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Stimulating Summers

Thursday, July 27th, 2017 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public | Comments Off on Stimulating Summers

From the desk of Carolyn Petersen

Four boys in a tornado tunnel. Big smiles

Kids visiting the Mobius Science Center

The city libraries of Reardan, Harrington and the Ritzville District Library  have banded together  to tackle a common problem: summer enrichment activities for children which would slow the summer learning slide. Their solution: a day camp for grade school children with the libraries providing essential mid-day programming.

Seeing a need and realizing that libraries could play a role in filling that need, Carolyn, the overall project manager for Stimulating Summers, corralled disparate funding sources: an Inland Northwest Foundation grant, LSTA funding, “Feed your brain” grant  from School’s Out Washington and USDA summer nutrition funds.

Next she coaxed the key players to support the effort

  • Local librarians who would now need to provide DAILY library programming for 90 minutes for SIX weeks  instead of  one hour of programming once a week for six weeks
  • School district personnel (thank you Justin Bradford superintendent of the Harrington School district for donating the use of the Harrington school pool and Kelli Tanke who recruited EWU student teachers to serve as key Feed your Brain reading counselors)
  • 4-H camp expert (Thank you Bridget Rohner, Lincoln County 4-H for designing the day camp, training the camp counselors and allowing Judy Boutain your administrative assistant to provide essential administrative support such as lining up buses and drivers to get the kids to the field trip.
  • Margy Hall (Economic Development Counselor for Lincoln) to serve as our on the ground PR expert (Please send this required USDA announcement to the local papers to fulfill the requirement to get the summer meal funds approved)

It was a lot of organization but efforts are starting to pay off.  We are half way through the summer and pictures are starting to appear on Facebook.  It looks like a good time is being had by all!   One summer down, two to go.

Book Bingo, it’s never too late!

Thursday, July 20th, 2017 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Washington Center for the Book | Comments Off on Book Bingo, it’s never too late!

picture of a Bingo card.  Stars and moon for decorationBy now we hope you’ve heard about the new partnership between the Seattle Public Library (SPL) and the Washington State Library.  Yes, we are talking about the Washington Center for the Book. As with all new  endeavors, it can take a while for the behind the scenes work to emerge but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.  Lots of ideas and projects are being cooked up, and we hope to announce things soon.  Meanwhile, if you don’t have your own Summer Reading Book Bingo going, SPL kindly adapted their Bingo card and shares it with you to give you a taste of things to come.  So,  here’s a Bingo card that your library can download, print and hand out to your patrons as we head into the dog days of summer. It’s never too late to read a book! How many do you think you can read before Labor Day? Happy Reading!

Greek History in Seattle again reaches for a global audience

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections | Comments Off on Greek History in Seattle again reaches for a global audience

Black and white image of an old newspaper. Woman with wings holding a flag in front of the ParthenonIn the early days of the Seattle-based Washington Hellenic Civic Society, little did community citizens know their comings and goings would reach an international audience through the publication of the monthly newspaper, the Washington Hellenic Review.

It had just over a 10-year run (1924-1936) under the vision of WHCS president Pericles H. Scarlatos.   It reached an audience mostly in Seattle, but also across to subscribers in 33 cities, and even a few in Greece. The many activities of members of the community were chronicled: births, baptisms, name days, marriages, illnesses, deaths, vacations abroad, visitors, graduations, picnics, bazaars, formal Three men two in traditional Greek costumesdinners, events of local clubs and societies, and the news of the local parish of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.

At the time of publication, the Society aimed to assist the Greek immigrants of Washington with integrating into American culture and keeping up on church news, how to apply for and practice good citizenship in America, which candidates to support in upcoming city and state elections, and when and where to see Greek cultural activities.

Two women and one man in traditional Greek costumesThe Hellenic Review was an essential newspaper to the Greek community in Seattle and now the publication is an essential document of Seattle’s local history and to the descendants of Greek immigrants in Washington. The Washington State Library is proud to present online access to the Hellenic Review, one of our most recent titles on the Washington Digital Newspapers website.

Presenting… “WSL Presents”

Monday, June 12th, 2017 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public | Comments Off on Presenting… “WSL Presents”

Screenshot of WSL Presents with an arrow showing how to subscribeFor many years one of the projects of the State Library was an emailing and blog post called “Clippings.” We contracted with a newspaper clipping service to scour Washington newspapers for mentions of our libraries.  These stories were collected and published weekly, as a way of keeping all of us up to date on what was happening around our state.  It was a great service but it had its limitations.  First, by the time the clippings made their way to us many of the events were weeks old.  Also many of our small libraries rarely turned up in the newspaper and that felt lopsided.  We know that you are all doing great things and we wanted to find a way to capture them.

