WA Secretary of State Blogs

WSL Updates for March 8, 2014

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, Institutional Library Services, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for March 8, 2014

Volume 14, March 8, 2018 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:









A new round of grant funding from the Washington State Library (WSL) is available to support Washington libraries in carrying out a variety of digital initiatives related to archival and special collections. Public, academic (two and four year colleges and universities), and tribal libraries are eligible to submit applications. Institutions may also use this grant opportunity to develop Washington Rural Heritage collections.

Proposals may include or involve:

  • Digitization/reformatting of archival and special collections;
  • Metadata creation, remediation/cleanup, and/or re-cataloging;
  • Development of local standards, practices, and/or policies related to digitization, metadata creation, digital preservation, etc.;
  • Creation of born-digital multimedia content (e.g., oral histories, digital exhibits);
  • Integration of primary sources or archival collections into educational settings by way of lesson plans/curricula, and/or Open Educational Resources (OERs).

Overall funding to support this grant cycle is $80,000 with a limit of $8,000 per award. We anticipate that ten (10) or more applicants may receive awards. Details:

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian, at 360-704-5228 or [email protected] for questions and to discuss potential projects.



The Washington State Library has the following titles available to redistribute to libraries in Washington State:

  • Forget Sorrow, by Belle Yang – 12 copies
  • Motherless Brooklyn, by Jonathan Lethem – 9 copies
  • Atonement, by Ian McEwan – 10 copies
  • Gemini, by Carol Cassella – 12 copies
  • While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent into Madness, by Eli Sanders – 34 copies

A minimum of five copies per order is required. They can be a mix and match of titles. This is a first come, first serve process. Place your order at blogs.sos.wa.gov/book-sharing. Questions? Please contact Leanna Hammond: [email protected].



How can small, rural libraries transform their communities? Find out at this full day, experiential workshop, Community Engagement Training: Turning Outward to Lead Change. Participants will learn how to create community-based libraries by identifying local resources, improving communication with stakeholders and “turning outward,” using tools developed by the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation.

Join Amber Williams, from the Spokane County Library District, and Erica Freudenberger, from the Southern Adirondack Library System, to adapt and customize a roadmap to engage your community, build the capacity of your library, and incorporate the tools used by the American Library Association’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative. Libraries are invited to send a team consisting of library staff, trustees, and/or community leaders.

By the end of the workshop, participants will confidently:

  • Use free tools, such as the Ask, Aspirations and Community Conversation, to gather public knowledge;
  • Assess public needs;
  • Use community-based decision-making to inform library services;
  • Utilize the free resources available through ALA.org/LTC.

There are three locations and dates for this important and transformative training experience, which will run from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. each day:

  • April 16, 2018: Pierce County Library Administrative Center, Tacoma;
  • April 18, 2018: Wenatchee Public Library;
  • April 19, 2018: Ritzville Public Library.

Don’t miss out! Register now.



PNR Rendezvous is a monthly webinar series presented by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Northwest Region. Each session focuses on various topics such as health, research, resources, librarianship, and technology for attendees to incorporate into their work.

The Washington State Library operates a network of eleven libraries in state hospitals and prisons. The March session of PNR Rendezvous will provide an overview of institutional library services in Washington State, including history, challenges, and information regarding services for hospitalized and incarcerated populations. Presenters are Anna Nash, Institutional Librarian, and Kathleen Benoun, Library Associate, Washington State Library. Mark your calendar now.




The Institute of Museum and Library Services is accepting applications for projects that support libraries and archives serving Native Americans and Native Alaskans. Applications for Native American Library Services Enhancement Grants are due May 1, 2018.

Native American Library Services Enhancement Grants augment existing library services or implement new library services for eligible Native American libraries. Successful grant projects will align with one of three project categories:

  • Preservation and Revitalization;
  • Educational Programming;
  • Digital Services.

To learn more, interested applicants may participate in a series of webinars. Next up: Enhancement Grant Accountability Paperwork (Budgets and Performance Measures), Tuesday, March 13, 11:00 a.m. PDT.

