WA Secretary of State Blogs

Goodbye and Hello

April 2nd, 2018 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized Comments Off on Goodbye and Hello

Gold and brown background, workds satying Between the lines, Washington State Library Blog

Did you know that the Washington State Library was one of the first state agencies to jump into blogging? We’ve been blogging since 2006.

Our loyal readers will remember Steve Willis’s “Random News” posts, the fascinating newspaper stories that Marlys Rudeen unearthed, Rand Simmon’s well researched articles on Federal documents, or the wonderful Washington Reads book recommendations, as well as all the other stories about the State Library written over the years.

However, after all these years of maintaining our own blog we’ve been given the opportunity to expand our audience by publishing our stories directly to the Secretary of State’s blog.  This “Between the Lines” blog will no longer be updated instead we ask you to visit the O.S.O.S. “From our Corner” blog.  If you want mainly to read about what’s happening at the State Library here is a direct link,  but we recommend checking out all the other posts. There is so much great work happening at the Secretary of State’s office.

So please say “goodbye” to “Between the Lines” but we hope to see you still with a friendly “hello” over at “From our Corner.”



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Olympics of the Mind & Body – Summer of 2016

June 1st, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized Comments Off on Olympics of the Mind & Body – Summer of 2016

From the desk of Shirley Lewis
olympics of the mind and bodyThis year’s summer reading theme is “Get in the Game – Read”.  Why should the kids have all the fun? Washington State Library presents suggested activities to help adults get fit, learn, and try something new.  So, exercise your brain and your body throughout the summer – try these “Olympics of the Mind & Body” ideas.

June 1

Learn to play Pickleball; a game invented by the late Joel Pritchard, Washington’s Lieutenant Governor from 1989 – 1997.  Check out The Official Pickleball Handbook by Mark Friedenberg.

June 2

Spokane’s Northwest Museum of Arts + Culture will celebrate its 31st annual ArtFest on June 3-5, 2016.

June 3

Special Olympics Washington 2016 Summer Games will be held from June 3-5 at Joint Base Lewis McChord and the King County Aquatics programs. More than 10,000 special athletes throughout the state participate in sports offered by Special Olympics Washington.

June 6

Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service with a visit to Mt. Rainier National Park.  If you can’t get there in-person, Washington State Library has many titles for the armchair traveler, such as, The Big Fact Book about Mount Rainier; Roadside Geology of Mount Rainier National Park and Vicinity; Washington’s Mount Rainier National Park: A Centennial Celebration; and One Best Hike: Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail.

June 7

Chomp on cherries – you can get recipes and nutrition information at the Washington State Fruit Commission website. Read digital editions of The Good Fruit Grower, published by the Washington State Fruit Commission, in the Washington State Library’s online catalog.

June 8

Play ball! And read all about the Seattle Mariners, historic Pacific Northwest baseball, and Seattle’s black baseball teams. These are only a few titles about baseball in the Pacific Northwest; check out the Washington State Library catalog and your local public library.

June 9

Washington has many places to watch and listen to the birds: the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, the Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge, and the Willapa Wildlife Refuge are three examples from around the state. Or, enjoy reading and watching the birds out your window; there are many guides for birdwatching in Washington and the Pacific Northwest.

June 10

Stroll through a Washington Farmers’ Market:  there are large and small; seasonal and year-round. Colville, Olympia, Vancouver, Yakima and the Pybus Market in Wenatchee are a few examples.

June 13

Enjoy the thought-provoking and inspiring ideas shared in the TEDx talks at Sno-Isle Libraries.

June 14

Happy Flag Day! Along with displaying the stars and stripes, consider displaying Washington’s State Flag.

June 15

All summer long, enjoy yourself in one of Washington’s State Parks.

June 16

All around Washington, small town festivals and parades are happening.  In Winlock, Washington (Lewis County), the Egg Days celebration commemorates the town’s historic hatchery industry.

June 17

Father’s Day is almost here.  Do you know Spokane’s link to the origin of Father’s Day?

June 20

Today is the summer solstice, the longest hours of daylight of the year in the northern hemisphere. Some will spend the solstice at the Stonehenge Memorial near Goldendale, Washington. The Maryhill Museum of Art and the Goldendale Observatory are also interesting attractions in this gorgeous area.

