WA Secretary of State Blogs

The new LSTA Five Year plan has been approved.

October 16th, 2017 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

Picture of the Strategic Goals of the Washington State LibraryEvery five years one of our tasks at the State Library is to both look backwards and look forward. The backwards part is an evaluation of our previous LSTA Five-Year Plan; how did we do, did we meet our goals, and how can we do better? Looking forward of course is developing our plans and goals for the next five years. We take into consideration LSTA priorities, goals set by the Governor, we consult library leaders around the state about their hopes and needs, and we do a lot of thinking and planning how we can best use the federal funds to support Washington libraries.

After a lot of hard work we are happy to report that the LSTA Five Year Plan has been approved by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. View the approval letter here.

The LSTA Five-Year Plan guides the activities to be conducted with federal LSTA awards given out from federal fiscal year 2018 through federal fiscal year 2022. The LSTA Five-Year Plan shares the overall mission of the Washington State Library and uses five of the seven goals within the Washington State Library Strategic Plan (see inset). These goals form the foundation for implementation of projects over the next federal fiscal years.

Look over these goals and tell us how we can help you and your community. The Washington State library, here to connect Washington through the power of libraries.

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WSL Holds eBook / Audiobook Conference

October 5th, 2017 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Technology and Resources Comments Off on WSL Holds eBook / Audiobook Conference

From the Desk of Will Stuivenga.

Picture of a large group meeting. Tables with white tablecloths

The Washington State Library recently hosted the first ever face-to-face User Group Meeting for members of the Washington Digital Library Consortium, a group of 44 (soon to be 45) of the state’s mid-sized and smaller public libraries that provide the OverDrive-powered Washington Anytime Library to their patrons.

61 people (including Cindy Aden, State Librarian, and 4 additional staff from the State Library) attended the event, with all but a handful of member libraries represented. The event ran all day September 27, and through lunch on September 28. Libraries represented at the meeting were from as far away as Camas, Clarkston, Lincoln County, the Olympic Peninsula, Richland, Walla Walla, and pretty much everywhere in between.

The event was organized and coordinated by Will Stuivenga, Cooperative Projects Manager for Library Development at the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State. Will manages the consortium’s day-to-day operations with the assistance of a 3-person Executive Advisory Committee. Funding provided by the State Library comes from the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA), administered through the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS). Currently, member libraries contribute most of the regular ongoing funding for the organization.

As a result of this meeting:

  • Washington Anytime meeting participants now have a much better understanding of the challenges facing their collaborative;
  • Advisory votes were taken on the several important questions regarding the governance of the consortium and customer service issues;
  • 26 individuals volunteered to serve on committees to undertake necessary work in the  following areas:
    • Governance,
    • Weeding,
    • Collection development,
    • Curated title lists for the Anytime Library;
  • People came away with a better knowledge of the support which the State Library has provided to organize, grow, and financially subsidize the consortium and its Anytime Library collection.

Attendee reviews of the event were universally positive. People said they especially enjoyed the opportunity to meet and discuss important issues with their peers from other libraries, both small and large, and many expressed hope that similar events can be scheduled in future.

For more pictures from the event, visit our Flickr Album

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Help us Tag Washington’s WWI Sammies!

September 20th, 2017 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections Comments Off on Help us Tag Washington’s WWI Sammies!

From the desk of Shawn Schollmeyer

The Library of Congress has once again found a fun new way to promote our digital newspapers collections by launching a new crowd-sourced tagging tool to help us capture the key names & titles of the WWI cartoons in our Washington digital newspapers. From 2008-2014 the Washington State Library participated in the National Digital Newspaper Program, contributing over 306,000 pages of Washington newspapers to the Chronicling America website.

One of the biggest advances in making a digital collection full-text searchable is the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, which is great for text, but does a poor capture of handwritten and small text that is often used for cartoons & illustrations. The Beyond Words lab just launched this month by Library of Congress is a fun way to learn about the editorials and opinions of WWI by tagging these cartoons & illustration adding value as a primary resource for researchers, teachers and students. Give it a try and let us know what you think of it! We’ll be passing along feedback to the NDNP staff at Library of Congress. And tell us more about these Sammies!