Read the entire press release for additional information.



Monday, March 12

Tuesday, March 13

Wednesday, March 14

Thursday, March 15

Friday, March 16


DISCLAIMER: The State Library regularly highlights third-party events and online resources as a way to alert the library community to training and resource opportunities. By doing so, we are not endorsing the content of the event, nor promoting any specific product, but merely providing this information as an FYI to librarians who must then decide what is right for them.

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Perceptiveness through Poetry

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services | Comments Off on Perceptiveness through Poetry

From the desk of Anna Nash

Every year I look forward to April because it’s National Poetry Month. It is my favorite time for programming in the Institutional Library Services branches. The talent I see each year is at time overwhelming. It is a labor of love. We arrange workshops, presentations, and open mics and in return we get to listen to and read truly amazing poetry.

I don’t think I can say it any better than I did in when we released our first collection of Percipience: A collection of poems from the Institutional Library Services Poetry Month April 2014. Below is the intro to that collection:

 Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.

― Carl Sandburg

When I hosted my first poetry program two years ago I didn’t realize how powerful poetry could be. Poetry is many things to many people. Some may find comfort in hearing or reading poetry that expresses their feelings. Some may use it as a vehicle to express what might be otherwise inexpressible. It is, above all, expression. Language, verbal and written communication, can be frustratingly limiting. Poets are those who are able to use that frustration. They manipulate language; the words, the cadence, the pronunciation, and spelling to communicate what other can only think or feel.

I chose the title Percipience because it means good understanding of things; perceptiveness. The authors represented in this book have a good understanding of their subject. Hopefully the reader will experience their own understanding and perception of the works presented.

I have seen great talent in the events I have hosted in the institutional libraries. Performances, great performances, by some I have never heard talk before. Others who never stop talking have performed thoughtfully constructed subtle poetry that beautifully articulates love, or pain, or anger or all three. One of the greatest revelations I had was that we are surrounded by poets. Not people who write poetry, poets.

It was a great undertaking to transcribe nearly 150 poems from 11 institutional libraries. It gave me a chance to read and appreciate each one. I hope I have done all the poets around the state justice. Thank you to everyone, patrons and staff, who participated in the first Institutional Library Services Poetry Month. I look forward to seeing and hearing all the poetry our patrons produce in the future.

I want to once again thank the poets and artist from the prisons and state hospitals in Washington who have contributed in past years. Thank you for trusting us with your poetry and art work. I am so incredibly happy to announce that this year’s edition of Percipience will be published AND we will be expanding our collection of artwork from Eastern and Western State Hospitals!

We have copies of our two collections of Percipience the 2014 edition and the 2015/2016 edition in each of our branch libraries and available digitally right here. Print copies of Percipience will be available for purchase for the first time this year as well as a digital copy available for free. Stay tuned for more information on how and when to purchase your copy of Percipience 2017!

Disclaimer –we are unable to profit off of the sales of Percipience 2017. Our goal is to provide a platform to the artist and poets in our branch libraries. Your purchase and/or download of Percipience gives them an audience. Thank you!

Dogs in the library, normalizing life for inmates.

Thursday, November 10th, 2016 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.


Stafford Creek’s Favorite Author, Garth Stein, Visits Yet Again!

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stafford Creek’s Favorite Author, Garth Stein, Visits Yet Again!

From the desk of Karen S. Diehm, Secretary Senior, Stafford Creek Corrections Center

Write fat, edit lean – Garth Stein


SCCC’s Library crew with Garth Stein (L-R): Clerks Harold E., Jacob M., and Nate H., stand with Stein, Program Manager Laura Sherbo, and SCCC Librarian Jeannie Remillard stand to the right.

On Friday, May 8th, 2015 Garth Stein made his 3rd visit to Stafford Creek Corrections Center (SCCC) . We think he’s beginning to like it here!

