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Category: Institutional libraries

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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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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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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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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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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National Library Week inspires inmate art

National Library Week inspires inmate art

The 2018 National Library Week theme was “Where did the Library lead you?” Libraries across America were encouraged to print a graphic, have their patrons add their thoughts and post a selfie on social media. Institutional Library Services (ILS), the branch of the State Library that operates in prisons and state hospitals, wanted to take part in this campaign, but there are strict rules about taking pictures of those facilities’ users. Sue Box from the Airway Heights Corrections Center wanted…

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Inmate artwork brightens library at Coyote Ridge

Inmate artwork brightens library at Coyote Ridge

Inmates at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center stand in front of artwork they created for the facility’s library. (Photo courtesy Department of Corrections) At the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (CRCC) in Connell, there are some individuals who share their artistic abilities for the benefit of all. There is a paint crew of incarcerated individuals who not only paint but make cardboard props, models and games for use in plays and family-friendly activities. These models/games are donated to the local library for…

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Wyman names Cindy Aden as new WA State Librarian

Wyman names Cindy Aden as new WA State Librarian

Secretary of State Kim Wyman has named Cindy Altick Aden as director of the Washington State Library. Aden will take the helm next month of one of the state’s oldest cultural institutions, dating back more than 160 years when it was created by the state’s first territorial governor, Isaac Stevens. Aden has an extensive background in public libraries and the private sector, including stints at Amazon, Corbis, and community newspapers. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University…

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WA Senate coalition unveils $33.3b no-tax budget

WA Senate coalition unveils $33.3b no-tax budget

The Washington Senate’s GOP-led majority coalition, backed by a handful of Democrats, rolled out a $33.3 billion, two-year state budget proposal Wednesday that holds the line on taxes, plows $1 billion in new money into education, cuts college tuition, and expands Medicaid coverage. The plan would also restore the 3 percent pay cut imposed on state workers in the last biennium. The proposal is the first legislative draft of the session, following on the heels of new Gov. Jay Inslee’s…

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Reed wraps up prison library visits

Reed wraps up prison library visits

After 12 years in office, Sam Reed has completed his mission of visiting all of the State Library’s prison and hospital branches. The Washington State Library partners with the Department of Corrections and the Department of Social and Health Services to provide library services to inmates in adult correctional facilities and patients in Western State and Eastern State adult psychiatric hospitals at Steilacoom and Medical Lake.  There are branch libraries in two DSHS facilities and nine in prison facilities. Reed’s last stop…

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