WA Secretary of State Blogs

Pearl Harbor at 75

December 7th, 2016 Rand Simmons Posted in Articles, Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, For the Public, Public Services No Comments »

Pearl Harbor turns seventy-five

USS Arizona Pearl Harbor

Photo of the USS Arizona which fully sank and was never recovered after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons.

Only five men are still alive that experienced the Japanese attack on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. All five are in their mid-nineties. One of them, 96-year-old Lauren Bruner, lives in Washington State.

Yesterday all but one gathered in Hawaii to celebrate Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Moments before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941, the United States was ‘suddenly and deliberately attacked.’ Hundreds of Japanese fighter planes and bombers launched a surprise assault on American soil at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The volley on the U.S. naval base was swift and devastating: 2,403 Americans were killed, and another 1,178 were wounded; American battleships sunk; other ships were irreparably damaged; and almost 200 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.

President Roosevelt delivers his "Day of Infamy" speech to a joint session of Congress on December 8, 1941. (Image source: archives.gov)

The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to formally declare war against Imperial Japan. It was then that Roosevelt spoke those famous words, proclaiming December 7, 1941 “a date which will live in infamy.” America had finally joined WWII. That momentous week of loss and defiance took place seventy-five years ago this month. (Text from Government Book Talk, Dec. 7, 2015)

Based on data collected by the Veterans Affairs the WWII Veterans Museum in New Orleans estimates that only 620,000 of the 16 million Americans — men and women — who fought in World War II remain alive. They are now in their late 80s and 90s. Many, like my father, who served in the Philippines, have died.

While it is true that the Japanese military planned and carried out the attack on Pearl Harbor many Japanese Americans fought for their country, the United States. A favorite of mine is a small federal publication, When the Akimotos Went to War: An Untold Story of Family, Patriotism, and Sacrifice During World War II. The citation is at the end of this article.

The Government Publishing Office makes available a variety of government publications that reference the historic Pearl Harbor attack. You will find many or these listed in the Washington State Library catalog dating from 1946.


Ching, Shawn. “Last Remaining USS Arizona Survivors Recall Pearl Harbor Attack – Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL.” Home – Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL, www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/33967105/last-remaining-uss-arizona-survivors-recall-pearl-harbor-attack.

Elms, Matthew. When the Akimotos Went to War: An Untold Story of Family, Patriotism, and Sacrifice During World War II. 2015. Available at WSL: Y 3.AM 3:2 AK 5 and online at http://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo67846.

Hawkins, Trudy. “‘A Date Which Will Live in Infamy’: Remembering Pearl Harbor.” Government Book Talk | Talking About Some of the Best Publications from the Federal Government, Past and Present, 7 Dec. 2015, govbooktalk.gpo.gov/tag/pearl-harbor/. Accessed 7 Dec. 2016.

Milko, Chelsea. “Pearl Harbor at 75 & Three Pacific Battles That Shaped WWII.” Government Book Talk, 6 Dec. 2016, govbooktalk.gpo.gov/2016/12/06/pearl-harbor-at-75-three-pacific-battles-that-shaped-wwii/. Accessed 7 Dec. 2016.

Shute, Megan. “14 Rare Photos From The Attack On Pearl Harbor.” OnlyInYourState, www.onlyinyourstate.com/hawaii/pearl-harbor-hawaii/.


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2016 World AIDS Day

December 1st, 2016 Rand Simmons Posted in Articles, Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, For the Public, Public Services No Comments »

Photo of 2016 World AIDS Day logoEach year December 1 is designated World AIDS Day. Beginning in 1988 World AIDS Day has raised awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. AIDS.gov reports there are 36.7 million individuals worldwide living with HIV/AIDS. 1.8 million are children who were infected by their HIV mothers during pregnancy, child birth or breast feeding.  By far the majority of individuals who have HIV/AIDS live in low- to middle-income countries.

In addition to AIDS.gov, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, nine other units of federal government address HIV/AIDS. The
President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) identifies six lead agencies charged to implement the strategy. Watch President Obama: Updated National HIV AIDS Strategy.

Federal funding for HIV/AIDS in FY 2016 was $27,465,300 based on a report by the Henry J. 2016 World AIDS Day posterKaiser Family Foundation.

Learn more about HIV/AIDS. You can find federal resources at https://www.aids.gov/federal-resources/. Or ask you Federal Depository Library staff, like us. We serve as the Regional
Federal Depository Library for the states of Washington and Alaska. We want to help you so please contact us.

Locate your nearest Federal Depository Library.

Find graphics and resources.


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Government resources for the Washington State tribal libraries – Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

November 22nd, 2016 Rand Simmons Posted in Articles, Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, For the Public, Tribal Comments Off on Government resources for the Washington State tribal libraries – Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

basketsKey Federal Agencies

  • Department of Health and Human Services Indian Health Service.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • Department of the Interior (DOI).
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
  • Department of Justice (DOJ).
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  • National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC).