A few years ago we started playing around with a web newspaper tool called Paper.li, designed to collect news on a given topic from around the web.  We were intrigued by the possibilities but life was busy and other things took priority. Then one day last fall we learned that our Clipping service was closing. It was time to resume our investigation!  One of the problems we hoped to address was the under-representation of our state’s smaller libraries. Was there a way that moving to the new online format could fix that issue?  Brain flash- most libraries have a Facebook page.  We could learn what was happening through their Facebook posts and share that on our new newspaper.  Fast forward several months (and a lot of trial and error) and we launched the new, flashy updated “Clippings” now renamed “WSL Presents: News from Washington Libraries.” We still look for mentions in the news, we are combing your Facebook feeds BUT (this is where you come in) we would LOVE it if you sent us your news directly.  Staci Phillips is the seeker, finder, collector and creator of the paper.  You can send her your stories and pictures at [email protected].  We want to hear from public, academic, school, tribal, and special libraries, in other words YOU!

Meanwhile if you haven’t discovered it yet, our bi-weekly online newspaper is found here.  On the upper right of your screen you’ll see a “Subscribe to the Email Newsletter” box. If you are interested in keeping up with all the good library news in the state why not sign up?  When a new edition is published you’ll receive an email announcement so you know to visit the page.  All past editions are available in the archives.  So, please send us your news and help us create a rich resource to celebrate all things Washington Library.

Washington State Library joins forces with the Seattle Public Library to promote reading and literacy statewide through Center for the book

Thursday, June 8th, 2017 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, News, Washington Reads | Comments Off on Washington State Library joins forces with the Seattle Public Library to promote reading and literacy statewide through Center for the book

Picture of a woman signing books

Book signing at the Washington State Book Awards

The Washington State Library has joined forces with The Seattle Public Library to lead the work of the Washington Center for the Book.

The Seattle Public Library was designated as the home for the Washington State Center for the Book by the U.S. Library of Congress back in 1989.

The mission of the Washington Center of the Book is to promote Washington’s literary heritage and the importance of books, reading, literacy and libraries.

There is a Center for the Book in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“We are very excited to collaborate with The Seattle Public Library to broaden the reach of the Center for the Book in our state,” said Washington State Librarian Cindy Aden. “We believe by combining our efforts, we can be more effective in strengthening Washington’s community of readers.”

She noted that some State Library programs – such as the Letters about Literature contest – will receive an added boost from the partnership, since they will now be produced jointly. Letters for Literature invites children from across the state to write letters to their favorite authors.

Three young girls smiling and holding a certificate

Washington’s three top winners for the 2017 Letters About Literature contest

Marcellus Turner, city librarian for The Seattle Public Library, said collaborating with the State Library will heighten awareness about many other activities local libraries offer to support writing, reading and literature.

“Events such as The Seattle Public Library’s annual Washington State Book Awards and the Seattle Reads program – which connects communities with books and authors through discussion – will benefit,” Turner said.

In addition to creating and calling attention to programs that highlight Washington’s robust literary heritage, future goals include offering unifying literary activities and promotions across our state. “We are just getting started, but we intend to explore opportunities to increase reading and literacy in Washington in new and innovative ways,” Turner said.


Tacoma’s Poet Laureate visits the Washington Corrections Center for Women

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services | Comments Off on Tacoma’s Poet Laureate visits the Washington Corrections Center for Women

From the desk of Ken McDouall, Library Associate, Washington Corrections Center for Women

The picture of an African American woman smiling.Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) library branch was pleased to welcome Tacoma’s newest Poet Laureate last week. Kellie Richardson is a lifelong resident of Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, and her poetry is informed by her intersecting identities as an activist, an African American woman, a mother, and a Christian. She has taught at Pacific Lutheran University and is often busy conducting workshops and giving presentations to local schools and community events.

Ms. Richardson formed immediate connections with the crowd of inmates gathered for an open mic event on the evening of May 26. She read a couple of her pieces, and encouraged those in attendance to come up and share their work. The evening featured some stellar performances from the inmates, including a striking presentation of a couple Nina Simone songs. When participation started to flag, Ms. Richardson energized the crowd with several rounds of “pop-up poetry,” engaging participants to create spontaneous poems based on words chosen by their peers.

Enthusiasm for poetry and spoken word is high at WCCW, and the library branch here makes every effort to keep it that way. Ms. Richardson looks forward to returning and encouraging other poets in the area to connect to this unique population of library patrons. ​


WSL Updates for April 27, 2017

Thursday, April 27th, 2017 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for April 27, 2017

Volume 13, April 27, 2017 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:









Wish you had an easy way to host community engagement cultural experiences for your library patrons?  Our First Tuesdays speaker for May, Kami Morasco, program manager at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., has a great opportunity to share. Join us as she explains how you can invite your patrons to experience the excitement of Lincoln Center right in their neighborhood library through the Lincoln Center Local: Free Screenings program.

