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Author: Secretary of State's Office

Central Library Services — From Our Homes to Yours

Central Library Services — From Our Homes to Yours

Like many Washingtonians, staff at the Washington State Library are adjusting to working from home. This means that those of us who spend our days working directly with our customers are missing our interactions with them, and wishing we had access to the non-digitized books and newspapers that make our collection so uniquely valuable. In these days of pandemic however, we all have to make do. In our case, we’re still able to respond to most email inquiries — though…

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In the time of COVID-19, AskWA

In the time of COVID-19, AskWA

AskWA is the Statewide Virtual Reference Cooperative — a team of over 50 academic and public libraries across our state who band together to help provide email and 24/7 chat reference services with the help of a global network of librarians. Never has there been a more relevant time for virtual reference services for library users across our state and our globe, as in person reference services have become impossible due to health and safety concerns. Though many AskWA librarians…

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Kittitas Ruralite Magazine provides a glimpse into the past

Kittitas Ruralite Magazine provides a glimpse into the past

Ruralite Magazine was first published in 1954 with “a spirit of public service and forward-looking sensibility.” But the magazine was not exclusive to Kittitas County as it was published by public utility districts across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Montana, and Alaska. Each state had multiple Ruralite versions specific to particular counties or regions, and by 1977, there were about 38 different editions going out to 157,000 households across the Northwest. This personalization of the magazine provides a unique window…

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Wherefore telephone books?

Wherefore telephone books?

It wasn’t that long ago that telephone books played a fairly significant role in our daily lives. Whether you used one as a booster seat at dinner, or you were looking up the number of a neighbor or local business, telephone books were an incredibly handy tool. One could argue that they were the single most important resource about a local community before the internet. To preserve the wealth of information contained in old telephone books and the precise “moment…

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2020 Regional Braille Challenges

2020 Regional Braille Challenges

It was a rainy, windy day in Eastern Washington, but the weather didn’t stop talented braille readers from coming out to compete in the first of two annual Regional Braille Challenges hosted by The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL). Cheney Middle School provided the perfect location for fun and friendly competition among the local 3rd graders participating this year. The Braille Challenge, which WTBBL hosts every year, is a national competition created by the Braille Institute to celebrate…

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In memoriam: Sid McAlpin, State Archivist from 1963-1994

In memoriam: Sid McAlpin, State Archivist from 1963-1994

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Sid McAlpin, State Archivist from 1963 to 1994. To those who worked in the Washington State Archives in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Sid was not only a leader, but also a friend and mentor. Sid’s work as State Archivist was significant and extensive. The following are only some of his many great accomplishments and contributions. Moved the Records Committees from Destruction to Records Retention…

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History Friday: Stevens County 1966 Special Census

History Friday: Stevens County 1966 Special Census

The 18th United States Census, conducted in 1960, was the first U.S. Census in which the questionnaires were mailed to households, as opposed to paid, in-person enumerators who visited each house. Previous census enumerations used mail-in questionnaires in a limited way, but the 1960 Census relied very heavily on self-reporting. The census determined the U.S. population was 179,323,175. Over the next six years, however, there were many challenges to the census from communities which felt they were under-counted, and short-changed…

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A Touch of Braille

A Touch of Braille

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library is presenting a free introduction to braille workshop Tuesday, February 4 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Library’s conference room, hosted by WTBBL volunteers Keiko Namekata and Dana Marmion. If you’ve ever wondered “What is braille? What can braille do for me? Would I be able to learn braille? ,” this class is a great opportunity to get answers to your questions or just satisfy your curiosity! Braille is critically important…

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History Friday: The King of Puget Sound Bootleggers

History Friday: The King of Puget Sound Bootleggers

On a crisp March morning in 1920, Seattle Police Lieutenant Roy Olmstead and his colleague, Sergeant T.J. Clark, treaded the dock at Edmonds’ Meadowdale Marine in the caliginous hours leading dawn. A crew of nine bootleggers hauled a rum-running boat’s capacity of Canadian whiskey to six nearby trucks, prepared to furnish Seattle with the contraband in the wake of Prohibition’s inception. Lt. Olmstead and Sgt. Clark had a watchful eye on the operation, but they were not there to arrest…

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Jimi Hendrix’s Family History and Path to Seattle

Jimi Hendrix’s Family History and Path to Seattle

It’s hard to believe master guitarist Jimi Hendrix would have turned 77 this year. He has been gone almost twice as long as he was alive. Just 27 years old when he died in 1970, his musical career — although short — has had one of the most lasting and profound effects on guitarists today. With the 50th anniversary of Woodstock just passed, we are again reminded of Jimi’s guitar style. His guitar sounds are quickly recognizable and argued to…

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