Ancestry Day

State Archivist Steve Excell addresses the audience during a panel discussion on family history holdings at the State Archives.

Over 700 attendees were treated to workshops, panel discussions and presentations by Ancestry’s genealogy experts and others on Saturday. Secretary of State Kim Wyman gave the welcome address Saturday morning. Wyman noted that her ancestor Nathaniel Dobbs served in the Revolutionary War and was present at the surrender of Lord Corwallis after the Battle of Yorktown.

On Friday, about 250 people came to the State Historical Museum in Tacoma for genealogy-related presentations, including one by the State Archives’ Tracy Rebstock on where to look for information (other than birth/marriage/death records) about someone’s family history. The State Library’s Kathryn Devine later discussed how to use old newspapers to find information about one’s ancestors.

Ancestry Day crowd

The audience listens to a genealogy presentation Friday.

State Library kicks off Letters About Literature, Zine contests ?>

State Library kicks off Letters About Literature, Zine contests

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The State Library just launched not one but two contests for Washington students. One is a perennial favorite and the other capitalizes on an alternative art form that allows for self-expression.

For the 12th straight year, the State Library is co-sponsoring the Letters About Literature contest as part of Washington Reads. The competition encourages students to write letters to their favorite authors, living or dead, about how their book changed the student’s view of the world or himself or herself. The contest, co-sponsored by the Washington State Library, is for schoolchildren and homeschooled students in grades 4-12.

“This is a great contest for kids and teens because they get to express how a favorite book inspired them or made them think in different ways,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman. “I’m amazed by the many incredible, heartwarming letters that students submit each year, and I look forward to more of their great writing.”

Students can start sending in entries on Nov. 2. There are two deadlines for this year’s contest: Level 3 entries must be postmarked by Dec. 2. Entries for Levels 1 and 2 must be postmarked by Jan. 9, 2017.

Here is more information about the Letters About Literature contest, including how to enter.

While LAL is a well-established contest, the Historical Zine Contest is in its second year. You might be wondering, “What is a Zine?” Zines (rhymes with beans) are basically self-published magazines that give the creator’s point of view on a subject. Contest participants are asked to create a Zine about some aspect of Washington history.

The State Archives and Timberland Regional Library are co-sponsors. This contest is open to Washington residents from fourth grade up. Yes, adults can enter, too! Entry deadline is Dec. 15. Go here to see the entry form.

You can learn more about the contest here.

Want to know where you can find materials for your Historical Zine Contest creation? Check out the Washington State Digital Collections history resources, or visit the State Library, State Archives or Timberland Regional Library to find what you’re seeking.

Don’t know how to make a Zine? Watch this video. It shows you one of the many ways to make one.

Want to dig into your family roots? Go to Ancestry Day Sept. 24 ?>

Want to dig into your family roots? Go to Ancestry Day Sept. 24

Ancestry Day Logo

Interested in learning more about your family’s history? Whether you’re a genealogy expert or just starting to dig into your family’s roots, you’re encouraged to attend Ancestry Day in Tacoma Saturday, Sept. 24.

The event is co-hosted by Ancestry, the Washington State Historical Society,  and the Office of Secretary of State’s Washington State Archives,
Washington State Library and Legacy Washington .

“This will be a great event for many people in Washington and the Northwest who want to learn more about their family history,” said Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman. “One reason why we’re excited about Ancestry Day is because our State Archives, State Library and Legacy Washington maintain historical records and collections that can help genealogists research their family history. Our staff looks forward to helping attendees unlock mysteries to their ancestors.”

“Guiding people as they discover the rich stories buried in their family’s past is an endeavor often filled with wonderful surprises,” said Jennifer Kilmer, Director of the Washington State Historical Society. “We’re very pleased to partner with Ancestry and other state agencies to provide that service for the residents of Washington who want to share in their family’s personal experience.”

The event takes place at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center (1500 Broadway).

Registration is $35 and includes admission to all classes presented by Ancestry. Lunch tickets can be purchased for an additional $15, which includes a box lunch and the lunch speaker. The first presentation, an Ancestry 101 class, begins at 8:15 a.m. That day, booksellers, genealogy and historical societies, archives and other vendors will have tables in the exhibition hall.

Go here to find out more and register.

