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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New Capitol exhibit features profile of pollster Stuart Elway

New Capitol exhibit features profile of pollster Stuart Elway

A profile of H. Stuart Elway, one of America’s most respected public-opinion pollsters, is the latest chapter of Legacy Washington’s new project, “1968: The Year that Rocked Washington.” The chapter is now online at the project homepage. Elway is also one of 18 notable Washingtonians featured in a 1968 exhibit in the office of the Secretary of State at the Capitol in Olympia. Elway grew up steeped in Washington state politics. His dad, Harry S. Elway Jr., was an influential…

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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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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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The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library goes to Fiestas Patrias

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library goes to Fiestas Patrias

On September 15th and 16th at Seattle Center, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library hosted an outreach table at Fiestas Patrias, the annual commemoration of independence for Latin American countries, many of which celebrate independence days in the month of September. The theme of Fiestas Patrias for 2018 was “Sin Barreras” or “Without Barriers.” The festival is an expression of Latino culture through music, dance, cooking demonstrations, a health fair, and food and community vendor booths. WTBBL staff and volunteers…

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Washington State Library newspaper collections to the rescue

Washington State Library newspaper collections to the rescue

Recently, a Washington State Library patron arrived to ask about accessing old Washington newspapers. She turned out to have quite a story. She had just landed her dream job: no more night shifts, double the salary, and reduced commuting time. She was over the moon, except for one thing: her new job required an official copy of her state-issued birth certificate, plus other documents. How hard could that be? She was born in Washington, and had a driver’s license and school records,…

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Washington State Library at the National Book Festival

Washington State Library at the National Book Festival

Since 2003, Washington state has sent a representative to the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. annually. The festival was the brainchild of librarian and First Lady Laura Bush and then-Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. In its early years, the festival was held on the National Mall, but as it grew in size and popularity it was moved to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Each year all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories are asked…

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New Capitol exhibit profiles three-term Governor Dan Evans

New Capitol exhibit profiles three-term Governor Dan Evans

An excerpt from the upcoming autobiography of former governor Dan Evans is the latest chapter in Legacy Washington’s new project, “1968: The Year that Rocked Washington.” The chapter—part of an exhibit that will open Sept. 13 at the State Capitol — is now online at the project’s homepage. The August 9, 1968, edition of Time magazine featured the keynote speaker for the Republican National Convention at Miami Beach: 42-year-old Daniel J. Evans, described as the prototype of the party’s dynamic “New…

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Exploring the old school records of the State Archives

Exploring the old school records of the State Archives

It’s September and the start of a new academic year, so the branches of the Washington State Archives are abuzz with new and returning student interns. This inspired us to think about about school records, so let’s explore what Archives’ school collections encompass. Some of the records we have are from either the state or county levels, including: maps for school boundaries, bus routes, teacher contracts, superintendents’ reports, school annual reports, county school district audit examinations, school censuses, yearbooks, and…

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Throwback Thursday: What Washington libraries looked like in 1904

Throwback Thursday: What Washington libraries looked like in 1904

J.A. Gabel, appointed Washington State Librarian in 1902 at just 29 years old, penned an insightful report on the condition of the state library system as “an active and aggressive force” for state education and governance. We found the document well worth sharing, both as an interesting historic record and as an explanation of how the State Library came to grow to its current form. Enjoy! Above is a map of the state’s library system as it existed then: the…

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