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Check out new Washington Rural Heritage collections

Check out new Washington Rural Heritage collections

Another grant cycle for the Washington Rural Heritage project is wrapping up! The folks at the Washington State Library are working with participants from all over the state to put finishing touches on new and existing digital collections. In the past year, nearly 2,000 items have been added to Washington Rural Heritage, a digital collection hosted by the State Library. Five new collections were created, 10 libraries became project partners, and nearly 20 partnerships were formed between libraries and local…

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New custom book service at WTBBL

New custom book service at WTBBL

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) is working to further narrow the digital divide among its patrons who read talking books. WTBBL circulates talking books two ways. Books can be delivered by postage-free mail, or books can be instantly accessed from the National Library Service’s Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD), which is a website and mobile app to download talking books. Although all registered WTBBL patrons are eligible to access talking books through both mail and the…

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The Federal Communications Commission answers Washington questions

The Federal Communications Commission answers Washington questions

Officials from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a U.S. government agency which regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable, visited the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) on September 18th to answer patrons’ questions about telecommunications and broadcast matters. It was a great opportunity for WTBBL’s patrons to get answers to questions such as: What do I do about unwanted robocalls? How can I keep my favorite television stations after the upcoming broadcast transition? Or whom should I complain…

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The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library goes to Fiestas Patrias

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library goes to Fiestas Patrias

On September 15th and 16th at Seattle Center, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library hosted an outreach table at Fiestas Patrias, the annual commemoration of independence for Latin American countries, many of which celebrate independence days in the month of September. The theme of Fiestas Patrias for 2018 was “Sin Barreras” or “Without Barriers.” The festival is an expression of Latino culture through music, dance, cooking demonstrations, a health fair, and food and community vendor booths. WTBBL staff and volunteers…

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Washington State Library newspaper collections to the rescue

Washington State Library newspaper collections to the rescue

Recently, a Washington State Library patron arrived to ask about accessing old Washington newspapers. She turned out to have quite a story. She had just landed her dream job: no more night shifts, double the salary, and reduced commuting time. She was over the moon, except for one thing: her new job required an official copy of her state-issued birth certificate, plus other documents. How hard could that be? She was born in Washington, and had a driver’s license and school records,…

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Washington State Library at the National Book Festival

Washington State Library at the National Book Festival

Since 2003, Washington state has sent a representative to the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. annually. The festival was the brainchild of librarian and First Lady Laura Bush and then-Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. In its early years, the festival was held on the National Mall, but as it grew in size and popularity it was moved to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Each year all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories are asked…

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Throwback Thursday: What Washington libraries looked like in 1904

Throwback Thursday: What Washington libraries looked like in 1904

J.A. Gabel, appointed Washington State Librarian in 1902 at just 29 years old, penned an insightful report on the condition of the state library system as “an active and aggressive force” for state education and governance. We found the document well worth sharing, both as an interesting historic record and as an explanation of how the State Library came to grow to its current form. Enjoy! Above is a map of the state’s library system as it existed then: the…

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Author Patricia Briggs visits Coyote Ridge Corrections Center

Author Patricia Briggs visits Coyote Ridge Corrections Center

On August 28th, author Patricia Briggs gave a presentation in the library at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center to inmates and the Institutional Libraries Services staff of the State Library, which is a division of the Office of Secretary of State. Nearly 50 inmates attended, and many posed insightful questions about how Briggs approaches the writing process. She said that if you want to be a writer, the first thing you should do is read anything and everything. Her mother was a…

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Open data literacy and the Washington State Library

Open data literacy and the Washington State Library

The Washington State Library has been pleased to host University of Washington Information School (iSchool) Open Data Literacy (ODL) intern Kathleen Sullivan this summer. This was the second year of the open data internship program at the UW iSchool, funded in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Open Data is the concept of freely-available, non-personal, machine-readable data. This year, four iSchool students were matched up with the City of Seattle, the Washington Department…

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Discover unique collections in Washington libraries

Discover unique collections in Washington libraries

From our standpoint here at the Washington State Library, one of the best things about this summer’s Washington Library Passport Project is that every week, we learn interesting and unique things about the libraries in Washington. Everyone knows about the spectacular architecture of Seattle’s flagship branch, but often our small libraries fly under the radar. By encouraging people to visit Washington libraries and post about something they’ve learned during their visit, all sorts of interesting stories have emerged. This morning,…

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