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Discover unique collections in Washington libraries

Discover unique collections in Washington libraries

From our standpoint here at the Washington State Library, one of the best things about this summer’s Washington Library Passport Project is that every week, we learn interesting and unique things about the libraries in Washington. Everyone knows about the spectacular architecture of Seattle’s flagship branch, but often our small libraries fly under the radar. By encouraging people to visit Washington libraries and post about something they’ve learned during their visit, all sorts of interesting stories have emerged. This morning,…

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Spotlight on State Library Special Collections: The Holy Roman Emperor, the Conquistador, and the Emperor of the Aztecs

Spotlight on State Library Special Collections: The Holy Roman Emperor, the Conquistador, and the Emperor of the Aztecs

Recently a question hit the State Library Twitter feed that requires a little more explanation than Twitter’s 280-character limit allows. That very fine question was: “What is the oldest book in the library’s collection?” Well, the State Library has a lot of older books and maps in our Special Collections, but the Territorial Collection has the distinction of holding the oldest book.[i] It also happens to be amongst the earliest European accounts about the Americas: it is the first Latin edition of the…

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Exploring Washington’s libraries via Passport

Exploring Washington’s libraries via Passport

Last summer, the solar eclipse of 2017 was a HUGE event — and libraries stood at the epicenter. Eclipse glasses were sold out in stores, online, and pretty much everywhere. As a result, the small stash of glasses we saved at the Washington State Library to hand out on eclipse day became a truly hot commodity. Some people even camped out in their cars to be first in line for glasses! Our eclipse event was a smashing success. Upon seeing…

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Summer reading kickoff party at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

Summer reading kickoff party at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

On Saturday, June 30, Youth Librarian Erin Groth hosted this year’s summer reading kickoff party at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. It was a rockin’ afternoon as staff, volunteers, and WTBBL patrons celebrated this year’s theme of LIBRARIES ROCK! with music, games, prizes, and fun. More than 40 WTBBL patrons are participating in this year’s summer reading program, and their ages range from infants to 18 years old. Summer reading is a by-mail program for WTBBL, with special in-person events…

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Youth Employment Solutions and WTBBL: Partners for more than 20 years

Youth Employment Solutions and WTBBL: Partners for more than 20 years

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) looks forward to hosting summer workers from the Youth Employment Solutions program once again in 2018. Administered through Washington State’s Department of Services for the Blind, Youth Employment Solutions (YES) is a six-week residential employment experience program for visually impaired and blind workers ages 16-20. At WTBBL, participants work up to 24 hours a week while they partake in team-building activities as well as honing independent life skills outside of work. This…

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Washington State Library launching grant-funded STEM program

Washington State Library launching grant-funded STEM program

In fall 2017, the Washington State Library teamed up with the Imagine Children’s Museum of Everett, School’s Out Washington and the Spokane County Library District for a grant application to fund a program to promote literacy-based STEM activities for children ages 3 to 10 and their families. The application was successful. This STEM program stood out from many others because the program begins the exploration of scientific concepts through sharing a children’s book. Few other STEM programs, if any, are literacy-based….

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An era in State Library technology ends

An era in State Library technology ends

This week marks the end of an era at the State Library as we lose Paul Longwell to the happy world of retirement. Paul has been on the IT staff of the State Library since 1989. Paul discussed the other day all the changes he has seen in his years on staff. The day he started, the Washington State Library had two servers with a total storage space of 10 MB, and two total IT staffers. The times have changed…

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Washington Letters About Literature Champion recognized by Library of Congress

Washington Letters About Literature Champion recognized by Library of Congress

We are very pleased to announce that Washington’s Level 2 champion in the state Letters About Literature competition, Riya Sharma, was selected as a National Honor Award winner for her letter about The Confidence Code. Riya is an 8th grade student at The Overlake School in Redmond. Our judges weren’t surprised at all by her national recognition. Here’s what they said about Riya’s letter: “Ms. Sharma’s letter stood out among many well written entries and did an excellent job of connecting…

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Introducing Primarily Washington, a new education resource

Introducing Primarily Washington, a new education resource

How do you make history exciting and real to today’s always-connected students? You meet them online. For the last few years, the Washington State Library, Washington State Archives, and Legacy Washington have been meeting with Washington teachers. We asked for their help in finding a better way to serve our education community, promote education and lifelong learning, and connect Washingtonians to their history. After extensive cooperation with teachers and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, we are proud to…

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A rad time with the State Library at RAD Fair

A rad time with the State Library at RAD Fair

In late April, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife hosted an event in the rotunda of the Natural Resources Building for Records Awareness Day, fondly referred to as “RAD Fair.” Among the groups invited to participate in this fair were the Washington State Archives and the Washington State Library. Laurie Fortier and Carmen Tinker represented the State Library and discussed their work throughout the day with DNR staff and other visitors to their table. Many of the people they…

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