Washington State Agencies

Portals and Search Engines

General portals to federal publications.

USA.Gov http://usa.gov/.

Official multi-topic portal to U.S. government information, linking to various federal government agencies and commissions.

“Indian Tribes and Resources for Native Americans | USAGov https://www.usa.gov/tribes.

A gateway to resources about Federally Recognized Indian Tribes; Cultural Resources for Native Americans including historic preservation, and archeology; Housing help; Legal resources including laws, crime prevention, and money and laws.

GobiernoUSA.Gov in Spanish http://gobierno.usa.gov/.

FDsys https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/ Now GovInfo https://www.govinfo.gov/.

FDsys is GPO’s Federal Digital System. Provides free online access to official federal government publications.

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications http://catalog.gpo.gov/.

CGP is GPO’s finding tool for federal publications.

MetaLib http://metalib.gpo.gov/.

Retrieve reports, articles, and citations by simultaneously searching across multiple federal government databases.

Kids.gov  https://kids.usa.gov/.

Government Information for Kids, Parents and Teachers. This information can also be found through USA.gov. Kids.gov has a fun interface that will appeal to kids.

Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Governmenthttp://bensguide.gpo.gov/.

Teaches kids from kindergarten through 12th grade about the federal government.

Catalogs and Databases

WorldCat.org: The World’s Largest Library Catalog. http://www.worldcat.org/.

Find publications (all formats) in libraries all over the world.

“Search the Library Catalog – Washington State Library – WA Secretary of State https://www.sos.wa.gov/library/catalog.aspx.

Note: Don’t assume that because a publication is not listed in WSL’s catalog or listed as one of our holdings in WorldCat that WSL does not own it. Like most federal depository libraries WSL does not have every item cataloged or inventoried. Regional libraries should have “everything.” So, call and ask if we have the publication even though it is not listed in the catalog.

Resource Guides

Many academic and research libraries publish “libguides.” These “library guides” are created using the Libguides software from Springshare. To find libguides I do a simple search such as libguides “American Indians” or libguides “American Indians” health care.

If you can locate a libguide or other resource guide on a given topic it may help you identify major resources, related topics, and other search terms. Libguides are great springboards to finding resources.

Here are examples of resource guides:

Government Documents – Native American Studies Research Guide – LibGuides at Michigan State University Libraries. http://libguides.lib.msu.edu/c.php?g=95603&p=624350.

Indian & Tribal Law Research — Gallagher Law Library.Gallagher Law Library, Univ. of Wash. School of Law.https://lib.law.washington.edu/content/guides/indian.

Indian Law Research Guide, National Indian Law Library, Native American Rights Fund (NARF).Native American Rights Fund (NARF): Nonprofit Indian Law Firm: Native American Rights Fund. http://www.narf.org/nill/resources/index.html.)

Native American Law – Research Guides at Washington State Law LibraryResearch Guides at Washington State Law Library. http://courts.wa.libguides.com/nativeamericanlaw.

This guide points to online and print library materials covering many areas of Native American law. Treaties, constitutions, codes and topical resources are included, as well as database help. Note: the beginning page includes ways to reach a librarian for assistance: phone, Ask a Librarian, live chat, email.

Native Americans – Government Sources by Subject – Library Guides at University of Washington Libraries. http://guides.lib.uw.edu/research/govpubs-quick-links?p=2304215.

Tribal Codes – American Indian Law – LibGuides at Gonzaga University School of Law. http://libguides.law.gonzaga.edu/c.php?g=302056&p=2014506.

Selected Resources and Information Locators

General Information

Federal Websites For/About Native Americans – OK Dept. of Libraries.  http://libraries.ok.gov/us-gov/native-fed

Useful guide to federal resources with information on Native Americans.

Internet Archive: Wayback Machine Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine. http://archive.org/web/.

Under Construction A Directory of Data on American Indians and Alaska Natives Available for Research Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. http://bit.ly/2bigH4r.

List of Federally Recognized Tribes Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federally_recognized_tribes.

List of Unrecognized Tribes in the United States” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unrecognized_tribes_in_the_United_States.

Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1978. Print. WSL has most volumes (missing v.1 and v.16 of the 17 volumes). SuDoc: SI 1.20/2: vol.no.

An encyclopedia summarizing knowledge about all Native peoples north of Mesoamerica, including cultures, languages, history, prehistory, and human biology, is a standard reference work for anthropologists, historians, students, and the general reader. (Smithsonian) Many of the volumes are available through the Government Publishing Office although some are out of print. See http://anthropology.si.edu/handbook.htm.

TOP 50 QUESTIONS ABOUT AMERICAN INDIAN TRIBES Frequently Asked Questions Native Americans California Indian Education Calie Educational Tribal Website of Calif Native American Indians Families Reservation and Urban Communities of North America USA Southern CA. http://www.californiaindianeducation.org/tribes/faq/.

