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Washington Letters About Literature Champion recognized by Library of Congress

Washington Letters About Literature Champion recognized by Library of Congress

We are very pleased to announce that Washington’s Level 2 champion in the state Letters About Literature competition, Riya Sharma, was selected as a National Honor Award winner for her letter about The Confidence Code. Riya is an 8th grade student at The Overlake School in Redmond. Our judges weren’t surprised at all by her national recognition. Here’s what they said about Riya’s letter: “Ms. Sharma’s letter stood out among many well written entries and did an excellent job of connecting…

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Introducing Primarily Washington, a new education resource

Introducing Primarily Washington, a new education resource

How do you make history exciting and real to today’s always-connected students? You meet them online. For the last few years, the Washington State Library, Washington State Archives, and Legacy Washington have been meeting with Washington teachers. We asked for their help in finding a better way to serve our education community, promote education and lifelong learning, and connect Washingtonians to their history. After extensive cooperation with teachers and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, we are proud to…

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A rad time with the State Library at RAD Fair

A rad time with the State Library at RAD Fair

In late April, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife hosted an event in the rotunda of the Natural Resources Building for Records Awareness Day, fondly referred to as “RAD Fair.” Among the groups invited to participate in this fair were the Washington State Archives and the Washington State Library. Laurie Fortier and Carmen Tinker represented the State Library and discussed their work throughout the day with DNR staff and other visitors to their table. Many of the people they…

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The decisions behind naming Washington places

The decisions behind naming Washington places

Have you ever wondered why there’s a place called “Humptulips”? What about “Medical Lake”? If you’ve ever speculated why certain places in Washington are named the way they are, you’ll probably be interested in knowing more about the Washington Committee on Geographic Names and the role the Washington State Library plays on that committee. The Committee on Geographic Names reviews proposals submitted by the public to name geographic features in Washington State. It also works to standardize and clarify naming…

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Preserving eastern Washington’s rural heritage

Preserving eastern Washington’s rural heritage

Several public libraries in eastern Washington have been hard at work this year preserving local history with assistance from the State Library’s Washington Rural Heritage program. Whitman County Library, based in Colfax, continues its countywide campaign to digitize the unique historical materials held by small museums and historical societies, local families, clubs, and other community organizations. In its tenth year, the Library’s program now features material from more than a dozen organizations and over 130 family photo collections. The Whitman…

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Watch the Letters About Literature 2018 Awards Ceremony

Watch the Letters About Literature 2018 Awards Ceremony

For the past 13 years, the Washington State Library has sponsored a contest called Letters About Literature. The straightforward contest asks students in grades 4-12 to write a letter to an author about how his or her book changed their view of the world or themselves. We wrote a little about the contest earlier in the year. Each year when the letters written by Washington students arrive, we read them and cannot believe the depth of feeling and insight contained in…

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A pet-tastic day at Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

A pet-tastic day at Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library held a paw-some event Saturday, May 5! Emerald City Pet Rescue, a pet rescue agency based in Seattle, presented its services and brought some special-needs dogs for WTBBL’s youth patrons to meet. Caregivers of the pets from Emerald City Pet Rescue shared the unique stories of the dogs, emphasizing that we all have special circumstances and challenges to overcome. The children learned about the rescue and care of pets with special needs and…

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Institutional Libraries use poetry to promote community

Institutional Libraries use poetry to promote community

A couple weeks ago, a patron of our library at Clallam Bay Corrections Center told me, “I’m not even a reader, but this is a place where I always feel safe.” Sentiments like these, along with brilliant inquires, ideas, and authenticity, inspire me to create innovative programs and challenge me to provide the best services possible in an institutional library setting. On April 25, Washington State Library’s Institutional Library Services held its first ever Poetry Day, in which institutional libraries…

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How libraries serve veterans

How libraries serve veterans

On May 2, the Washington State Library sponsored a First Tuesday webinar titled “Thousands Eligible with Millions Unclaimed.” First Tuesday presentations are funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act.    Presenters from veteran service organizations WestCare Foundation, WAServes, and the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs described the array of social services and benefits available to veterans. Each of the speakers is an expert in coordinating services to veterans and their families….

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Babies, books, and a birthday wish for donations

Babies, books, and a birthday wish for donations

What do you give the librarian who has everything? Books, of course! However, in this tale, the books are not for the librarian but for her program. Anna Nash is a longtime librarian in the Washington State Library’s Institutional Library Services department. One of her favorite programs is “Baby Reads” at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor. It is a storytime that is unique in our state. If a woman is pregnant when she becomes incarcerated and…

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