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Library

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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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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Celebrate the Holidays with Government Publications

Celebrate the Holidays with Government Publications

The holiday season offers many occasions to celebrate with friends and families. Did you know that state and federal government publications can inform and enliven those celebrations? Thanksgiving may have passed, but many households cook a large holiday meal for one or more occasion in December as well. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides general guidelines for food safety in preparing and storing your holiday meal, as well as fact sheets about specific holiday dishes, such as stuffing and giblets….

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Washington State Library honors Native American Heritage Month

Washington State Library honors Native American Heritage Month

Earlier this fall, a team of WSL staff members worked together to create a few displays in the library to honor Native American Heritage Month.  As a state and a federal depository, the Library houses many documents of historical value and significance, such as tribal treaties and maps. Highlights from our Pacific Northwest collection include poetry, fiction and nonfiction by Indigenous authors as well as books on Native art traditions and artists. Many of Washington’s Indigenous communities also publish their…

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Building Community with Book Clubs

Building Community with Book Clubs

WSL Community Outreach Librarian, Sara Peté, recently took part in a panel on “Building Community with Book Clubs” at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association’s annual tradeshow — an event that brings hundreds of book industry professionals together. Davina Morgan-Witts of BookBrowse and sweet pea Flaherty of King’s Books Tacoma shared their extensive knowledge on the wide, and sometimes wild, world of book clubs. Morgan-Witts co-authored the 56 page report “The Inner Lives of Book Clubs” and Flaherty coordinates over a…

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Washington Rural Heritage Grants help rural communities

Washington Rural Heritage Grants help rural communities

Across Washington state, public libraries have led the way in preserving unique local history collections with help from the Washington State Library’s Washington Rural Heritage program. Currently in its 12th year, this program provides small cultural heritage institutions with grants, training, and a digital platform to bring largely hidden community collections online and make them accessible to all. To date, more than 150 institutions — primarily libraries and museums — have contributed to the collection. According to Evan Robb, Digital…

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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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