Tribal Genealogy Research for Native American Indians How to Trace Indian Ancestry and Get Enrolled in Indian Tribes Kumeyaay Information Village Website Educational & Cultural Resources about Native American Indian Southern California Tribes. http://www.kumeyaay.info/california_indian_peoples/native_american_genealogy.html.

Washington State Tribal Directory Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs.http://goia.wa.gov/Tribal-Directory/TribalDirectory.pdf.


American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Collection University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections. http://content.lib.washington.edu/aipnw/index.html.

Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Washington: G.P.O, 1895-1964. At WSL: SI 2.1 check the catalog.

Some volumes are cataloged separately. Some volumes are on microfiche.

Anthropological Papers. Washington: U.S. G.P.O, 1938-1966. Print. Some volumes available at WSL, SuDoc Number is SI 2.3:.

Bulletins. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletins. Washington: Gov. Print. Office, 1907. Print. Available at WSL, SuDoc Number is SI 2.3:. Volumes are cataloged individually. Examples:

The native brotherhoods: modern intertribal organizations of the Northwest coast. SI 2.3: no.168.

Index to Schoolcraft’s “Indian tribes of the United States” SI 2.3:152.

Nootka and Quileute music. SI 2.3:no124 in print and microfiche.

Chinook: an illustrative sketch. Rare SI 2.3:40/ pt.1.

Kathlamet texts. SI 2.3: no.26 in print and microfiche; also online at https://archive.org/details/kathlamettexts01boas.

Note: Some series will publish lists or indexes that will help identify individual publications such as: Bulletin 200: List of Publications of the American Bureau of Ethnology, with Index to Authors and Titles. , 1971. Print. Available at WSL: SI 2.3:200; also online at http://bit.ly/2gkWj8C.

Dobkins, Rebecca J., author. Cultural Plant Harvests on Federal Lands: Perspectives from Members of the Northwest Native American Basketweavers Association. United States Department of Agriculture, 2016. Print. Available at WSL! SuDoc No. A 13.78:PNW-RP-608.


American FactFinder. American FactFinder. http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.

Population, housing, economic and geographic data.

Indian Country in Judicial Districts. https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/indian-country-in-judicial-districts.pdf/view.

FBI — Uniform Crime Reporting http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ucr.

FBI Uniform crime statistics for the nation.

 FedStats – Your Window Into U.S. Federal Statistics. https://fedstats.sites.usa.gov/.

Portal to federal statistics by state, agency, and topic area.

Health Check Tools: MedlinePlus National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/healthchecktools.html.

Find a variety of calculators, quizzes, and assessment tools presented in an A to Z list of topics.

Healthfinder.gov Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion http://healthfinder.gov/.

Find health information from government and nonprofit sources, including calculators to help with assessing and tracking health and fitness.

 Statistical Abstracts Series http://bit.ly/2aN9qJ4 .

National database of social and economic conditions in U.S. Published from 1878 to 2012.

United States Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/.

U.S. Census Bureau information on population and the economy.

VitalStats Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/VitalStats.htm.

Find national birth and mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control.


Environmental Protection in Indian Country | US EPA US Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/tribal.

Federal Caucus – Ten Federal Agencies Working for Endangered Salmon and Steelhead in the Columbia River Basin. http://www.salmonrecovery.gov/.

Columbia River Basin Federal Caucus information about what the federal agencies and their partners are doing to restore habitat, improve hatcheries, manage predators and improve dam passage for Columbia Basin fish.

National Weather Service – Western Region Headquarters.  http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/.

Weather forecasts for the Western United States.

Window to My Environment Environmental Health Risk Assessment. http://serc.carleton.edu/research_education/healthrisk/window.html.

Environmental Protection Agency’s federal, state, and local information about environmental conditions and features in an area of your choice.

Federal Government

C-SPAN.org | National Politics | History | Nonfiction Books C-SPAN.org http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/.

Find all C-SPAN footage of Congressional and Presidential events from 1987 forward — television, radio and video.

Federal Register. http://www.federalregister.gov/.

Provides access to the official text of federal regulatory material, federal laws, and presidential documents.

Code of Federal Regulations., 1938.

Check with a depository library if you want to use the CFR in print. Go to this link to see which volumes are online: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionCfr.action?collectionCode=CFR.

Govpulse. http://www.govpulse.us/.

Search and browse Federal Register entries with this user-friendly interface.

Native One Stop Welcome to Native One Stop | Native One Stop. http://www.nativeonestop.gov/content/overview.

NativeOneStop.gov was launched in an effort to provide American Indians and Alaska Natives with easy, online access to Federal resources and programs. It is a partnership of many Federal agencies and organizations with a shared vision – to provide improved, personalized access to Federal resources and programs.


