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Giving New voice to Thomas Handforth, a Northwest artist with global perspective

Giving New voice to Thomas Handforth, a Northwest artist with global perspective

With grant support from the Washington State Library, the Tacoma Public Library (TPL) recently completed a year-long digitization project to preserve and share the work of artist Thomas Handforth (1897-1948). Best known for his children’s book Mei Li, which won the 1939 Caldecott Medal for illustration, Handforth was born in Tacoma, and studied art at the University of Washington. Some of his early etchings and anatomical drawings stem from when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1918, serving in…

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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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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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Librarian of Congress visits Washington libraries

Librarian of Congress visits Washington libraries

On Tuesday, July 30th, Washington State Library Youth Services Consultant Siri Hiltz and Community Outreach Librarian Sara Peté had the good fortune of visiting the beautiful Camas Public Library for a chance to learn from the nation’s top librarian — Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress (LoC).  U.S. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler brought Dr. Hayden to the 3rd District to help spread the word about the Library of Congress Surplus Books Program, the Veterans History Project, and the LoC’s incredible…

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Archives Spotlight: How April 25 has become meaningful for the Washington State Archives

Archives Spotlight: How April 25 has become meaningful for the Washington State Archives

Over the years, April 25th has grown into a date circled on the calendar by our team at the Washington State Archives. On April 25, 1963, the Olympia Archives Building opened up “in the shadow of the Capitol Dome,” ready to take records into what was seen at the time as a technologically-advanced facility.  That archives building started to show its age as the decades progressed. On April 25, 2014, the building amplified the need for a new, modern repository….

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How the Washington State Library and Archives do the Puyallup

How the Washington State Library and Archives do the Puyallup

For at least a decade, the Washington State Library has joined the festivities at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup to get the word out to fairgoers about the services the Library provides for state taxpayers. As in previous years, the Office of Secretary of State also sent representatives from the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library and the State Archives to provide information about how each serves Washingtonians. As in the last several years, the State Fair’s Education Pavilion staff encouraged…

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History-making Seattle activist Phyllis Lamphere featured in new Capitol exhibit

History-making Seattle activist Phyllis Lamphere featured in new Capitol exhibit

A profile of civic activist Phyllis Lamphere, who left a big imprint on her hometown of Seattle, is the latest chapter in Legacy Washington’s new project, “1968: The Year that Rocked Washington.” Her profile — part of a new exhibit at the State Capitol — is now online at the project’s homepage. As a leader in the League of Women Voters, Lamphere spearheaded a change in state law that gave Seattle a “strong mayor” form of government. That shift of…

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Watch the Letters About Literature 2018 Awards Ceremony

Watch the Letters About Literature 2018 Awards Ceremony

For the past 13 years, the Washington State Library has sponsored a contest called Letters About Literature. The straightforward contest asks students in grades 4-12 to write a letter to an author about how his or her book changed their view of the world or themselves. We wrote a little about the contest earlier in the year. Each year when the letters written by Washington students arrive, we read them and cannot believe the depth of feeling and insight contained in…

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Goodbye and Hello

Goodbye and Hello

Did you know that the Washington State Library was one of the first state agencies to jump into blogging? We’ve been blogging since 2006. Our loyal readers will remember Steve Willis’s “Random News” posts, the fascinating newspaper stories that Marlys Rudeen unearthed, Rand Simmon’s well researched articles on Federal documents, or the wonderful Washington Reads book recommendations, as well as all the other stories about the State Library written over the years. However, after all these years of maintaining our own…

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Check out 1950 Washington highway map

Check out 1950 Washington highway map

Most Washingtonians probably can’t even remember life before Interstate 5, I-90 and I-405 were built in our state. But a 1950 state highway map found on our Legacy Washington webpage shows the routes drivers traveled before the arrival of our interstate freeways. You can make some interesting observations by closely examining the map, which was published by the Washington State Highway Commission: The main north-south highway in Western Washington was U.S. 99, which connected Bellingham, Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and…

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