Signatures and state law: The enduring power of the pen

Signatures and state law: The enduring power of the pen

Even though the routine act of signing your name to authorize credit-card charges will soon become history, it is perhaps premature to consider the pen-and-paper signature doomed to obsolescence. Across the U.S., government at all levels remains legally reliant on hand-signed names in an immense number of ways. Federally, you might be able to electronically sign a tax return for the Internal Revenue Service, but a U.S. Passport and a Social Security card each require a written signature. The rationale goes back…

Read More Read More

Western State Hospital’s successful library newsletter

Western State Hospital’s successful library newsletter

It is said that every crisis presents an opportunity. In 2011, the branch libraries of the Washington State Library learned that their book budgets had been severely cut. Magazine subscriptions were reduced, and there was no money for new materials. At the same time, several units at the Western State Hospital were restricted from certain areas on campus that included the library building. Library attendance dwindled. Overnight, I was in charge of a library with nothing new to offer and…

Read More Read More

Federal publications at the Washington State Library

Federal publications at the Washington State Library

The Washington State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State, is the Regional Federal Depository Library for Washington and Alaska in the FDLP program administered by the Government Publishing Office. This means that the Library receives almost all of the federal publications produced and distributed by the Government Publishing Office. In addition to providing historical and current information about federal programs and affairs, federal publications offer a surprising amount of state and local information for researchers. Perhaps…

Read More Read More

A National Library Week look at institutional libraries

A National Library Week look at institutional libraries

This week, April 8-14, is National Library Week. Through a partnership between the Washington State Library and the state Department of Corrections, we operate nine institutional libraries for inmates and state hospital patients across the state. Institutional libraries are located inside Airway Heights Corrections Center, Clallam Bay Corrections Center, Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, Stafford Creek Corrections Center, Washington Corrections Center, Washington Corrections Center for Women, and Washington State Penitentiary. There are also libraries located in the Twin Rivers Unit and Washington State Reformatory at the Monroe Correctional Complex. Additionally, interlibrary loan services…

Read More Read More

Remembering Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney

Remembering Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney

Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney, a giant of Seattle’s civil-rights movement and longtime pastor of the city’s Mount Zion Baptist Church, died Saturday in an assisted-living facility. He was 91. The Legacy Washington program of the Secretary of State’s office interviewed Rev. Dr. McKinney and his family for an extensive biography published in 2016. Its title, a quotation from one of the reverend’s many moving public addresses, is We’re Not In Heaven Yet. You can read it here and leave…

Read More Read More

April special election is underway

April special election is underway

For about 20 percent of Washington voters, today marks the beginning of the chance to cast ballots in a special election. Ballot boxes opened this morning for the April special election, the second of four election cycles for Washington voters in 2018. There’s plenty of time to participate: Election day is April 24, and the deadline for in-person voter registration with county election officials is April 16. So what’s on the ballot? For voters in 15 of Washington’s 39 counties…

Read More Read More

Letters About Literature: Much more than just a contest

Letters About Literature: Much more than just a contest

What do you get when you combine books, students, writing and a national contest? You get hope for the future and the country, and the knowledge that we are all in good hands for the future. Washington state has participated in the Letters About Literature contest since 2005, and it is a favorite for everyone who has experienced it. What makes it so great is, simply put, the letters. Unlike the book reports we all remember from our school days,…

Read More Read More

NASA comes to Washington libraries

NASA comes to Washington libraries

Through a program called “NASA at My Library” facilitated through STARnet, NASA is reaching out to underserved populations across the US via the libraries that serve them. The goal is to enrich lifelong learning with NASA themed activities based on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) initiatives. To date, 78 libraries are implementing this project, including Bothell and Anacortes here in Washington. But for NASA’s big-picture goal, that’s not enough. The next phase is to utilize the resources and know-how…

Read More Read More

Washingtonians in World War I

Washingtonians in World War I

2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I, the “War to End All Wars.” Centennial events have taken place for the past several years throughout Europe, and last year the Washington State Library was honored to assist students from the American School in Paris as they embarked on a project to gather information about the Americans laid to rest at Suresnes American Cemetery. This Paris cemetery contains the remains of 1,541 Americans who died in World…

Read More Read More

Archives Spotlight: The Legislative Building turns 90

Archives Spotlight: The Legislative Building turns 90

In the quiet of the post-Legislative session interim period, the 90th anniversary of the Washington Capitol‘s opening to the public passed without a formal observance on March 28. Perhaps that was fitting. The Legislative Building went without a grand opening party back in 1928 because of a political dispute over the perceived largesse of building and furnishing a $7 million government building. The Legislative Building was constructed over much of the 1920s. Architects Walter Wilder and Harry White, whose plan…

Read More Read More