Presidents of the United States (POTUS) Ipl2: Information You Can Trust. http://www.ipl.org/div/potus/.

Presidents USA. http://www.presidentsusa.net/. Resource guide to U.S. Presidents.

Whitehouse.gov. http://www.whitehouse.gov/. President, news, history and tours.


Congress.gov | Library of Congress. https://www.congress.gov/.

Replaced Thomas on July 5, 2016.

Federal Legislative History Research: A Practitioner’s Guide to Compiling … Legislative Intent LLSDC Home. http://www.llsdc.org/federal-legislative-history-guide.

Use this comprehensive guide from the Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, D.C. to conduct legislative history research.

Serial Set Links: U.S. Congressional Documents American Memory from the Library of Congress. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwsslink.html.

Serial Set. Selected documents and reports.

Statutes at Large Home Page: U.S. Congressional Documents American Memory from the Library of Congress. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwsl.html.

U.S. Laws and Resolutions, online 1789-1875.  The official compilation of the laws of each session of Congress (Library of Congress). Contact your federal depository library for assistance in finding other years.

United States Code U.S. Government Publishing Office. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionUScode.action?collectionCode=USCODE.

“The Code is a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States” (Office of the Law Revision Counsel). It provides access to the U.S. Code. Code is available in PDF and Text. If you wish to use the Code at the State Library please call ahead so that we can have the volumes reading when you arrive.

The United States House of Representatives · House.gov. http://www.house.gov/.

House news, committee and floor schedules, legislative information.

The United States Senate – Senate.gov. http://www.senate.gov/.

Senate news, committee and floor schedules, tours.

Washington State Legislature District finderhttp://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/.

Set district type to congressional and find your U.S. senators and representatives. Provides links to congressional member websites.


Court Websites Links United State Courts. http://bit.ly/2bmh4wt.

Listed by U.S. Region.

Constitution Annotated Congress.gov | Library of Congress. https://www.congress.gov/constitution-annotated/.

Annotated Analysis and Interpretation.

Literal Prints – Constitution of the United States http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-CONAN-REV-2014/pdf/GPO-CONAN-REV-2014-6.pdf.

Amendments to the Constitution http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-CONAN-REV-2014/pdf/GPO-CONAN-REV-2014-6.pdf.

Supreme Court of the United States. https://www.supremecourt.gov/.

United States Courts. http://www.uscourts.gov/.

Federal Courts.

United States Reports: Cases Adjudged in the Supreme Court. Washington: Govt. Print. Off, 1754. Print.

Print volumes at the Washington State Law Library. For online, full-text volumes see

National Indian Law Library (NILL) of the Native American Rights Fund Native American Rights Fund (NARF): Nonprofit Indian Law Firm: Native American Rights Fund. http://www.narf.org/nill/.

Public law library devoted to federal Indian and tribal law. Also blog at nilllibrary.blogspot.com.

Health and Human Services

Benefits and Service U.S. Department of the Interior.  https://www.doi.gov/tribes/benefits.

Division of Diabetes – Programs – Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) Indian Health Service (IHS). https://www.ihs.gov/MedicalPrograms/Diabetes/index.cfm?module=programsSDPI.

Health Topics – Eating Healthy and Nutrition American Indian Health. https://americanindianhealth.nlm.nih.gov/eating.html.

National Library of Medicine. An information portal to issues affecting the health and well being of American Indians.

MedlinePlus – Health Information from the National Library of Medicine. http://medlineplus.gov/.

Health information from the National Library of Medicine.

PubMed – NCBI National Center for Biotechnology Information. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed.

Access to over 12 million medical citations. Some full text.


Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the Year. Washington, D.C: G.P.O, 1868- . Print. At WSL: I 20.1: vol. 872-898.

Annual Reports of the Secretary of War. Washington, D.C.: G.P.O, 18uu- . At WSL: W 1.1:.


Public and Indian Housing / Equal Opportunity/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HUD/U.S. http://bit.ly/2bgGXkq .

“Northwest ONAP (NWONAP) – HUD HUD/U.S. http://bit.ly/2bdvodc.

Legal and Justice

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1873 American Memory from the Library of Congress.

Links to Statutes at Large, 1789-1875, volumes 1 to 18. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwsllink.html. Volumes 7, 9-16 include treaties. Click on the appropriate treaty link within a volume to find page numbers.

American Indian Publication – Department of Justice Search Results U.S. Department of Justice. http://bit.ly/2bgNQAq.

American Indian Treaties Portal. http://treatiesportal.unl.edu/.

FDsys – Browse USCODE U.S. Government Publishing Office. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionUScode.action?collectionCode=USCODE.

Provides access to the U.S. Code. Code is available in PDF and Text.

Indigenous Law Portal | Law Library of Congress Home | Library of Congress. http://bit.ly/2aTtZD4.

Indigenous Law Portal: Pacific Northwest | Law Library of Congress Home | Library of Congress. http://bit.ly/2b9YKop.