Crowdsourcing: Beyond Words

One of the first features on labs.loc.gov is Beyond Words, a website that invites the public to identify cartoons and photographs in historic newspapers and provide captions that will turn images into searchable data. This fun crowdsourcing program grows the data set of text available for researchers who use visualization, text analysis and other digital humanities methodologies to discover new knowledge from Chronicling America—the Library’s large collection of historic American newspapers. Beyond Words is available as a pilot project to help the Library of Congress learn more about what subsets of Library data researchers are interested in and to grow the Library’s capacity for crowdsourcing.

“What I like about crowdsourcing is it gives people a chance to discover hidden gems in the collection. You never know what you’ll find poking through old newspapers,” said Tong Wang, the IT specialist who created Beyond Words during a three-month pilot innovator-in-residence program.

Beyond Words will also generate public domain image galleries for scholarship and creative play. As this data set grows, educators, researchers and artists will be able to group image collections by time frame, such as identifying all historic cartoons appearing in World War I-era newspapers.

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The Shoalwater Bay Tribe has a beautiful new museum/library.

September 15th, 2017 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Site Visits, Tribal Comments Off on The Shoalwater Bay Tribe has a beautiful new museum/library.

From the desk of Carolyn Petersen

Congratulations to the Shoalwater Bay Tribe on their new museum library location!

People lined up against a wall. A man and a woman shaking hands. Native American drums in the picture.On Friday, September 8, the Shoalwater Bay tribe realized a long held dream of opening a museum to highlight their cultural contributions to their community.  Tribal Library Consultant Carolyn Petersen conveyed a letter of congratulations on their achievement from Secretary of State Kim Wyman which was presented to tribal members.

Some of the highlights of the collection: a cedar hand dugout canoe, a recreation of a tribal headdress using eagle feathers collected from the beach combined with an otter skin purchased at a tribal gathering, and a facsimile of the map with President Andrew Jackson’s signature showing the Shoalwater Bay reservation

Shoalwater Bay tribal librarian Linda Rose Woman leaning on a low bookshelf in a library.was excited at the opening as well because it meant that the tribal library now shares space with the museum which is on a prime location on the coastal highway (in Tokeland, WA.)  Many more folks will discover the library in its current location.  New shelving on casters will allow Linda to accommodate her frequent community programming.

The tribe hopes many visitors will stop by to appreciate both the museum and the library.

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3rd Annual Historical Zine Contest

September 6th, 2017 Judy Pitchford Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public Comments Off on 3rd Annual Historical Zine Contest

2017 zine poster
Hey kids (and adults)! It’s time for the 3rd Annual Historical Zine Contest!

Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, is sponsoring the 3rd Annual Historical Zine Contest with co-sponsors Washington State Archives and Timberland Regional Library. Participants are asked to create a Zine about some aspect of Washington History.

Washington residents from 4th grade and up (yes, adults, too!) are asked to participate.

All three sponsors have a multitude of resources that can provide fantastic historical material you can use to create your Zine.

Washington State Library has many online resources that include books, maps, newspapers and photos. You can also find featured images from these digital collections on their Pinterest and Flickr pages. And don’t forget that you can visit the library to see some resources in person!
• Washington State Archives has an extensive print collection, as well as many images at the Digital Archives.
• And you can visit the Timberland Libraries to explore their NW Reference Collection, Zine Collection and Zine Resource Collection.

One winner from each age category and will receive a $75 prize!

Visit the Zine Contest Webpage for the entry form, a video on how to make a zine, and to see some of our past winners.

Entries will be accepted from September 1, 2017 – December 15, 2017. So grab your pencils, pens, typewriters or computers and start creating!

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Growing up in Washington’s Finest Dairyland

August 29th, 2017 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For the Public Comments Off on Growing up in Washington’s Finest Dairyland

Former state senator (1969-1980) Gary M. Odegaard stopped in at the Washington State Library last week to share a wealth of unique photographs from his family collection, as well as hours of great stories about growing up in the border town of Sumas, Washington. Deborah Morgan from the Sumas Library met with Odegaard while staff from our Washington Rural Heritage program worked to digitize his photos.

It was a fascinating day of learning about life in Whatcom County in the 1950s, from daily farm life in “Washington’s Finest Dairyland,” to living through major flood events, to the history of the Sumas Valley Grange.

