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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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Virtual reality’s big 2018 in Washington libraries

Virtual reality’s big 2018 in Washington libraries

In early 2018, the Washington State Library launched a project to bring virtual reality (VR) to the state’s public libraries, in partnership with the University of Washington’s Information School (iSchool) and Oculus. The project’s first phase included six libraries, selected in part for their proximity to Olympia to make technical issues easier to address: the Tukwila Library and Federal Way Library of the King County Library System, Shelton Timberland Library, Hoquiam Timberland Library, the Mount Vernon City Library, and ­­­­the Puyallup Public Library. An additional partnership with…

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Check out new Washington Rural Heritage collections

Check out new Washington Rural Heritage collections

Another grant cycle for the Washington Rural Heritage project is wrapping up! The folks at the Washington State Library are working with participants from all over the state to put finishing touches on new and existing digital collections. In the past year, nearly 2,000 items have been added to Washington Rural Heritage, a digital collection hosted by the State Library. Five new collections were created, 10 libraries became project partners, and nearly 20 partnerships were formed between libraries and local…

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New custom book service at WTBBL

New custom book service at WTBBL

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) is working to further narrow the digital divide among its patrons who read talking books. WTBBL circulates talking books two ways. Books can be delivered by postage-free mail, or books can be instantly accessed from the National Library Service’s Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD), which is a website and mobile app to download talking books. Although all registered WTBBL patrons are eligible to access talking books through both mail and the…

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The Federal Communications Commission answers Washington questions

The Federal Communications Commission answers Washington questions

Officials from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a U.S. government agency which regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable, visited the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) on September 18th to answer patrons’ questions about telecommunications and broadcast matters. It was a great opportunity for WTBBL’s patrons to get answers to questions such as: What do I do about unwanted robocalls? How can I keep my favorite television stations after the upcoming broadcast transition? Or whom should I complain…

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