Pre-registration is encouraged and available online through 5 p.m. on Sept. 17. Those missing the pre-registration deadline can purchase a ticket at the door on Sept. 24. On-site registration that day is from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m.

Inmate artwork brightens library at Coyote Ridge ?>

Inmate artwork brightens library at Coyote Ridge

Coyote Ridge CC library

Inmates at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center stand in front of artwork they created for the facility’s library. (Photo courtesy Department of Corrections)

At the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (CRCC) in Connell, there are some individuals who share their artistic abilities for the benefit of all.

There is a paint crew of incarcerated individuals who not only paint but make cardboard props, models and games for use in plays and family-friendly activities. These models/games are donated to the local library for their use in their children’s’ programs and special events.

The most recent painting has been completed and placed in Coyote Ridge Library, which is operated by the Washington State Library. The painters responsible for the great scenes and murals at the CRCC Library are currently Lars Snow, Tony Engles, Dane Bowers, and Mike Sandvigen.

The motif covers some popular themes, including Harry Potter, Dr. Who, Star Wars, and Lord of The Rings. Above is a photo of the artwork put up recently in the library. Many staff at CRCC and the offenders enjoy the work done by the paint/model crew.

“All Institutional Library Services branches strive to be positive environments where patrons feel welcome,” said Anna Nash, an institutional librarian for the State Library. “The addition of artwork to the library will, no doubt, be appreciated by the individuals at the Coyote Ridge branch and will add to the positive environment with images from their favorite series.”

The library at Coyote Ridge is one of many branch libraries throughout Washington operated by the State Library.

Bellevue students win 2016 Teen Video Challenge ?>

Bellevue students win 2016 Teen Video Challenge

getinthegame

This year’s Teen Video Challenge asked contestants to make a short video that ties into the 2016 summer reading slogan, “Get in the Game – READ.”

The winning entry, created by a group of students at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bellevue, more than accomplished that sports-related goal. Their 60-second video featured students involved in dancing, lacrosse, tennis, softball, basketball, soccer and football before finishing with other students passing along books in the school library.

The winning video team includes Danielle Baxter, Elena Burnett, Francesca Feider-Blazer, Sofia Gellock, Ella Hikes, Jordan Kerns, Katrina Kuntz, Emma Leventhal, Caroline Shoemaker, Amy Skochdopoleand, Sabrina M. Uyeda, Ximenda Rodriguez Verdieri and Devon Wappler.

The school received a $150 award, which it used for a celebratory party for the talented teens. The Bellevue Public Library received prizes worth $50 from the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) and Demco/Upstart.

The winning video was named one of the CSLP 2016 Teen Videos to promote summer reading nationwide.

Now in its sixth year, the Teen Video Challenge is a national video competition for teens to get involved with reading and their public library’s summer reading program. In Washington, it’s sponsored by the Washington State Library and CSLP.

Teens were invited to create a 30-to-90-second video with their unique interpretation of this year’s summer reading slogan. The idea is to involve teens in summer reading, before and during the summer months, by being part of the process.

Wyman names Cindy Aden as new WA State Librarian ?>

Wyman names Cindy Aden as new WA State Librarian

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Secretary of State Kim Wyman has named Cindy Altick Aden as director of the Washington State Library.

Aden will take the helm next month of one of the state’s oldest cultural institutions, dating back more than 160 years when it was created by the state’s first territorial governor, Isaac Stevens.

Aden has an extensive background in public libraries and the private sector, including stints at Amazon, Corbis, and community newspapers. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Washington School of Library and Information Science.

Wyman said Aden is an outstanding choice:

“I am delighted to appoint Cindy to provide new leadership at one of the library community’s most important jobs. I am excited about the creativity and passion she brings to the table. She has the skills and the vision to help pivot the Library to new levels of relevance, technology advances and user-friendliness in this challenging and exciting new century.”

Aden said she is “honored and excited” to take the new post and eager to join a staff of experienced professionals. She praised the Legislature and Secretary Wyman for working hard to put the Library on a solid financial footing.

Wyman said the selection of the new State Librarian reflects her vision for a Library that responds to the public’s need for solid information across platforms that are convenient and easy to use.

The Washington State Library offers a wide variety of services, including print and digital collections, genealogy resources, photo collections, historic newspapers, help for researchers, (more…)