“Lincoln Center Local: Free Screenings Program,” presented by Kami Morasco, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 9:00 a.m. PDT. Sign in at sos.wa.gov/q/FirstT.

First Tuesdays is designed as a continuing-education opportunity for staff of libraries in Washington State. This free one-hour web presentation allows attendees to share their skills and successes and learn about new topics. These special-subject presentations, lasting about 60 minutes, are recorded so that others may listen at their own convenience. For links to archived sessions, visit sos.wa.gov/q/FirstTuesdays.


 The Washington State Library (WSL) is offering Metadata Cleanup Grants to support public, academic, and tribal libraries in remediating, re-cataloging, and/or enhancing digital collection records currently available to the public through digital library and digital repository systems. The primary purpose of these grants is to help institutions prepare for the eventual harvest of collection metadata by a regional or state-level Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) service hub.

  • To review eligibility requirements, grant guidelines, and to download grant applications, go to sos.wa.gov/q/grants.
  • The application deadline is Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

Overall funding to support this grant cycle is $25,000, with a limit of $5,000 per application. It is anticipated that five (5) or more applicants may receive awards. Awards are contingent upon receipt of federal funds and distribution of those funds by WSL, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

For more information, contact Evan Robb at [email protected] or 360-704-5228.—————————————————————————————————————


The Washington State Library (WSL) is accepting applications for RSL-2: a new cycle of “Refreshing School Libraries” grants. The purpose of the grant is to help bolster schools’ nonfiction collections. We hope to help support Common Core Standards and student enjoyment.

We anticipate making 100 awards of $2,000 in reimbursable funding. Libraries in public and non-profit K-12 schools are eligible. The deadline for both the online application and the signature sheet (postmark) is May 1, 2017. Awards will be announced on May 30, 2017. For more information, including the guidelines and application documents, visit sos.wa.gov/q/grants.



Each year the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) distributes grants to non-profit organizations to support activities which raise awareness of intellectual freedom and censorship issues during the annual Banned Books Week celebration (September 24 – 30, 2017.) Libraries, schools and universities are encouraged to apply. Grants are awarded at two levels, $1,000 and $2,500. To be eligible for a grant, organizations must not have been a recipient of an FTRF grant within the past five years.

Grantees also receive an ALA 2017 Banned Books Week PromoKit valued at $84 which includes one poster, one roll of stickers, one 50-pack of the “2017 Field Report: Banned and Challenged Books,” one 100-pack of bookmarks, and one tote bag.

Grantees are encouraged to share their events on social media and local press. A follow-up report detailing expenditures, numbers of participants, links to press coverage, and a narrative of the event is due within six weeks of the Banned Books Week celebration.

The deadline for applications is May 12, 2017. For more information and to apply, visit www.ftrf.org/?page=Krug_BBW.



The Best Buy Foundation will donate up to $2 million in Community Grants to local and regional nonprofit partners offering programs that create hands-on access to technology education and tools that teens will need to be successful in their future schooling and careers. Programs should include hands-on learning opportunities and engage the youth in experimenting, and interacting with the latest technologies to build 21st century skills.

Best Buy invites out-of-school time programs that have a fundamental commitment to youth, ages 13-18, to apply for funding.  Minimum eligibility criteria include:

  • Eligible nonprofits may be a public or nonprofit community-based organization (e.g., community center, school or library) with existing local or regional out-of-school time program and a proven track record of serving youth ages 13-18.
  • Program must operate within 25 miles of a Best Buy store or other Best Buy center of operations (e.g., warehouse, corporate headquarters, Geek Squad Service Center, etc.) to allow for Best Buy employee volunteer participation (if appropriate).
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion. Other criteria also apply.

Program grants typically range from $4k to $6k, but will not exceed $10k. The application site opens May 1, 2017, and proposals must be submitted by 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time, May 19, 2017. For more detailed information and to apply, visit corporate.bestbuy.com/community-grants-page.



Monday, May 1

Tuesday, May 2

Wednesday, May 3

Thursday, May 4


DISCLAIMER: The State Library regularly highlights third-party events and online resources as a way to alert the library community to training and resource opportunities.  By doing so, we are not endorsing the content of the event, nor promoting any specific product, but merely providing this information as an FYI to librarians who must then decide what is right for them.

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Perceptiveness through Poetry

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services | Comments Off on Perceptiveness through Poetry

From the desk of Anna Nash

Every year I look forward to April because it’s National Poetry Month. It is my favorite time for programming in the Institutional Library Services branches. The talent I see each year is at time overwhelming. It is a labor of love. We arrange workshops, presentations, and open mics and in return we get to listen to and read truly amazing poetry.

