WA Secretary of State Blogs

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

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

Picture of a woman signing books

Book signing at the Washington State Book Awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three young girls smiling and holding a certificate

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

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

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

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


WSL Updates for May 18, 2017

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for May 18, 2017

Volume 13, May 18, 2017 for the WSL Updates mailing list

BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS: Topics include:



3) WIN $100 IN BOOKS




Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrate Teen Literature Day!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 Posted in State Library Collections, Washington Reads | Comments Off on Celebrate Teen Literature Day!

From the desk of Kathryn Devine

teen blog happy day
Every year, the Thursday of National Library Week, April 17th  this year, is set aside as Teen Literature Day.

Check out these teen books at the Washington State Library.



Meet Hannah West—smart, resilient, slightly sarcastic, and sometimes too
nosy for her own good.teen blog belltown towers cover

She’s a young Seattleite whose favorite pastimes include watching the Crime Network, Law & Order, Monk, Columbo, or any mystery show really.
All of which provide a solid education when she tries to untangle her first real mystery in her own (temporary) home in Hannah West in the Belltown Towers.

Not to give too much away—but there are missing paintings, a ubiquitous bike messenger, and a shady artist who may be involved.

This is a fun read peppered with references to Seattle locations and culture.
Linda Johns, author and librarian at the Seattle Public Library, has created a wonderful character to spend some time with.

teen blog deep water coverYou can follow Hannah’s other adventures, all set in the Seattle area:

Hannah West in Deep Water (2006)

Hannah West in the Center of the Universe (2007)

Hannah West on Millionaire’s Row (2007)



Here are a few other series for teens, also at the Washington State Library.0-545-22418-7

Dear America

1. West to a Land of Plenty 

2. Across the wide and lonesome prairie: the Oregon Trail Diary

3. The Fences Between Us (Kirby Larson) 


Carl Deuker Sports fiction for Teens teen blog high heat cover

1. On the Devil’s Court (1988)

2. Painting the black (1997)

3. Night hoops (2000)

4. High Heat (2003)

5. Runner (2005)

6. Gym Candy (2007)

7. Payback Times (2010)

Come and visit us, or browse the catalog, if you’re  looking for teen fiction written in or about the Pacific Northwest.


WSL Updates for April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for April 10, 2014

Volume 10, April 10, 2014 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:









The Libri Foundation is offering a limited number of special non-matching BOOKS FOR CHILDREN grants to libraries serving rural communities affected by recent hurricanes, floods, or other natural disasters. Libraries receiving these grants will be able to select $700 worth of new, quality, hardcover children’s books from the Foundation’s 600-title booklist. No local matching funds are required. Libraries will be qualified on an individual basis.

In general, county libraries should serve a population under 16,000 and town libraries should serve a population under 10,000 (usually under 5,000). Libraries should be in a rural area, have a limited operating budget, and an active children’s department. Please note: Rural is usually considered to be at least 30 miles from a city with a population over 40,000.

Application packets for these special grants may be requested by mail, telephone, or fax from The Libri Foundation. Applications must be postmarked by Thursday, May 15, 2014. Grants will be awarded Saturday, May 31, 2014. Information about the Disaster Relief Grants is available at www.librifoundation.org/relief.html. Contact information for the Libri Foundation may be found by visiting librifoundation.org.



America’s seniors have historically been late adopters to the world of technology compared to their younger compatriots, but their movement into digital life continues to deepen, according to newly released data from the Pew Research Center. The report, Older Adults and Technology Use, takes advantage of a particularly large survey to examine both technology use by Americans ages 65 or older compared to the rest of the population, as well as usage within the senior population.

Two different groups of older Americans emerge: The first group (which leans toward younger, more highly educated, or more affluent seniors) has relatively substantial technology assets, and also has a positive view toward the benefits of online platforms. The other (which tends to be older and less affluent, often with significant challenges with health or disability) is largely disconnected from the world of digital tools and services, both physically and psychologically.

As the internet plays an increasingly central role in connecting Americans of all ages to news and information, government services, health resources, and opportunities for social support, these divisions are noteworthy—particularly for the many organizations (such as libraries) and individual caregivers who serve the older adult population.

To read a summary of findings, or access the entire report, visit sos.wa.gov/q/Pew-Seniors.



It’s April – time to celebrate El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). Día is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. It is a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages, and cultures. As part of the celebrations, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA, is offering numerous free Día resources to download including:

  • Webinars;
  • Press Kits;
  • Día Family Book Club Toolkit;
  • Posters;
  • Resource Guide.