June 21

Would you like to learn how to use Microsoft programs, such as, Word or Excel?  Take a look at Washington State Library Microsoft Imagine Academy and the list of Participating Libraries here in Washington. These online, self-paced classes are available to Washington residents at no charge.

June 22

Take a ride on an historic train: the Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum begins in Eble; you can also catch the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum train. The North Pend Oreille Valley Lions Club also hosts train rides, but it seems 2016 is the last year, so get on board soon. Read all about trains in Washington: Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway, Big Bend Railroads, and South Puget Sound Railroad Mania are just a few of the titles available.

June 23

Weather in Washington is always good for conversation and makes good reading, too.  Try The Weather of the Pacific Northwest, Rains all the Time: A Connoisseur’s History of Weather in the Pacific Northwest, or check out the Office of the Washington State Climatologist to see the official word on Washington’s weather, past and future.

June 24

Explore Fort Simcoe, now Fort Simcoe Historical State Park, in south central Washington. Read about Fort Simcoe’s military history in Bugles in the Valley: Garnett’s Fort Simcoe.

June 27

Put your brain to work solving a mystery set in Washington: Whodunit in Washington State: a Selected Bibliography of Mysteries set in the Evergreen State lists many titles with crimes and puzzles to solve.  There are several “Whodunit” bibliographies for different areas of Washington in the State Library’s online catalog and A Kid’s Whodunit in Washington State: a Selected Bibliography of Mysteries Set in the Evergreen State.

June 28

Are the Washington Red Raspberries ripe?  Washington grows 60% of the red raspberries in the United States. Learn more about the raspberry industry at the Washington Red Raspberry Commission web site.

June 29

Ride the gondola at the Crystal Mountain Ski resort for some high-in-the-sky summer views of Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range.

June 30

Feel like digging? Get in touch with the past the Stonerose Interpretive Center & Eocene Fossil Site near Republic, Washington (Ferry County).


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Protecting the treasures of Washington State, or a peek into the vault.

March 17th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, Uncategorized Comments Off on Protecting the treasures of Washington State, or a peek into the vault.

The Washington State Library has a collection of very special books we keep in our “vault”.  This includes the Territorial Library Collection, as well as many other beautiful and rare books.  These books are old and fragile and special considerations need to be used to view them.  If you make an appointment and travel to Olympia during the library’s open hours, we would love to help you view these rare books. However thanks to the wonders of modern digitization many of these titles are available in digital format through the internet archive.   We thought you might like to have a peek into some of these beautiful old books that the Washington State Library keeps safe for you.

An interesting fact about this book is that it is the first known use of the word “Oregon” used to describe areas to the west of Carver’s travels.

Travels through the interior parts of North-America, in the years 1766, 1767, and 1768/ by Jonathan Carver, which you will find in our catalog. 

This book includes a vocabulary of the Chippewa language (beginning on page 420)

vocabulary of Chippewa language

Beautiful maps, descriptions of the strange animals and plants encountered on his travels and engravings of the things he saw.

Travels_through_the_interior_parts_of_North_America (1)

If you’d like to see the book in its digital entirety use this direct link to the internet archive. Or the next time you’re in the area, why not make an appointment and come and view the original.

Let us know in the comments how you like these sneak peeks into the treasures of our state.

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OCLC features Washington Rural Heritage maps and timelines

February 12th, 2016 Evan Posted in Digital Collections, Uncategorized Comments Off on OCLC features Washington Rural Heritage maps and timelines

From the desk of Evan Robb

The Washington Rural Heritage project was recently featured in a piece by OCLC—the company behind CONTENTdm.  The piece highlights our use of interactive maps, geo-referenced digital objects, and timelines, using free tools from Northwestern University’s Knight Labs. Read more here: http://www.oclc.org/en-US/news/announcements/2016/CONTENTdm-news-item-January-2016.html

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WSL Updates for December 10, 2015

December 10th, 2015 Shirley Lewis Posted in Uncategorized Comments Off on WSL Updates for December 10, 2015

Volume 11, December 10, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:









Does your library have a VR program? Have you considered adding virtual reference to your library’s toolkit? Washington State Library plans to hold WA’s first conference on the topic of Virtual Reference. We’ve lined up a great keynote speaker, Aaron Schmidt.

We are calling for proposals for conference sessions. We know there are great things happening around the state. Let’s all learn from each other.

