WA Secretary of State Blogs

WSL Updates for March 23, 2017

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for March 23, 2017

Volume 13, March 23, 2017 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:







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We have a budget! 2015-2017

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public | Comments Off on We have a budget! 2015-2017

From the desk of Rand Simmons, Washington State Librarian.

Kim Wyman addresses the library staffMonday, June 29 the Legislature approved a compromise 2015-2017 Operating Budget.  Governor Inslee signed it Tuesday, June 30, the final day of the fiscal year.  This action avoided a government shutdown on Wednesday, July 1. Secretary of State Kim Wyman wrote, “This means no shutdown, no unpaid furloughs and no service interruptions.  I’m happy for the citizens of Washington and for all of our amazing OSOS staff!”

The budget news for the State Library is FANTASTIC!  The Legislature approved HB 2195, the proposed $1 recording fee increase that funds the Heritage Account to support State Library operations.  Not only does the increase provide the money to backfill the projected $2.4 million shortfall in revenue, it also creates a much more permanent solution to the problem of facing continued shortfalls in future biennia – an ongoing, more stable funding source.

Wyman noted that the legislators seemed to like the Library 21 notion of expanding access to collections and information in new and tech-based ways.

The Legislature also provided $1.5 million to continue the Microsoft IT Academy, the online technology training provide through Washington libraries at no cost to the people of Washington.  Wyman observed “It is a real Library 21 success story in bringing digital literacy to more library-users through free online IT course work that can provide needed skills for job placement and advancement.”

State Librarian Rand Simmons stated, “We believe much of the Microsoft IT Academy funding can be included in the required ‘maintenance of effort’ needed to receive full federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding. This will help repair the damage done by reductions in state funding for the Library.”  LSTA dollars support programs and services the library offers to local community libraries.

Having made this her top legislative priority, Secretary Wyman was actively engaged in the budget process, met with legislators, and worked with House and Senate leaders during final budget negotiations to generate support for HB 2195. Deputy Secretary of State Greg Lane observed, “Without her personal involvement, our success simply would not have happened.”

Lane praised the efforts of State Library supporters which combined with Secretary Wyman’s strategy brought about success. The State Library begins the 2015-2017 biennium with funding level to that of the 2013-2015 appropriation. It’s a good thing.

High Hopes for 2012

Monday, April 23rd, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | Comments Off on High Hopes for 2012


AHCC Library

2011 saw many changes at the Airway Heights Corrections Center (AHCC). The institution changed to a closed movement facility and this has had a dramatic impact on library attendance. From what was a full library most movements has changed to about half our normal capacity.  

We started the year out with a Library Snapshot Day. Everyone had a blast and the atmosphere here was full of excitement. In February DOC started to make changes to increase security and for the next 6 months we were open and then closed due to lack of inmate clerks. Our budgets had been slashed so we started to feel the impact of that. Even with all the changes within DOC, the AHCC library has remained the center of activity. I still see all my regular patrons and reading remains high on the list of positive activities within the prison environment. 

In October, the AHCC branch library distributing the first book for our “AHCC Library Reads Together” program. We had our first session at the end of November and discussed Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. Since then the program has tripled in size and we have read The Skyfisherman by Craig Lesley and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. We are just starting our newest selection, Little Bee by Chris Cleave. This program is really having a positive impact. The inmates are talking about these books in their day rooms and the discussions in our group are amazing.  

I have high hopes for the AHCC library in 2012.

Donation from Muckleshoot Tribe is greatly appreciated in these tough times

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | Comments Off on Donation from Muckleshoot Tribe is greatly appreciated in these tough times

WCC Library ready to receive the books

 In these tough times it can be hard to stay positive. We wait for budget cuts to decide our fates and hope that book budgets will not disappear and libraries will not close.  However, there are encouraging things that are happening.  Not only did the inmates from Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) donate $1000 to their library, we received a $3000 donation from the Muckleshoot Native American Tribe for the library at Washington Corrections Center (WCC).  This donation has come at a time when we need it most and it will be greatly appreciated by the patrons of the library.  This will be a constant reminder to me that even in these tough times libraries are important and people are willing to support them.  So from now on I will be trying to stay positive and focus on the good things, not just worry about the bad.

$1000 Donation from inmates at WCCW

Friday, December 2nd, 2011 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | 1 Comment »

Doug Gelis, one happy librarian with $1000 donation

When the inmates at Washington Corrections Center for Women heard that my book budget was frozen ( again ) , they asked me if there was anything that they could do. I informed them that I could take donations. Soon after this the tier reps approached me and said they were going to do a fundraiser for the library. Last week I sent a check to Laura Sherbo for $1000.00 which is earmarked for the purchase of books for WCCW Library. A very big thank you goes out to all of the inmates at WCCW.