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Tag: Washington State Library

Celebrating Black History Month with Federal Publications

Celebrating Black History Month with Federal Publications

February is dedicated to honoring African-Americans and their contributions to our country’s history. As a participant in the Federal Depository Library Program, the Washington State Library receives publications produced by the federal government. This collection contains a wealth of resources for exploring the rich history of African-Americans in the United States. This blog post will highlight some of the available material. Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007 provides a biography of the 121 black members of Congress over the 137 years…

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Port Townsend woman fills the shelves of Peninsula prison libraries

Port Townsend woman fills the shelves of Peninsula prison libraries

Virtually every public library in the world wants more funds for buying books. For the Institutional Library Services (ILS) program of the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State, that gap between wish and reality is lessened by Amazon Wish Lists. Through these lists, the ILS staff invites donors to purchase specific new books and materials sought by each library. For the library at Washington Corrections Center for Women, one superstar donor shines brightly: Robin…

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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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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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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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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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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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