Register your 2014 programs at the new Día website and you will help build a searchable database that will enable you to share your program information with other librarians and members of the public interested in learning more about Día programs happening around the country. Libraries that register will also receive Día stickers, buttons and bookmarks (while supplies last).

For more information on Día and to add your program to the database, visit dia.ala.org.



Libraries and librarians have a powerful and positive impact on the lives of Americans on a daily basis. Their stories are key to communicating the value of libraries. National Library Week (April 13-19, 2014) is the perfect opportunity to encourage your community to tell the story of how the library has changed their lives. All participants will be entered into a grand-prize drawing for a Kindle Fire, so encourage your library lovers to start tweeting, snapping photos, and sharing their stories today by visiting sos.wa.gov/q/stories.

ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries has a variety of tools and ideas to help you promote the 2014 theme of “Lives change @ your library.” Promotional materials include a sample op-ed, proclamation, press release and scripts for use in radio ads. Visit ala.org/NLW.

National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use.



The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of ALA, is giving away 40 sets of the 2014 Teens’ Top Ten nominees to libraries in need. Qualified libraries can apply now through May 1 for a chance to win a set of the 2014 Teens’ Top Ten nominated titles. Individual library branches within a larger system are welcome to apply. For more information about the giveaway, and the Teens’ Top Ten, visit www.ala.org/yalsa/teenstopten.

The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Nominators are members of teen book groups in 16 school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Celebrate Teen Literature Day, the Thursday of National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Readers age 12 to 18 will vote online between August and Teen Read Week in October.

This year, new teen book groups will be selected to be the nominators for future Teens’ Top Ten lists. The book groups will serve during the 2015-2016 term. For more information and to apply, visit the Teens’ Top Ten website using the link above.



Monday, April 14:

  • ProQuest Research Library – With so many publications, how do you find the right one to search? (ProQuest); 11:00 – 11:30 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/PQ1017;
  • Common Core and ProQuest Resources (ProQuest); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/PQ1013;
  • eLibrary for Schools (ProQuest); 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/PQ1014;

Tuesday, April 15:

  • Introduction to the ProQuest Platform (ProQuest); 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/PQ1012;
  • Managing patron-initiated ILL requests in WorldCat Discovery (OCLC); 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/OCLC15Apr;
  • The Power of the PowerLink 4 Control Unit (AbleNet University); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/ANU15Apr;
  • Bozarthzone! Truth About Social Learning (InSync Training); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/BZ15Apr;
  • The Scoop on Series Nonfiction: What’s New for Spring 2014 (Booklist); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/BL15Apr;
  • The New Volunteer Manager’s Toolkit (VolunteerMatch); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/VM15Apr;
  • LGBTQ Book Buzz (Library Journal); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/LGBTQBuzz;
  • Beyond an Apple a Day: Providing Consumer Health Information at Your Library – Part 1 of 2 (Texas State Library); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/TSL15Apr;
  • ProQuest Research Library and K12 Central (ProQuest); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/PQ1015;
  • SIRS Discoverer (ProQuest); 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/PQ1016;

Wednesday, April 16:

  • NCompass Live: Killing Dewey (NCompass Live); 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/NComp16Apr;
  • Becoming a Valued Player: A Toolkit for Personal and Professional Success (AMA); 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/AMA16Apr;
  • QIAT (Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology) Session 8: Professional Development and Training in AT (Assistive Technology) (AbleNet University); 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. PST: sos.wa.gov/q/QIAT8;
  • Effective Strategic Planning Part 2: Plan Development & Implementation (4Good); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/4Good16Apr;
  • Andy Griffiths Book Talk (School Library Journal/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/SLJAndy;
  • WorldShare Management Services Live Demonstration: Print Collections (OCLC); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/OCLC16Apr;
  • From Baby to Preschooler: Early Childhood Health Resources (Infopeople); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/Info16Apr;
  • Grantwriters as Strategic Leaders: Your Crucial Role (4Good); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/4Good16AprPM;
  • Clinical Trials.gov (National Network of Libraries of Medicine, PNR, RML); 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/RML;

Thursday, April 17:

  • The Supercharged Management System (Heritage Preservation); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/HPSuper;
  • Creating Interactive Videos from Really Boring Talking Heads, Lectures and Demo Videos (Training Magazine Network); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/TMN17Apr;
  • Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants in the Classroom: What do Educators Need to Know? (AbleNet University); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/ANU17Apr;
  • Playing by the Rules: Creating an Effective Volunteer Handbook (VolunteerMatch); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/VM17Apr;
  • Ask the Expert: Everything You Wanted to Know about Nonprofit Tax Law (GuideStar); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/taxlaw;
  • Who’s Using WorldShare ILL Now? Practical advice from real users (OCLC); 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PDT: sos.wa.gov/q/OCLC17Apr;
  • Decision making: Crystal Ball or Magic 8 Ball? (Colorado State Library); 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PDT: cslinsession.cvlsites.org.