Tribal Court Clearinghouse Tribal Court Clearinghouse. http://www.tribal-institute.org/index.htm.

Tribal law, Federal law, State law, topics, program resources, native resources.

If you have comments on this list of resources or wish to add a resource please contact Rand Simmons, rand.simmons@sos.wa.gov.

Need assistance finding state or federal publications? Contact our Ask a Librarian service.

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Dogs in the library, normalizing life for inmates.

November 10th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services Comments Off on Dogs in the library, normalizing life for inmates.

From the desk of Jean Baker – Library Associate, Washington State Penitentiary

State Librarian Cindy Aden visiting the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center LibraryI was sitting in the office yesterday and someone pointed to the hallway and said, “Look at all of the puppies”.  I went out in the hallway and found about a dozen puppies spilling out of a basket and climbing over each other.  Standing around in a circle were about 10 grown men some with tattoos and ponytails cuddling, petting and cooing at the little canines thus erasing the stereotype of tough convicts with a few simple gestures.   The men told me they were about 3 weeks old and had every sort of coloring, black and white, brown and red, all brown, all white.

The men and the puppies are residents, some for a longer period than others of Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (CCRC), a medium custody facility in Connell, WA.   One of the prized jobs at CRCC is to be a dog handler.  These men are very dedicated care-takers of their charges who are brought to the prison to receive training and socialization before being adopted out to families in the community.

This program is one of the many normalizing activities these inmates can experience to help them learn new behaviors and skills for when they can re-enter society.   I was very excited to see this interaction of inmates and puppies while visiting the CRCC library.  The library is located in the building where inmate programs are held and is a branch of the Washington State Library.   The Institutional Services program of the State Library operates libraries in nine prisons and 2 mental hospitals in Washington.

I am the Branch Library Associate at Washington State Penitentiary and my visit was to assist newly hired CRCC Branch Library Associate, Justin Dickson with some final details of his training.    The CRCC library is the newest and largest of the institutional libraries, opening in February 2009.  At any time there can be 50-60 inmates using the library for one-hour periods.  Justin has 4 inmate library clerks who handle patron customer service as well as shelving materials and keeping the collection in good order.

The library program at CRCC is another normalizing activities that is highly used and appreciated by the inmates.  It is a neutral, comfortable environment which provides the opportunity to pursue interests, learn something new, find recreational reading and prepare for re-entry to the world outside the prison walls.


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“Technology has a way of bridging language barriers”

November 3rd, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public Comments Off on “Technology has a way of bridging language barriers”

Winlock RoominateNo matter what type of library you work in or what your role, we all have something in common.  We care about the people we serve, we care about providing excellent resources and we care about connecting those two things.  Library Development is the branch of the state library which administers federal (LSTA) funds.  We create programs to support the libraries of the state which we hope in turn will benefit the residents of Washington state.  We love what we do, but the nature of our work puts us one step away from our end users.  So we really love it when we hear stories about how our projects impact the lives of our fellow Washingtonians.

Imagine how happy we were to hear recently from Jamie Allwine, the manager at Winlock Timberland Library.  For the last few years the State Library has invested in several STEM kits which circulate around the state.  Allowing libraries to host technology based learning programs without a huge investment of their limited resources.  If you are a regular reader of this blog you will have heard about the Lego Mindstorms kits, or maybe the Snap Circuits or Ozobots.  However in this story the STEM kit which visited the Winlock Library was a Roominate program that was held at her library in September. Winlock is a small library and as such gets to know their patrons well.  Jamie wrote to us about a Latina family who were regulars at the library.  Mom routinely brings her three kids to the library but they only occasionally see the Dad.  Jamie and her staff routinely reach out to this family to join them in a program but until recently they have never attended one.  But something about the Roominate kits got their attention and this time the entire family attended.  Jamie reported that “Dad and Mom started out working with the girls building a Roominate house.  Then their son saw the Dash robot and wanted to play with that, so the father and son broke off and played with the Dash robot for a while, and then came back and helped complete the Roominate house.”

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Washington State Library honors Hispanic heritage / Biblioteca del Estado de Washington rinde homenaje a la herencia hispana

October 14th, 2016 Rand Simmons Posted in Articles, Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, Public Services, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library Comments Off on Washington State Library honors Hispanic heritage / Biblioteca del Estado de Washington rinde homenaje a la herencia hispana


Información en español

Need assistance finding information? Why don’t you Ask WA?

“Ask WA,” you say.

Ask-WA is a cooperative of more than 60 libraries throughout Washington State, both public and academic, that provide online reference services through chat, email, and instant messaging (IM). This statewide network is tied to a global network that provides access to online reference service, 24/7.

So, when you enter the Ask-WA portal, no matter the day or time, you should readily find help.

If you are a Spanish speaker there is a Spanish portal for you.