Odegaard’s collection will soon appear alongside other material from the Sumas area digitized through a Washington Rural Heritage grant completed this year by the Sumas branch of Whatcom County Library System. View that collection here: http://sos.wa.gov/q/SumasHeritage

The State Library’s Washington Rural Heritage program is a collaborative digitization project partnering with almost 150 of our state’s libraries and museums. The project also provides access to the otherwise hidden or inaccessible family collections of almost 500 Washingtonians.

The Washington State Library will be working with more than one dozen organizations through the end of 2018 to bring more of our common heritage online. Read more about our recent grant awards here: https://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/library/libraries/grants/2017_WRH_Awards.pdf

This funding is made possible by a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act. To learn more about participating in Washington Rural Heritage, please contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian, at (360) 704-5228, or evan.robb@sos.wa.gov.

 

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The Great Eclipse of 2017

August 21st, 2017 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For the Public Comments Off on The Great Eclipse of 2017

Click for a Flickrset of some of the great pictures we took!

What started as a surprise, turned into a glorious celebration!  Several months ago when we learned that NASA was giving away eclipse glasses to libraries we decided to order 1000 pairs to hand out to Washington Libraries.  Those were quickly claimed, but NASA was kind enough to send us several thousand more, which we continued to distribute to interested libraries across the state.  Then one day, out of the blue, our phones started ringing, “Where can I get eclipse glasses?”  That was when we learned that NASA had published a list of all the libraries they’d given glasses to and we were listed as a place that was holding an event!  A quick change of gears and the response was “We will be holding an event on the day of the eclipse and we will hand out glasses then.”  But all we had left were 90 pairs.  Hmmm.

Meanwhile we had an event to plan.  Calls were made to find a local expert willing to speak at the event and we were fortunate to locate Ken Slavens from the Tacoma Astronomical Society (TAS), and Francisco Velez from the Evergreen Astrological Society who were willing to come to our event to present a program and be available to answer questions.  OK, we were getting a good program together.  Next we managed to buy 100 more pairs of glasses and learned that the TAS was bringing a whole bunch more.  Things were falling into place nicely.  Will anyone come we wondered?

Fast forward to this morning.  Arriving at 7 a.m. we found a line snaking around the building.  Some intrepid souls even slept in their cars in order to be sure they’d get glasses!  As the morning went on more and more people arrived.  By 8:30 a.m. when we started handing out glasses the line was seemingly endless.  We estimate there were around 500 people waiting.  All in all, we handed out 300 pairs of glasses to the assembled crowd. Others came with their own glasses to take part in the event.  There were lots of homemade viewers, everything from cereal boxes to elaborate cardboard constructions.  In the end, although we didn’t have enough glasses for everyone, it wasn’t a problem.  Many people shared glasses and they were generously passed around.

The weather was perfect, the visiting astronomers were great.  They brought posters, models, fielded questions and set up a telescope named “Luke Skywatcher” to project an image of the sun.  Another telescope had been made safe for the event so you could look closely at the sun through the telescope.  The astronomers shared safety tips and astronomical facts. The crowd was wonderfully engaged and often responded with applause and cheers. To keep kids busy while waiting, sidewalk chalk and coloring sheets were available. It became a community event where people made new acquaintances, talked with each other, and laughed and marveled at the glorious site.  Our guest astronomers occasionally gave a countdown to our ‘totality’ – about 94%.

As we neared this the sky grew oddly dark, and the temperature dropped. People sat and chatted or milled around and commented on their experience. Then came the big announcement “We hit totality, this is it. This is the best we’ve got.” A wonderful, spontaneous cheer went up again. Eclipse glasses were passed around again, the view was spectacular and the crowd loved it.  We were thrilled that hundreds of you came and enjoyed the eclipse here at the Washington State Library.

We didn’t set out to hold an eclipse program but sometimes serendipity happens and it’s best to just go with it.  I don’t think we could have asked for a better morning!