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Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For the Public, State Library Collections, WSL 160 | Comments Off on Invincible!


Capt. H.W. Johnson of the Invincible

From the desk of Steve Willis, Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library:

Last week we asked if any Between the Lines readers could help us in identifying the first of two ships that brought the Territorial Library collection from New York to San Francisco in 1853. The story of the second ship, the Tarquinia, which delivered the books in the final leg of the journey is well known, but the first ship has been a mystery to us.

Until now.

Rich Edwards, a retired WSL Program Manager for Technical Services and now serving as the Historian for the South Thurston County Historical Society, dove into the mystery and surfaced with the identity of the ship, the Invincible! Considering the history of WSL, that’s a very fitting name for the clipper that carried the embryonic library around the Horn.

The ship left New York on May 21, 1853 and arrived in San Francisco 110 days later.

According to Rich:

“I have undertaken this research and believe I have found an answer for you. Happy Birthday!

Daily Alta California, 26 September 1853, Page 2, column 5, Consignee Notices:

Consignees of the following goods, per ship Invincible, from New York, are hereby notified that if not called for on or before Monday, the 26th inst, sufficient of the same will be sold to pay freight and charges.


 Thirty-two cases books, marked Gen. J. J. Stevens, Olympia, Washington Territory, shipped by C.B. Norton, consigned to Major R.P. Hammond.

 Alsop & Co.

The same entry appears in the 24-25 September 1853 newspaper.

In the 12 September 1853 newspaper, there is this announcement:

Ship Invincible, from New York will commence discharging this day, Saturday, Sept 10th at Cunningham’s wharf. Consignees are requested to call at our office, pay freight, and receive orders or their goods. All merchandise left on the wharf after 5 o’clock P M, will be stored at the expense and risk of the owners thereof. Alsop & Co.

The same entry appears in the 23 September 1853 newspaper.

The Maritime Heritage Virtual Archives has an entry:


 1853 May 21 – September 9

 Sailed from New York to San Francisco in 110 days.


The Daily Alta California for September 10, 1853, page 2, column 5, section “Shipping Intelligence”:

Sept 9-Clipper ship Invincible, Johnson, 110 days fm New York, mdse to Alsop & Co; 4 pass.

 This confirms the ship left New York May 21st.

There is also a notice in the Daily Alta California on 17 August 1853, page 2, column 4, section “Spoken”:

June 1, lat 29 13, long 39 56, ship Invincible, from New York, (May 21).

 And here is a brief history: The Invincible was designed by William H. Webb (1816-1899) and built in his prolific New York shipyard in 1851. The 221 ft. clipper was owned by J. W. Phillips, and others, of New York and commanded by Captain H.W. Johnson for several years. Built for speed she was an ideal vessel for trade conducted with China at that time. She was lost by fire in New York Harbor in 1867. (Arthur Hamilton Clark The Clipper Ship Era: An Epitome of Famous American and British Clipper Ships, Their Owners, Builders, Commanders, and Crews, 1843-1869, New York and London 1910).”

Thank you, Rich! Looks like our 160 celebration is off to a great start!

The Voyage of the “Unknown Steamer”

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, WSL 160 | 1 Comment »


Governor Isaac Stevens

From the desk of Steve Willis, Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library:

160 years! And our flame continues to illuminate the world around us.

The Washington State Library is celebrating its 160th birthday in 2013. Why is this an important number? First, no other public cultural or educational institution in Washington can make this claim. And second, not only are we are still here but WSL staff continue to provide excellent access to the information needs of the people and libraries of The Evergreen State. And third, our story is the story of Washington Territory and State. We were here from the very start and have evolved with the times, consistently reflecting the history taking place around us.