Ask-WA es un servicio de chat en línea que lo pone en contacto con un bibliotecario, tanto a nivel local como mundial. En inglés, éste servicio es disponible 24/7 utilizando una red mundial de bibliotecarios profesionales. En español, el servicio no es 24/7, a pesar de una extensa red de bibliotecarios de habla hispana que ofrece asistencia durante la mayor parte del tiempo, especialmente durante la semana.

Para saber si un bibliotecario está disponible para chatear en vivo, por favor, llene el formulario de chat en español de Ask-WA.

Si un bibliotecario no está disponible, usted puede enviar su pregunta por correo electrónico, usted recibirá una respuesta dentro de 48 horas (probablemente mucho antes).

Fiestas Patrias 2016

Fiestas Patrias

Recently staff of the State Library’s Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) staffed a table at this year’s Fiestas Patrias  held at the Seattle Center. State Librarian Cindy Aden was on hand to greet people.

The festival celebrates the independence of  Latin American countries. Belizeans, Brazilians, Chileans, Costa Ricans, Salvadoreans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, Mexicans, and Nicaraguans from all over the Pacific Northwest to gather and enjoy great food, dance, and music.

Fiesta Patrias was a wonderful opportunity for people to become acquainted with the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. We, in turn, learned more about the communities we want to serve — individuals needing reading and information in non-English languages.

State Librarian Cindy Aden stated, “We take the motto of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, “That All May Read,” seriously. We know that having reading material and information in multiple languages is crucial in our diverse society. I am proud of the efforts of  Washington Talking Book & Braille Library to reach out to the Hispanic community and to have published its first Spanish-language audio book. The State Library has also provides Spanish language support for our AskWA virtual reference service. We are always looking for more ways to make a difference, and we support and  encourage other Washington libraries to do the same”.

WTBBL services are available to all Washington State residents who are unable to read standard print due to one or more of the following conditions:

  • Legal blindness
  • Visual impairment
  • Physical disability causing an inability to turn pages or comfortably hold a book for extended periods of time
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Reading disability due to organic dysfunction

Read more about the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library.

Las bibliotecas de prisiones

Our branch libraries in nine state prisons provide library and information services to inmates many of whom are non-English speakers. In 2014 the Prison Policy Initiative reported that Hispanics made up 14% of the inmates in Washington State prisons and jails. The State Library provides Spanish language material for those for whom English is not their native language. Our branch libraries are “public libraries” for the incarcerated.


Publicaciones federales en español

Federal and state publications are published in Spanish and other languages although the majority are published in English. For example, many of the tax materials published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are published in Spanish and material for kids such as El Club de los Dos Bocados (Two Bite Plate) published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service.

Sigue a Will y Anna a probar dos bocados de cada grupo alimenticio y de como se convierten en el Club de los Dos Bocados! Este libro muy colorido introduce los cinco grupos de alimentos de MiPlato a niños pequeños y los motiva a probar alimentos de cada grupo alimenticio. El libro que tiene actividades interactivas tales como narración optional, realce de texto, juegos y activades interactivas, cetificados y páginas para colorear ayudaran a los niños a aprender acerca de MiPlato y una alimentación sana al mismo tiempo que mejora sus abilidades de lectura.

You can borrow the book from the State Library or other federal depository libraries, read it on line, or download it.

Need assistance finding state or federal publications in Spanish? Contact our Ask a Librarian service. We can help you find resources such as these: America’s PrepareAthon! Materials in Spanish from FEMA.

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Tale of a torn wagon cover

October 12th, 2016 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For the Public Comments Off on Tale of a torn wagon cover

Steamboat_theCOLUMBIA Magazine contributor Lionel Youst recently contacted us to identify a ca. 1901-1905 photo of a covered wagon (at right). The wagon is depicted aboard the Columbia River steamboat Charles R. Spencer. This badly-faded albumen print is from the Stevenson Community Library’s Skamania County Heritage digital collection (click image to see full record). Despite the photo’s poor condition, Youst spotted something about the wagon’s canvas cover—a large tear. It made him recall a detail from the reminiscences of his grandfather. Here’s what he told us:

“My grandparents, Frank and Alice Youst sold their homestead in Woods County, Oklahoma Territory and headed toward Centralia, Washington on August 22, 1903. [Their family of five] stopped and worked the horses at railroad construction and mining jobs on the way out. The canvas sheet [on the family’s wagon] was badly torn when it tipped over trying to go around a slide on the road over the Rocky Mountains. Dad said it was too hard to sew, and it remained torn all the way out to Centralia. I think what we see on the left side bottom of the sheet is a tear—bigger than I thought it would be, but that could be it.”

SK0228-Edit-Grayscale With a bit of assistance from his friend Shirley Bridgham, Youst was able to tease a bit more detail out of the faded photo—click on the image at left to see a full-sized version of the optimized photo.