  • Please use this form to submit your proposal.
  • The deadline for proposals is January 15, 2016.

We can’t wait to hear your ideas. If you have questions, please contact Nono Burling at [email protected].



The Washington State Library and the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) have launched the 2016 Teen Video Challenge, a national video competition for teens to get involved with reading and their public library’s summer reading program.

Teens are invited to create a 30 to 90 second video with their unique interpretation of the 2016 teen slogan “Get in the Game – READ”. The idea is to involve teens in summer reading, before and during the summer months, by being part of the process. This is an opportunity for teens to showcase their creativity and have their ideas heard by a national audience. The winning video will be named one of the CSLP 2016 Teen Videos to promote summer reading nationwide.

$150 will be awarded to the creator of Washington’s winning video and their associated public library will receive prizes worth at least $50 from CSLP and Upstart. Winners will be announced by CSLP in April 2016.

For full details about the CSLP 2016 Teen Video Challenge and to find out how to enter Washington’s competition, please visit http://sos.wa.gov/q/teenvideo.

Questions? Please contact Nono Burling at [email protected].



Building Bridges, the Washington State Higher Education Technology Conference, is scheduled for April 14 & 15, 2016 at the Davenport Grand Hotel in Spokane. Registration is open now with early bird discount rate available through February 29, 2016.



ClinicalTrials.gov: Updates and a Look at Trials Using Mobile Apps is the topic of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Northwest Regional office’s next monthly webinar, PNR Rendezvous.

  • Join the rendezvous Wednesday, December 16, 2015 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. PST

How many times have you read in the news, “Clinical Trials have shown that….”? Do you know the health care provided by physicians and hospitals is based on research done in clinical trials? How are people chosen to participate in a clinical trial? Come join this PNR Rendezvous session and learn more about clinical trials.



The Washington State Department of Early Learning has released a 5-year update on the Washington State Early Learning Plan. Celebrating success and describing work left to be done, this midpoint report is available here.



December 14

December 15

December 16

December 17


For more information and to register (unless otherwise linked above), visit the WSL Training Calendar at sos.wa.gov/q/training.


The Washington State Library has gone social! Friend/follow us at:

Facebook: on.fb.me/FBWSL;

Twitter: twitter.com/WAStateLib.


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Clippings November 13, 2015 (published December 2, 2015)

December 2nd, 2015 Marilyn Lindholm Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, News, Uncategorized, Updates Comments Off on Clippings November 13, 2015 (published December 2, 2015)

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Library Clippings for the week of November 13, 2015

Library News

Forks Transit Center to host Tiny Library (Forks Forum, Forks, 10/15/15)

Which of these shapes found on the ground should be the Library’s new logo? (The Stranger, Seattle, 10/21/15)

City to vote on new contract with Mid-Columbia Libraries (Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, 10/23/15)

Public libraries are a place for families to connect (Daily Record, Ellensburg, 10/24/15)

Library board rejects new name, logo after public resistance (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle, 10/28/15)
Read the rest of this entry »

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Dispatches from the Newport Miner, 1907-08

November 16th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized Comments Off on Dispatches from the Newport Miner, 1907-08

From the Desk of Marlys Rudeen – Former Washington Deputy State Librarian

Let’s take a look at Newport in the early part of the 20th century through the lens of the local newspaper.  Front page news articles focus on the shipping, mining and lumber industries that provide the life blood for Newport and its surrounding areas, and on the railroads that allow that lifeblood to flow freely.

The lives of the residents are usually chronicled further back in the paper.  From the local news sections we can see that Newport residents were great travelers, both for business and pleasure, and their comings and goings were recorded in the local news section “Just Among Ourselves.”  In fact, the section begins each day with the train schedule for both passengers and freight trains between Newport and Spokane.  Social notes about lodge meetings, church schedules and social events are included.  Businesses and services are advertised.  Lost and found items are publicized.  Work place injuries and illnesses are reported.

You can explore the Newport Miner from 1907-1912 at the Chronicling America web site.  Choose the Browse Issues link, select a year from the drop down box, and then choose an issue from the calendar display.  I’ve listed some of the dates and pages below for some interesting tidbits. lady

Nov. 9, 1907

p. 1 “Criminal Element Busy During Past Week.”

