WTBBL kicks off summer programs

WTBBL kicks off summer programs

Last month, Washington Talking Book & Braille Library’s Youth Services Librarian Erin Groth took a trip to Bellevue for a very special presentation at Cherry Crest Elementary. Around 100 second graders and their teachers enjoyed learning about braille, tactile illustrations, and the library. Not only did everyone get to explore some of our materials — and marvel at the four (!) volumes of braille which make up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — but they also got to learn…

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The evolution of a neighborhood store

The evolution of a neighborhood store

Black Lake Grocery has been a staple on the lake for more than 80 years, possibly over 90. If you have not visited the store, it is located on the west side of Black Lake, just off Black Lake Boulevard, in Olympia. The store will soon shut down to repair damages caused by an automobile accident that occurred earlier this year. The wreck was caused by a 17-year-old driver whose 2004 BMW left the road at a high rate of…

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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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Winners of the 2019 Zine Contest announced

Winners of the 2019 Zine Contest announced

The advent of the internet opened all sorts of possibilities for self-expression but even before the internet, people with something to say have always found a way to get their story out.  One of the ways, that originated in the 1930s, are Zines.  Originally created by science fiction fans to share ideas and analyses, later adopted by the Beat generation, and the art and literary scene of the 1960s and 70s, people used the Zine format publish their own stories.The…

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Give BIG to WTBBL on May 8th

Give BIG to WTBBL on May 8th

On Wednesday, May 8, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) will be participating in GiveBIG, a twenty-four hour, online giving campaign that is designed to support Washington state nonprofit organizations. This year, WTBBL’s goal is to raise $12,000 toward purchasing new equipment for the Braille Production Department. WTBBL’s Braille Production Department produces books written by local authors from the Pacific Northwest or books about the Pacific Northwest to add to its collection, increasing access for readers throughout the…

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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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Meet the winners of Washington’s 2019 Letters About Literature Contest

Meet the winners of Washington’s 2019 Letters About Literature Contest

Letters About Literature is an annual writing contest for youth where students are asked to write a letter to an author — living or deceased — whose book has changed the way the student writer sees the world. Each year the letters are incredible, poignant, and well written. Since 2005, the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, has been involved in judging the contest. In 2018, the Washington Center for the Book, a…

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Archives Spotlight: Find your Washington ancestors in the Digital Archives census collection

Archives Spotlight: Find your Washington ancestors in the Digital Archives census collection

The Washington State Archives’ Digital Archives has an extensive collection of census records from across the state, dating back to 1847 — 42 years before Washington became a state. The Digital Archives’ mission is to make public records easily and freely accessible to the people. To date, well over 200 million records have been digitized. Census records are popular among researchers, especially genealogists. If you have ancestors who lived in Washington, there is a good chance you can find them…

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Archives Spotlight: The Stevens Pass Railway Disaster

Archives Spotlight: The Stevens Pass Railway Disaster

Researchers at the State Archives recently came across these photos of the aftermath from the Wellington avalanche, a disaster that struck the Cascade Mountains near Stevens Pass in 1910. The top photo, taken eight months after the tragedy and viewable in full here, shows the devastation on the mountainsides and reconstruction progress on some of the town’s structures. Click to view a larger version of the picture to see a train in motion in the lower right corner. The bottom…

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Archives Spotlight: How influenza blocked Seattle’s shot at a second Stanley Cup

Archives Spotlight: How influenza blocked Seattle’s shot at a second Stanley Cup

Seattle is proudly preparing to field a National Hockey League team starting in 2021, the first major league hockey team to hail from the city in nearly a century. With this news, you may have also heard Seattle was the first American city to take home a Stanley Cup championship when the Metropolitans beat the Montreal Canadiens in the 1917 finals. Did you also know the Mets came within one win of a second Stanley Cup victory? In March 1919,…

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