In addition to the tear, other details about the photo line up with Youst’s grandfather’s recollections.

“The last leg of the journey was from Tonopah, Nevada where Grandad was hauling ore. They came up through Eastern Oregon to Prineville and Madras, and on to The Dalles where they took passage on a steamboat with the three horses, the wagon, and the family, down through the Cascade Locks to Vancouver. They arrived in in Centralia, Washington on June 26, 1904, after 308 days on the road, a family of five living out of that wagon. They certainly boarded the steamboat at The Dalles on or about June 20, 1904—give or take two or three days.”

While we don’t have an exact date for the original photo, we do know that this photo was very likely taken at Cascade Locks (across the Columbia River from Stevenson), between 1901 and 1905, and that the Charles R. Spencer was one of the two steamboats running The Dalles to Portland/Vancouver route at that time.

So is it his grandparents’ wagon?  According to Youst: “If it isn’t…it’s close enough!” For a detailed account of Youst’s family’s journey, see his upcoming article in COLUMBIA: The Magazine of Northwest History.

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The river of the west: life and adventure in the Rocky Mountains and Oregon

October 10th, 2016 Jeff Martin Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public Comments Off on The river of the west: life and adventure in the Rocky Mountains and Oregon

Joseph L MeekFrom the desk of Jeff Martin

The river of the west: life and adventure in the Rocky Mountains and Oregon

By: Frances Fuller Victor, 1826-1902

Hartford, Conn: Columbian Book Company

Publication Date: 1870

“Mr. Meek was born in Washington Co., Virginia, in 1810, one year before the settlement of Astoria, and at a period when Congress was much interested in the question of our Western possessions and their boundary. ” Manifest destiny” seemed to have raised him up, together with many others, bold, hardy, and fearless men, to become sentinels on the outposts of civilization, securing to the United States with comparative ease a vast extent of territory, for which, without them, a long struggle with England would have taken place, delaying the settlement of the Pacific Coast for many years, if not losing it to us altogether. It is not without a feeling of genuine self-congratulation, that I am able to bear testimony to the services, hitherto hardly recognized, of the “mountain-men” who have settled in Oregon.. Whenever there shall arise a studious and faithful historian, their names shall not be excluded from honorable mention, nor least illustrious will appear that of Joseph L. Meek, the Rocky Mountain Hunter and Trapper.”


There sinks the sun; like cavalier of old,
Servant of crafty Spain,
He flaunts his banner, barred with blood and gold,
Wide o’er the western main ;
A thousand spear heads glint beyond the trees
In columns bright and long,
While kindling fancy hears upon the breeze
The swell of shout and song.

And yet not here Spain’s gay, adventurous host
Dipped sword or planted cross;
The treasures guarded by this rock-bound coast
Counted them gain nor loss.
The blue Columbia, sired by the eternal hills
And wedded with the sea,
O’er golden sands, tithes from a thousand rills,
Rolled in lone majesty-

Through deep ravine, through burning, barren plain,
Through wild and rocky strait,
Through forest dark, and mountain rent in twain
Toward the sunset gate;
While curious eyes, keen with the lust of gold,
Caught not the informing gleam,
These mighty breakers age on age have rolled
To meet this mighty stream.

Age after age these noble hills have kept,
The same majestic lines;
Age after age the horizon’s edge been swept
By fringe of pointed pines.
Summers and Winters circling came and went,
Bringing no change of scene;
Unresting, and unhasting, and unspent,
Dwelt Nature here serene!

Till God’s own time to plant of Freedom’s seed,
In this selected soil ;
Denied forever unto blood and greed,
But blest to honest toil.
There sinks the sun; Gay cavalier no more
His banners trail the sea,
And all his legions shining on the shore
Fade into mystery.

The swelling tide laps on the shingly beach,
Like any starving thing;
And hungry breakers, white with wrath, upreach,
In a vain clamoring.
The shadows fall; just level with mine eye
Sweet Hesper stands and shines,
And shines beneath an arc of golden sky,
Pinked round with pointed pines.

A noble scene! all breadth, deep tone, and power,
Suggesting glorious themes;
Shaming the idler who would fill the hour
With unsubstantial dreams.
Be mine the dreams prophetic, shadowing forth
The things that yet shall be,
When through this gate the treasures of the North
Flow outward to the sea.”

Excerpt by Frances Fuller Victor

Washington State Electronic State Publications – The river of the west

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North Cascades National Park – National Park Service – Celebrating 100 Years of Service

August 29th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections Comments Off on North Cascades National Park – National Park Service – Celebrating 100 Years of Service

Cascades pass, view of the mountains, blue sky with cloudsThe last of the three great National Parks we are featuring this month is Washington’s North Cascades Park.  It is also the last of our parks to be designated as such, with park status only coming in 1968 with the passing of the North Cascades National Park Act.  The park along with two “National Recreation Areas”, Ross Lake and Lake Chelan, and all are managed as the North Cascades National Park Complex.