Loot taken during a burglary at the Reid Hardware Company included “four revolvers, about fifty pocket knives, a razor, magnifying glass and other small articles…”  On Monday evening Ralph Kennedy was returning home through the lumber yards when he was accosted and robbed of $2.80.  “The holdup man compelled Ralph to walk back into the yards about a block with him and then bade him good night with a ‘much obliged.’”

p. 5 “The Silver Birch Dairy Wagon, which was smashed in a runaway about three weeks ago, has been rebuilt and painted and is in commission again.”

“Ralph Kennedy says that the gun that held him up the other night was of a new-sized caliber.  He would judge it to be about the size of a stove pipe.”

Nov. 16, 1907, p. 1

“Tough Element Busy – Burglaries and Hold-ups Becoming Frequent – City Jail Full Wednesday”

George Edge, local architect was relieved of 80 cents cash by a “big burly bum.” On Wed. evening men steal flour from a railcar and attempt to sell it to a local restaurant.

p. 5 “One of our south town bachelors has a large sign, “Wife Wanted,” over his door. Won’t some old maid take pity on the poor fellow.”

Nov. 22, 1907

p. 1 “News of Old Town” – “Spot Emery has gone to Medial Lake to boil out, so he says. The general impression is, however, that he has gone there for other treatment, and his friends do not expect him to return until the doctors are through with him”

Dec. 12, 1907

p. 1 “Chapter of Accidents” – Ted Shoemaker of Cusick shot by accident; George Terpenning, broken leg while skidding logs; Sam Higginson falls off a train car cutting his head; Franks Staley hit by flying rock from a blast; and the daughter of Rev. R. C. Moore injured when her horse falls and rolls over her.

p. 5 “’As Told in the Hills,’ a western melo-drama, is booked for the Opera House Tuesday evening, Jan. 31st.” Sincerity Clothes

Jan. 9, 1908, p. 5

’Billy’ Heffron is arranging a wrestling match between “Earl Rusho, a farmer residing between Newport and Spirit Lake, and Heinrich, the well-known professional from Spokane.”  The match was scheduled for the Opera House.

p. 5 “Poor old Spokane has had to bow to the inevitable, and beginning next Sunday the lid will be jammed down so hard that visitors will hardly recognize the town. Mayor Moore has issued an order calling for the closing of all saloons on Sunday and abolishing the notorious cribs and concert halls.”

Feb. 13, 1908, p. 1

“News of the Old Town” – An altercation is reported –  “One of the milkmen ran up against a rounder who thought he owned the town.  The rounder was flattened out by a couple of swift hard blows; so also was a showcase.  Damages about $3.  No arrests.”

Feb. 29, 1908

p. 3 “Neighborhood News” – “The work of crusading against disorderly houses and their inmates goes merrily on in Bonner county.”

p. 5 “Just Among Ourselves” “The new Stevens county jail at Colville does not seem to be entirely proof against breaking out of the detained.”  A prisoner escaped on Monday but was recaptured on Tuesday near Chewelah.

“The council has granted a license for a moving picture show, which will occupy the Opera House for an extended period…”

corsetp. 6 “Tiger Talk” – “The next meeting of the Bachelor’s Club will be at their air castle on Poverty Flat, located on Pitfall avenue, some time in the near future, to consider ways and means in which to encourage spinsters to make use of the privilege granted to them once every four years.  The club is in a healthy financial condition, with a cash capital of $0,000.01 in the treasury and all dues paid up to date.”

“Usk Items” – “Ole Olson was perambulating the streets of Usk this week.”

Feb. 27, 1908

p. 3 “News from the Metalines” – “Several strangers are in town today. Some of them are looking up a location for a saloon, a good sign that the town is on the boom.”

“Tiger Talk” – “Frank Schultz brought a sled load of people down from Yocum to the Socialist meeting at Renshaw’s hall.

And finally, an excerpt from some tongue in cheek poetry – “An invitation to the ‘Utterly Lost.’”

“Come and visit ‘mong us,

Bring your things and stay;

You’ll find no growth of fungus

Adown the Pon de Ray.”  (3rd stanza)

“Note [from the poet] – As the construction of the above may not meet the approval of a critical public,

My name is not appended,

For my muse has gone astray…”

The Newport Miner was digitized through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under the National Digital Newspaper Program.  The Miner and many other American newspapers can be found online at Chronicling America at the Library of Congress.

