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Everything Old is New Again

Everything Old is New Again

Whether you are sewing from scratch or upcycling, we’ve got you covered! In honor of National Sewing Month and recent worldwide interest in upcycling clothes, we’d like to share some little-known resources here at The Washington State Library. A quick keyword search of our library catalog for the word ‘sewing’ shows a surprising number of books from our State Documents collection available to check out. These may help you with your next project. And of course you can peruse historical…

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Legacy Washington and WTBBL partner to make books available to a Broader Audience

Legacy Washington and WTBBL partner to make books available to a Broader Audience

Hundreds of audio books are produced in the studios of the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) Audio Book Production Department. These books, narrated by volunteers, are normally only available to WTBBL patrons and patrons of other National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped network libraries. But a collection of Legacy Washington titles produced in audio format by WTBBL is now available on the Washington Anytime Library platform for public libraries. These titles are published by, and…

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WTBBL to offer Braille Transcribing Class

WTBBL to offer Braille Transcribing Class

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) will kick off its free braille transcription course. Students will learn to transcribe print text into braille for blind and low-vision readers. Class will be held 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Saturday mornings, and will end on April 4, 2020. Braille is critically important to the lives of those who are visually impaired or blind as it provides the ability to read and write. Literacy ensures intellectual freedom and…

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New scanner to support braille production at WTBBL

New scanner to support braille production at WTBBL

At the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL), the Braille Department focuses on transcribing standard print books into braille for patron use. Braille transcription is a technical and time-consuming process that requires skill and great attention to detail. In order to expedite this process, WTBBL purchased a new scanner with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software included. The scanning process allows a trained operator to scan an entire 300-page book in less than an hour, accelerating a process that would…

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WTBBL kicks off summer programs

WTBBL kicks off summer programs

Last month, Washington Talking Book & Braille Library’s Youth Services Librarian Erin Groth took a trip to Bellevue for a very special presentation at Cherry Crest Elementary. Around 100 second graders and their teachers enjoyed learning about braille, tactile illustrations, and the library. Not only did everyone get to explore some of our materials — and marvel at the four (!) volumes of braille which make up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — but they also got to learn…

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Big wins for WA libraries in the 2019 legislative session

Big wins for WA libraries in the 2019 legislative session

The 2019 legislative session has ended, and thanks to the hard work of many people, libraries across Washington will benefit immensely. The Office of the Secretary of State, which oversees the Washington State Library, played a huge part in making that success a reality. There is so much good news to report! First, thanks to library advocates everywhere. Lawmakers included eleven rural libraries around the state in the capital budget. Each of these libraries will receive funds to improve their…

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Winners of the 2019 Zine Contest announced

Winners of the 2019 Zine Contest announced

The advent of the internet opened all sorts of possibilities for self-expression but even before the internet, people with something to say have always found a way to get their story out.  One of the ways, that originated in the 1930s, are Zines.  Originally created by science fiction fans to share ideas and analyses, later adopted by the Beat generation, and the art and literary scene of the 1960s and 70s, people used the Zine format publish their own stories.The…

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Give BIG to WTBBL on May 8th

Give BIG to WTBBL on May 8th

On Wednesday, May 8, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) will be participating in GiveBIG, a twenty-four hour, online giving campaign that is designed to support Washington state nonprofit organizations. This year, WTBBL’s goal is to raise $12,000 toward purchasing new equipment for the Braille Production Department. WTBBL’s Braille Production Department produces books written by local authors from the Pacific Northwest or books about the Pacific Northwest to add to its collection, increasing access for readers throughout the…

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Meet the winners of Washington’s 2019 Letters About Literature Contest

Meet the winners of Washington’s 2019 Letters About Literature Contest

Letters About Literature is an annual writing contest for youth where students are asked to write a letter to an author — living or deceased — whose book has changed the way the student writer sees the world. Each year the letters are incredible, poignant, and well written. Since 2005, the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, has been involved in judging the contest. In 2018, the Washington Center for the Book, a…

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Introducing Library Giving Day

Introducing Library Giving Day

Libraries are all about sharing. Public libraries are based on the idea that one book can be shared with many. This simple notion forms the foundation of a public library’s mission and goals. Modern libraries offer much more than books, but the idea of equal access for all has never changed. In Washington state, we have a strong library system, but not every community has the time or expertise to tackle fundraising. Last year, leaders of the Seattle Public Library…

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