However long before it became a National Park this area was well known for its beauty and ruggedness.  One of the chief missions of the Washington State Library is to “Collect, preserve, and make accessible to Washingtonians materials on the government, history, culture, and natural resources of the state.”  In other words, for anything to do with Washington State history, we are a great place to start.

While we do not have a primary source record from the Native American viewpoint we have information about the native cultures of the area.

Mierendorf, Robert R, and Kenneth C. Reid. People of the North Cascades. Seattle, Wash: National Park Service, Pacific Northwest Region, 1986. I 29.2:C 26/6 c.2

Smith, Allan H. Ethnography of the North Cascades. Pullman: Center for Northwest Anthropology, Washington State University, 1988. WA 378.5 Un3eth n 1987

Early settlers to the region also kept accounts of their travels and discoveries. Three books immediately jump to the head of the line.

Küster, Heinrich, and Harry M. Majors. Discovery of Mount Shuksan and the Upper Nooksack River, June 1859. Seattle, Wash: Northwest Press, 1984.  NW 979.5 Northwest 1984

Küster, Heinrich, and Harry M. Majors. First Crossing of the Picket Range 1859. Seattle, Wash: Northwest Press, 1984.  NW 979.5 Northwest 1984

Ross, Alexander, Thomas J. Dryer, and Adella M. Parker. The First Crossing of the North Cascades. Seattle, Wash: Northwest Press, 1980. NW 979.95 Northwest 1980

But what if you wanted to learn about contemporary park management or the environmental aspects of the park?  We not only collect Washington State Documents but as a Federal Repository we collect and provide access to federal documents about the park.

Lesher, Robin. Botanical Reconnaissance of Silver Lake Research Area, North Cascades National Park, Washington. Portland, Or: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, 1984.

North Cascades: A Guide to the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, Washington. Washington, D.C: Division of Publications, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1986.

General Management Plan and Environmental Assessment: North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. , Washington, D.C: Division of Publications, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1987

Ecological Effects of Stocked Trout in Naturally Fishless High-Elevation Lakes, North Cacades National Park Service Complex, Wa, USA. Seattle, Wash.: National Park Service, Pacific Northwest Region, 1999.

Mountain Lakes Fishery Management Plan: Environmental Impact Statement. Sedro-Woolley, WA: North Cascades National Park Service Complex, 2008. Volume 1, Volume 2

What about just the pure pleasure of visiting the park?  Well we’ve got you covered there too.

Spring, Ira, and Harvey Manning. 100 Hikes in Washington’s North Cascades National Park Region. Seattle, WA: Mountaineers, 2000. NW 917.9773 ONE HUN 2000  

Dietrich, William, Craig Romano, Gary Snyder, Christian Martin, and Richard Louv. The North Cascades: Finding Beauty and Renewal in the Wild Nearby. , 2014 NW 508.797 DIETRIC 2014 

Bake, William A. Stehekin: A Wilderness Journey into the North Cascades. Washington, D.C.: Division of Publications, National Park Service, 1977  RARE 917.9759 BAKE 1977

And finally for those of you who stuck with me to the end of this post, I saved the best for last with the prize for most original chapter title being “Run hippie run! Rednecks gonna get ya!”

Harrison, Buckwheat” B. Hippie Tales of the Northwest Woods. Minneapolis: Mill City Press, 2014.  NW 305.568 HARRISO 2014  

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Classics in Washington History – Army letters from an Officer’s Wife, 1871 – 1888

August 26th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections Comments Off on Classics in Washington History – Army letters from an Officer’s Wife, 1871 – 1888

From the desk of Jeff Martin Frances M.A. Roe

Army letters from an Officer’s Wife, written by: Frances M.A. Roe

Appleton And Company, New York and London

Publication date: October 1909

Note: In 1871, Lieutenant Colonel Fayette Washington Roe (1850-1916) was sent to Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory. His wife, Frances M.A. Roe, describes their experiences while stationed at the fort in this collection of letters.

“It is late, so this can be only a note to tell you that we arrived here safely, and will take the stage for Fort Lyon to-morrow morning at six o’clock. I am thankful enough that our stay is short at this terrible place, where one feels there is danger of being murdered any minute. Not one woman have I seen here, but there are men any number of dreadful-looking men each one armed with big pistols, and leather belts full of cartridges. But the houses we saw as we came from the station were worse even than the men. They looked, in the moonlight, like huge cakes of clay, where spooks and creepy things might be found. The hotel is much like the houses, and appears to have been made of dirt, and a few drygoods boxes. Even the low roof is of dirt. The whole place is horrible, and dismal beyond description, and just why anyone lives here I cannot understand.”

Excerpt by Frances M.A. Roe

Washington State Library Electronic State Publications – Army Letters From An Officers Wife, 1909

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