On Tuesday, July 30th, Washington State Library Youth Services Consultant Siri Hiltz and Community Outreach Librarian Sara Peté had the good fortune of visiting the beautiful Camas Public Library for a chance to learn from the nation’s top librarian — Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress (LoC).
U.S. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler brought Dr. Hayden to the 3rd District to help spread the word about the Library of Congress Surplus Books Program, the Veterans History Project, and the LoC’s incredible By the People project among other things. Congresswoman Herrera Beutler introduced Dr. Hayden and spoke about the importance of libraries during her own childhood. Herrera Beutler talked about fond memories of growing up using the Fort Vancouver Regional Library and explained that a love of reading was one of the most important gifts she received from her mother. After the meet & greet and Q&A, Dr. Hayden even took part in a bubble-filled mouse and space themed preschool storytime! While in Washington, Dr. Hayden also brought her knowledge and storytime chops to branches of the Yakima Valley Libraries, Sno-Isle Libraries, and Everett Public Library.
The LoC Surplus Books Program exists to help build library collections in full-time, tax-supported or nonprofit educational institutions. If your library could benefit from this service contact your Congressperson’s office today. Surplus books can be shipped to libraries by a designated, local-to-D.C. individual who will choose books on the library’s behalf. For more information and to apply for this program, please visit: https://www.loc.gov/acq/surplus.html.
The Veterans History Project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. The project also focuses on family members because, as Dr. Hayden expressed, “Families serve too.” The project is particularly interested in adding more accounts from veterans of the Vietnam War. You can find stories from WA State veterans here and you can find out how to get involved here.
LoC’s By the People project is your chance to help transcribe, review, and tag digitized images of manuscripts and typed materials from the Library’s unique collections. Current projects include Suffrage: Women Fight for the Vote, Civil War, Walt Whitman at 200 and many more. For more information, including how to get involved, visit By the People.
The Library of Congress belongs to the people and these projects highlight a few of the ways that everyday citizens can get involved. As Dr. Hayden puts it, “The library is the heart of the community.”