So as we kick off a series of blogposts covering this event let us go back to the Organic Act of 1853, which created Washington Territory and included:

SEC. 17. And be it further enacted, That the sum of five thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be expended, by and under the direction of the Governor of Washington, in the purchase of a library, to be kept at the seat of government for the use of the Governor, legislative assembly, Judges of the Supreme Court, secretary, marshal, and Attorney of said Territory, and such other persons, and under such regulations, as shall be prescribed by law.


Millard FIllmore

The name of President Millard Fillmore usually evokes a snicker, but he was actually an important figure in our history since it was his signature that created Washington Territory. And yet, from what I can find, not one single political or geographic area is named in his honor here in Washington.

When Isaac Stevens was appointed the first territorial governor, among the many tasks he was charged with included the selection of the library. As our webpage states: “… Stevens purchased books from H. Bailliere of London and C.B. Norton and Co. of New York City; collected archival documents from all the states of the union; acquired the still unpublished Wilkes Expedition charts, having them printed by George F. Lewis of Philadelphia; and made arrangements for the casing and portage of these materials through vendors in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The first 2,000 books travelled by an unknown steamer.”

There’s more, but I’ll stop at the “unknown steamer” mention in order to present the first of many historical mysteries in the WSL story as we enlist the help of you readers and historians out there to participate in enriching our narrative.

The couple thousand or so volumes of the original Territorial Collection were loaded on the East Coast and made the journey around the tip of South America to San Francisco, where they changed ships. The brig Tarquinia, with the literary cargo, left the Bay Area and arrived in Olympia in October 23, 1853, a month before Stevens himself arrived via an overland route.


William Robertson

WSL librarian Hazel Mills back in the 1950s was the first to really start digging into the identity of the first ship, but the name of the craft has continually eluded researchers. We do have data on the second ship, the Tarquinia. It was built in Perth Amboy, NJ in 1844, a 90 ft. long two mast square-rigger and at the time of the library transfer was skippered by William Robertson (1809-1888), a native of Norfolk, Virginia, who later became the first lighthouse keeper on Whidbey Island. I find it fitting that the ship’s captain who delivered the first library collection to Washington later became someone who provided illumination for safe passage.

The Tarquinia was under consideration, as it turned out needlessly, by Olympia residents as a place of refuge during the conflicts with the Native Americans in 1856. Later that same year the ship went down in the Sea of Okhotsk while stuck in ice.

WSL still holds 400 titles (800 volumes) of the original Territorial Collection, as well as two globes that made the journey in 1853. Other additional Territorial volumes followed the State Law Library when they split from WSL a little over a century ago. So, hopefully I have presented a worthy research challenge to you marine historians out there. Anyone who can provide evidence of the name of the first ship would be giving WSL a great 160th birthday present!

Seattle Public Library, Down But Not Out

Thursday, January 24th, 2013 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For the Public, Random News from the Newspapers on Microfilm Collection, State Library Collections | Comments Off on Seattle Public Library, Down But Not Out

SPL 3From the desk of Steve Willis, Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library:

This week’s random article comes from the Jan. 5, 1901 issue of The Ballard News, published at a time when Ballard was an independent incorporated city. But the news itself is actually about Seattle, and the almost total destruction of the Seattle Public Library by fire on the evening where 1900 turned into 1901.

According to John Douglas Marshall’s book, Place of Learning, Place of Dreams (2004), SPL had struggled in the early years to find funding and a permanent home. On Jan. 12, 1899 the Library opened in the posh quarters of the Yesler mansion, and patron usage soared. But City Librarian Charles Wesley Smith expressed concern the enormous Victorian wooden structure was a fire hazard. The memories of Seattle’s great 1889 inferno were still fresh.

Smith’s fears were well founded. Practically the whole collection went up in smoke on the cusp of 1900/1901. Andrew Carnegie came to the rescue and in short order a fine new library was constructed. The cause of the fire was never fully explained. There was some feeling it was sparked by someone who wanted to force the issue of finding a secure home for SPL. One prominent Seattle educator even declared, “All glory to the man who applied the torch.”

This article was apparently originally published in the Seattle Mail and Herald. It is interesting how many of the points made in promoting the local library in 1901 remain valid over a century later:



 That Was Seattle’s Loss in Tuesday Night’s Fire

 “Ever since Seattle’s great fire the city has been learning to turn apparent evil into good and to make the most of her calamities. The same spirit which prompted her to rise up in the ashes of 1889 and build on new foundations the basis of a greater city than could ever have sprung from the old, will not desert her now, as she stands and looks in the ashes of what was, a few days since, the pride of every man, woman and child on Puget Sound,– the Seattle Public Library.”