Additional newspapers for Washington can be found at Historic Newspapers at the Washington State Library’s web site.  The State Library is a Division of the Office of the Secretary of State.


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Clippings November 6, 2015 (published November 10, 2015)

November 10th, 2015 Marilyn Lindholm Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, News, Uncategorized, Updates Comments Off on Clippings November 6, 2015 (published November 10, 2015)

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Image courtesy North Pend Oreille Heritage collection

Library Clippings for the week of November 6, 2015


Construction at The Center
The Center project, slated to be an educational, social, cultural, and business hub for Whitman County located at the Whitman County Library in Colfax, is moving along. Fundraising continues for the project which is estimated will cost $504,450. (Whitman County Gazette, Colfax, 10/15/15)

Letters to the Editor

Our library is changing, much for the better (The Leader, Port Townsend, 10/14/15)

Why change the books on hold service? (Issaquah Press, Issaquah, 10/15/15)
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The former Washington State Library has been named to the National Register of Historic Places.

September 4th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Uncategorized Comments Off on The former Washington State Library has been named to the National Register of Historic Places.

Early last week we received the nepritchard buildingws that on August 3, 2015 the Pritchard Building, on Olympia’s Capitol campus (formerly the Washington State Library) had been named to the National Register of Historic Places.   This followed the already exciting designation on July 20th to the list of Washington State Heritage Register of Historic Places.

The Pritchard Building, which opened in January, 1959, was built during the administration of Governor Albert Rosellini, under the guidance of then State Librarian Maryan Reynolds.  It was designed by Paul Thiry a renowned architect and principal designer of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and was the last monumental building to be added to the West Capitol Campus.

“The architect, Paul Thiry, attracted some of the Pacific Northwest’s preeminent artists of the period: Kenneth Callahan, Mark Tobey and James Fitzgerald. Each created custom murals to adorn the public areas of the building. Kenneth Callahan’s abstract oil on canvas mural depicted the state’s history from the beginning of the Earth’s to an apocalyptic vision of the atomic age and completely wrapped the interior of the elegant Washington Room.  The Washington Room served as a repository for rare books and Pacific Northwest history materials separate from the general collections and government publications. Mark Tobey created a compact, 8-by-9-foot mural for the main-floor reading room. James Fitzgerald built a massive, 320-square-foot tile mosaic leading from a stairway to the lower level.”

The building won the 1963 Library Building Award, sponsored by the American Library Association, American Institute for Architects, and the National Book Commission.

The Pritchard Building served as the home of the Washington State Library until the 2001 Nisqually earthquake.  You can read more about this history of the Pritchard Building as well as other sites of the State Library on our website.

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Digitization grants awarded for Washington Rural Heritage, 2015-2016

July 14th, 2015 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized Comments Off on Digitization grants awarded for Washington Rural Heritage, 2015-2016

nesset0059From the desk of Evan Robb

Congratulations to the latest group of public libraries and heritage organizations recently awarded digitization grant through the Washington Rural Heritage program!

Over the next year Washington State Library staff will be working with these organizations to digitize unique, historically significant materials held in their collections. Awardees will be trained in all aspects of digitization, and their collections will be publicly hosted and digitally preserved through the Washington Rural Heritage website and digital repository.

The statewide digital collection currently provides access to photographs, documents, audio and video recordings, and digitized cultural objects from more than 100 Washington institutions. In addition, the project includes more than 300 family photo collections, making these previously inaccessible materials available freely to the public.

Below are this year’s grant recipients. To read about the details of each project, go to: http://www.sos.wa.gov/q/2015WRHAwards.

  • $5,000 – Asotin County Library in partnership with the Asotin County Museum.
  • $2,141 – Ellensburg Public Library.
  • $4,259 – Kettle Falls Public Library, Libraries of Stevens County.
  • $5,000 – La Conner Regional Library District, in partnership with the Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA) and Western Washington University Libraries, Special Collections.
  • $5,000 – Port Angeles Public Library, North Olympic Library System, in partnership with the Clallam County Genealogical Society.
  • $3,600 – Whitman County Library, in partnership with the Colfax Fire Department, Town of Farmington, and Washington State University Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections.

To learn more about participating in Washington Rural Heritage, contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian at [email protected].

imls-logo-2c.jpgWashington Rural Heritage is supported with Library Services and Technology Act funding provided by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services.

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