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Library

Check out Washington state parks via a library visit

Check out Washington state parks via a library visit

March 2019 marks the launch of a pilot project called Check Out Washington at four Washington public libraries. With Check Out Washington, library users can check out a backpack kit that includes a Discover Pass for free access to Washington state’s recreational parks and lands for up to a week. The project’s goal is to encourage new users to go outdoors to enjoy the natural and cultural riches of Washington’s public lands. In addition to a Discover Pass, each backpack…

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Celebrating Black History Month with Federal Publications

Celebrating Black History Month with Federal Publications

February is dedicated to honoring African-Americans and their contributions to our country’s history. As a participant in the Federal Depository Library Program, the Washington State Library receives publications produced by the federal government. This collection contains a wealth of resources for exploring the rich history of African-Americans in the United States. This blog post will highlight some of the available material. Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007 provides a biography of the 121 black members of Congress over the 137 years…

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Remote Braille Proofreading Succeeds at WTBBL

Remote Braille Proofreading Succeeds at WTBBL

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) Braille Production Department has been increasingly busy in the past several months with new local books being transcribed, proofread, and made available to library patrons. A big part of this is due to WTBBL’s stellar volunteers, who are flexible and willing to explore new ways to improve the braille production process. In fall 2018, WTBBL launched a pilot program to test the feasibility of having volunteer teams perform offsite proofreading. The first…

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Port Townsend woman fills the shelves of Peninsula prison libraries

Port Townsend woman fills the shelves of Peninsula prison libraries

Virtually every public library in the world wants more funds for buying books. For the Institutional Library Services (ILS) program of the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State, that gap between wish and reality is lessened by Amazon Wish Lists. Through these lists, the ILS staff invites donors to purchase specific new books and materials sought by each library. For the library at Washington Corrections Center for Women, one superstar donor shines brightly: Robin…

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How Washington’s Institutional Libraries provide help and hope

How Washington’s Institutional Libraries provide help and hope

All libraries transform. But as you walk through a prison for the first time, you may realize the unique value a library can provide within such an intense environment. An inmate seeking to transform needs hope and resilience to overcome the challenges of building a better life. But where are hope and resilience in prison? Some find them in the environment’s solitude. Others find these qualities in religion. Others may seek them through education. For any of these paths, the…

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Browse and search historical publications with the new Washington Digital Newspapers website

Browse and search historical publications with the new Washington Digital Newspapers website

The Washington State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State, has launched a new website for the Washington Digital Newspapers program at Washingtondigitalnewspapers.org. The site features new titles in the State Library’s digital newspaper collection, with full-text article search of more than 400,000 pages from the State Library’s collection of historic Washington newspapers. Visitors can interact with the site with the help of text correction features to improve search results on dark or damaged pages, by attaching subject…

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Competition and puppies at the 2019 Braille Challenge in Seattle

Competition and puppies at the 2019 Braille Challenge in Seattle

On Saturday, Jan. 12, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library — a program of the Washington State Library, which is a division of the Office of Secretary of State — hosted a fantastic celebration of braille literacy: the annual Regional Braille Challenge. Students came from across Western Washington to compete in five categories, ranging from spelling to reading tactile charts & graphs. The Braille Challenge is organized by the Braille Institute, and Washington’s winning students became eligible for a…

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Braille Challenge competitions coming to Seattle and Spokane

Braille Challenge competitions coming to Seattle and Spokane

The 2019 Braille Challenge, an academic competition for students in grades 1-12 to show off their braille literacy and qualify for a national competition during the summer, comes to the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) this Saturday, Jan. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students can also register until Jan. 23 for a February Braille Challenge WTBBL will host at the Spokane Public Library. At the Jan. 12 event at WTBBL, students from King, Kitsap, and Snohomish…

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Neighbor-state cooperation at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

Neighbor-state cooperation at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

Recently, Joel Henderson of the Oregon Talking Book and Braille Library visited the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) in Seattle to learn more about the audiobook production program.   Both libraries are regional libraries of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) of the Library of Congress. WTBBL is a program of the Washington State Library, which is a division of the Office of Secretary of State. Joel met with each audiobook recording staff…

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Washington State Library brings NewsBank access to home users

Washington State Library brings NewsBank access to home users

Thanks to a partnership with NewsBank, the Washington State Library is now able to provide access to the Access World News and America’s GenealogyBank databases from anywhere with an internet connection. If you have a library card or e-card from the Washington State Library, you can search or browse NewsBank’s collection of world and U.S. newspapers as well as take advantage of the America’s GenealogyBank collection of obituaries, historical books, and historical documents. Just go to Newspapers at the Washington…

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