“All are by this time acquainted with the fact that on New Year’s night the library, consisting of $35,000 worth of books and  paraphernalia, was destroyed by fire.”

“Until this calamity few people had known in just what an exalted position they held this institution; but the calamity has appealed more directly to the people than would the destruction of any other institution, public or private, in the city, with the possible exception of the University.”

“A public library such as this, is of incalculable value to any city in which it is located. A public library operated in such a satisfactory way as was this one is, we believe, of as much value to the city as the churches combined.”

“The Seattle Library had 8,200 patrons, and it may be safely calculated on the basis of five readers for every card– more than 40,000 readers.”

“It had an average of 2,500 visitors daily. The number going in and out of the library building on last Thanksgiving day, aggregated 3,000.”

“There is another fact– and it is important– that hundreds and even thousands of men and girls, who had not decent rooms or apartments, spent all their leisure time in the library. Now that the establishment is destroyed and temporarily inaccessible, they are seen walking listlessly about the streets or lounging in clubs or saloons– for they are out of a home. These, and the further fact that education and high ideals are the acknowledged solution to the problem of crime, are some of the reasons urged why the Seattle Public Library was of such vital importance to the city. Outside of all other argument there is the fact that no other city of Seattle’s size could afford to be without a well equipped complete library.”

“We desire to commend the Library committee of the city council upon their prompt and decisive action. It seems that they have no other thought in mind than that the city must at once proceed, not only to place the library back in even a better state than before, but more important than all else, to purchase a site, forthwith, and construct a fireproof library building that will answer for all time.”

“This is as it should be. Seattle is not a city of ephemeral hopes and iridescent booms. She is building for all time. Mr. Smith, the man who has conducted to such perfect satisfaction, the affairs of the City Library for so many years, has been working for two years past to this one end– a permanent library building for Seattle. The city can afford to take up the matter at once,– rather, it can not afford not to, and we are glad to be able to inform our readers that the committee will report to this effect to the city council.”

“The locations being considered as most desirable are, we are informed, the present site and the old University grounds. It is not known that either of these is available at reasonable figures, but they, together with others, are under contemplation of the committee.”

Banned Books Week 2012

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 Posted in Articles, For the Public, News | Comments Off on Banned Books Week 2012

The American Library Association (ALA) celebrates Banned Books Week from September 30th to October 6th.  Banned Books Week celebrates its 30th year raising awareness about censorship and intellectual freedom by highlighting each state (including Washington) and its history of intellectual freedom.  ALA has also created a YouTube site that features book lovers reading passages from their favorite banned books.

The Washington State Library celebrates Banned Books Week by informing everyone that many Washington libraries have policies on intellectual freedom, and all should have a collection development policy that guides what books the library will purchase.  In addition, most libraries also have policies and procedures for patrons to voice their complaints regarding materials present in the library’s collection.  These complaints are then normally presented to the library director or library board to determine the appropriateness of the complaint based on the collection development policy.  If you are curious about what your libraries policies are, give them a call or visit their website; libraries freely offer this information to all that ask.

The most commonly banned books may not be items one would normally guess.  Many of them are considered classics, or are books written primarily for children or young adults.  ALA publishes a list every year of the most frequently banned books.  The top ten for 2011 are as follows:

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
  4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
For more information on Banned Books Week Please visit these sites:

ALA Banned Books websites:





Celebrate Book Lovers Day!

Thursday, August 9th, 2012 Posted in Articles, For the Public | 2 Comments »

Today, August 9, is said to be Book Lovers Day. I can’t find out much about the origins or history of this “holiday,” but it’s all over the web, so it must be true, right?! ☺ Also, I heard it on my local NPR station this morning.

I thought I’d celebrate the occasion by posting this picture I took in the Ft. Vancouver High School Library Media Center a while back. The picture features one of my favorite book quotes, which happens to be from poet Emily Dickinson:

There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away.

Ft. Vancouver High School Library Media Center 18

I love books, and I love reading, so this is definitely MY day. I hope it’s your day, too!

If anyone knows anything more about Book Lovers Day, please feel free to post a comment.

Happy Book Lovers Day, everyone!

Proof that libraries are swinging places

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, News | 1 Comment »

Dancing through the stacks

This  prize winning tap dancing video was filmed at the Mill Creek branch of the Sno-Isle libraries. Enjoy!