I don’t think I can say it any better than I did in when we released our first collection of Percipience: A collection of poems from the Institutional Library Services Poetry Month April 2014. Below is the intro to that collection:

 Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.

― Carl Sandburg

When I hosted my first poetry program two years ago I didn’t realize how powerful poetry could be. Poetry is many things to many people. Some may find comfort in hearing or reading poetry that expresses their feelings. Some may use it as a vehicle to express what might be otherwise inexpressible. It is, above all, expression. Language, verbal and written communication, can be frustratingly limiting. Poets are those who are able to use that frustration. They manipulate language; the words, the cadence, the pronunciation, and spelling to communicate what other can only think or feel.

I chose the title Percipience because it means good understanding of things; perceptiveness. The authors represented in this book have a good understanding of their subject. Hopefully the reader will experience their own understanding and perception of the works presented.

I have seen great talent in the events I have hosted in the institutional libraries. Performances, great performances, by some I have never heard talk before. Others who never stop talking have performed thoughtfully constructed subtle poetry that beautifully articulates love, or pain, or anger or all three. One of the greatest revelations I had was that we are surrounded by poets. Not people who write poetry, poets.

It was a great undertaking to transcribe nearly 150 poems from 11 institutional libraries. It gave me a chance to read and appreciate each one. I hope I have done all the poets around the state justice. Thank you to everyone, patrons and staff, who participated in the first Institutional Library Services Poetry Month. I look forward to seeing and hearing all the poetry our patrons produce in the future.

I want to once again thank the poets and artist from the prisons and state hospitals in Washington who have contributed in past years. Thank you for trusting us with your poetry and art work. I am so incredibly happy to announce that this year’s edition of Percipience will be published AND we will be expanding our collection of artwork from Eastern and Western State Hospitals!

We have copies of our two collections of Percipience the 2014 edition and the 2015/2016 edition in each of our branch libraries and available digitally right here. Print copies of Percipience will be available for purchase for the first time this year as well as a digital copy available for free. Stay tuned for more information on how and when to purchase your copy of Percipience 2017!

Disclaimer –we are unable to profit off of the sales of Percipience 2017. Our goal is to provide a platform to the artist and poets in our branch libraries. Your purchase and/or download of Percipience gives them an audience. Thank you!

The impact of IMLS on Washington: A story told in maps

Friday, March 24th, 2017 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Grants and Funding | Comments Off on The impact of IMLS on Washington: A story told in maps

Here at the State Library we love maps.  We have a large number of maps in our collection, some which have been digitized and many, many more in our stacks. In recent years we’ve fallen in love with something called Storymaps, which is a web platform that allows you to create maps to tell a story.  As our service area includes the entire state we’ve found it to be a fun and different way to tell the State Library’s story.  Many of the maps we have shared are about projects we’ve sponsored using funds from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

This year IMLS is celebrating its 20th Anniversary.  IMLS is the branch of the federal government which supports libraries and museums around the country “to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development.” (1).  The IMLS funds that the State Library receives are transformed into grants and programs which support libraries all over Washington.  For IMLS’s 20th anniversary we thought we’d re-share some of the maps we’ve made.

Click on each image to be taken to the corresponding Storymap. The first is really the mother-lode featuring eleven different programs.  Public, Academic, Special and Tribal libraries all show up in these maps.  Make sure that you click on the icons as they provide more information about each library.

The next map represents the outcome of a grant that we gave to 230 school libraries, sending each library an age appropriate treasure box of books related to the STEM subjects.

And finally we come to our traveling STEM kits.  The kids (and adults) think they are playing but in addition, we are helping Washington youth gain a comfort with everything from coding to engineering. This kits and more are still circulating around the state.



Where in the State is Cindy Aden?

Friday, February 24th, 2017 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public | Comments Off on Where in the State is Cindy Aden?

Since taking the helm of the State Library on August 1, 2016 our new librarian Cindy Aden has been on the go!   While Cindy is a past president of WLA and has worked in Washington for many years, it’s been a while since she visited some of the more remote corners of the state.

Cindy set herself the ambitious goal of meeting every one of her employees before the year was out.  While most of the State Library staff is in the Olympia area, the institutional libraries are scattered all over the state, from Walla Walla to Clallam Bay and many spots between. Using this as a springboard, her travels began.  We thought it would be fun to document her journey around the state to give all of us a bit of a ringside seat and peek into the large and small, the public, academic, special and school libraries that provide service to all of Washington.  This Storymap captures the first few months, but we will continue to add tour points.  What interesting thing will Cindy learn when she visits your library?

Cue the Carmen Sandiego song…

Click the picture to go to the full, interactive map.