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The National Book Festival and a book to represent Washington State

August 8th, 2017 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Washington Center for the Book Comments Off on The National Book Festival and a book to represent Washington State

image of a book cover, a paper cut showing a child doing a cannonball into the ocean. In September of 2001 the first National Book Festival was held in Washington D.C.  Laura Bush, a retired librarian, then First Lady of the United States, worked with the Librarian of Congress to launch this new event to encourage a lifelong love of reading.  James Billington, then Librarian of Congress, said, “We must all try, in every way we can, to send the message that reading is critical to our lives and to the life of our nation.” (1)

In 2002 a new addition to the Festival, The Pavilion of the States, was added. (2) Each year states choose a Children’s or Young Adult book they feel represents them.  A representative from each state heads to D.C. to set up a table to showcase their choice and more importantly their state. On the day of the festival thousands of children and their parents run through the pavilion collecting stamps, stickers and bookmarks, on the way learning more about the country they live in.  Washington State was involved almost from the very beginning sending representatives from the State Library to the book festival since 2003.  The books that have been selected each year are an eclectic mix, but they all have one thing in common, they represent Washington State.

The 2017 choice is by author/illustrator Nikki McClure, a Washington native and longtime resident of Olympia.  Waiting For High Tide  (Abrams, 2016) tells the story of a young boy scouring the high tide line for treasures, practicing walking the plank and waiting for high tide so he can swim. While he waits, sea birds and other creatures mirror the family’s behaviors: building and hunting, wading and eating. At long last the tide arrives, and human and animal alike savor the water.

McClure’s picture book features full-bleed cut-paper illustrations in black and white with isolated use of blues and pinks. “Lavish with words and images in a story that is a worthy heir to Robert McCloskey’s work. The sense of place is so rich that it seems possible to smell the air and hear the gulls,” says a Publisher’s Weekly starred review.

It is that sense of place that led to its selection to represent the state of Washington in the Pavilion of the States and in the Great Places, Great Reads publication at the National Book Festival. McClure said she wrote the book to “represent place and to have a beach book that wasn’t East Coast and was for Washington kids.”

Nikki McClure is an author and artist who works with cut-paper to create picture books and an annual calendar. “I cut my images from black paper with an X-Acto knife. Everything is connected,” McClure says. “It’s all one piece of paper, yet it now it holds a story.”

Her books include “To Market, To Market,” “How to Be a Cat,” “Mama Is It Summer Yet?” and illustrator of “All in a Day” by Cynthia Rylant.

The Washington Center for the Book is a partnership of The Seattle Public Library and the Washington State Library.  It is a state affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.

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2017 Eclipse Across America

July 28th, 2017 Jeremy Stroud Posted in Articles, For the Public, News 1 Comment »

Hinode Observes Annular Solar Eclipse

Hinode Observes Annular Solar Eclipse – Courtesy of NASA

If you didn’t already know, there will be a total eclipse rolling through the United States on Monday, August 21, 2017, and we are happy to announce that in collaboration with STARnet, the Washington State Library (WSL) has distributed nearly 4,000 eclipse glasses to 44 libraries across our state for safe viewing of the eclipse. Each library location will host programs filled with safety information, fun facts, and learning opportunities for the whole family. Check out the list below for more information.

The Olympia area will experience about a 95% eclipse developing around 9:07am as the moon rolls east. The optimum viewing time will be at 10:19am, with the eclipse wrapping up around 11:38am. If you would like your own pair of eclipse glasses for viewing this event from your choice of location, you can find many deals online and in stores. Just make sure you use the word ‘eclipse’ in your search and verify that they are safety certified. Additional safety information can be found on the NASA website.

Visualization of the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Visualization of the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse – Courtesy of NASA

Here at WSL, we are planning our own event! It will start at 8:30am on the 21st, and go until Noon. We have 90 pairs of eclipse glasses to hand out, and they will be given out on a first come first served basis. There will be a liability waiver that each person who comes to the event will be required to sign to receive a pair of glasses. We have a speaker from the Tacoma Astronomical Society who is going to come and talk about the science behind the eclipse and answer participant questions. This is going to be an amazing event that we won’t see again at this magnitude until 2044! So bring a blanket, some snacks, and your family and come picnic with us while we watch the eclipse!

UPDATE:

  • We will have a reflective projection viewing area set-up outside so that those who may not get safety glasses can still watch and enjoy the eclipse!
  • If you’re unable to attend the WSL event, do not have safety eclipse glasses, or would just like to be creative and make your own safe eclipse pinhole viewer, there are two options on STARnet’s Resource Center webpage. Use either a cereal box or shoebox!
  • As parking is limited we encourage you to take public transportation to the event.  The #13 bus comes right down Capitol Blvd. and stops right by the State Library (at Israel Road)

Libraries that have received glasses

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Stimulating Summers

July 27th, 2017 Nono Burling 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.

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