We originally invited Garth to SCCC due to his novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, which is narrated by a dog. This beautiful book has over 4 million copies in print and was on the New York Times bestselling novel list for 3 years! Garth graciously accepted our invitation, met with the Freedom Tails handlers and dogs, and proceeded to discuss the book with program volunteers. With some cajoling from the handlers, Garth agreed to come back for a book read which involved the general population and was an overwhelming success.

Recently, when we contacted Garth, he was happy to visit SCCC for another book read. Not only that, but he donated all the books! This time, How Evan Broke His Head and Other Secrets was introduced to the SCCC’s general population. The theme of this novel is based around a man who has found out, long after the fact, that he has a 14 year old son. There are many offenders who have been in, or are in, this situation, so it made for a great novel of choice. garth stein

While discussing the book, many other questions came to light – especially on the art of writing itself. Stein informed his audience that the first and foremost rule of writing is: “There is no rule”. Questions abounded from the offenders ranging from dialog tagging, point of view, the voice, and the process. One by one, Garth answered all questions – and of course more questions ensued. One point Stein stressed to the offenders was: “The easiest thing to do in the world is to not write. The hardest thing to do is write – and, it’s easy to find excuses not to write.”

Among the questions asked, many offenders wanted to know how to deal with editing your work. Garth explained that is was necessary to get people you trusted and who would give you honest feedback, but to keep in mind that “other people can tell you where you went wrong, but they can’t fix it. Only the writer can fix it.”

scccAs usual, Stein’s visit was an overwhelming success. Everyone at SCCC truly appreciated him taking the time to come share his talent and knowledge, and we look forward to him coming for another book read in the future!

Got CDs?

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Got CDs?

photo by Eelke de Blouw https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

photo by Eelke de Blouw https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

CDs… do people still use CDs or is all music “consumed” digitally these days?  Across the state, people are cleaning out their CD collections and think that these “dinosaurs” are no longer viable.  But wait… we have an audience in Washington who will gratefully, happily and enthusiastically take those CDs off your hands.  One of the more popular items in WSL’s Institutional libraries, the library branches in our prisons and state hospitals, are the CDs.  The inmates and patients do not have access to streaming music or digital players so CDs are an excellent alternative.  We are always on the lookout for donations of CDs so if you or anyone you know are cleaning out their music please keep the State Library in mind.

Donations may be sent to:

Washington State Library (attention Laura Sherbo)

6880 Capitol Blvd SE

Tumwater, WA 98504

Why Do We Need a State Library?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services, Library 21 Initiative, News, Public Services, State Library Collections, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library | Comments Off on Why Do We Need a State Library?

Slice of Advocate headerTo quote a prominent library administrator: “Every library is designed to serve a specific community:

  • Public libraries serve the people of a specific city or county.
  • Academic libraries serve the faculty, staff, and students of a specific college or university.
  • School libraries serve the students and teachers of a specific school.
  • Medical libraries serve doctors, nurses, and patients at a specific hospital.
  • Law libraries serve the attorneys and staff of a specific law firm.

Each library is designed to add value to the specific community that it serves.”

The Washington State Library (WSL) is none of the above. Its broad mission is to collect and preserve materials of value for the entire State of Washington.

This theme is developed in the current issue of the WLFFTA newsletter, the Advocate. WLFFTA stands for Washington Library Friends, Foundations, Trustees & Advocates, and is an interest group of the Washington Library Association.

The current issue of the Advocate focuses on the Washington State Library and some of its key services and programs. It also highlights the precarious budget situation in which the State Library currently finds itself. Read the entire newsletter at http://sos.wa.gov/q/AF2014.


Sharon Brewer Receives her 30 year pin

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | 3 Comments »

Rand giving Sharon her 30 year pin 2012

Sharon has worked for Washington State Library for 30 years.  She has been shuffled around several times as lay offs impacted her positions, but she has never lost heart.  She contines to do her best work now at  the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton.

Library Memories

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | Comments Off on Library Memories

Libraries are the setting for many good memories, and over the next few weeks, Washington State Library’s Institutional Library Services staff would like to share a few of their memories about libraries.  Some of them will date back to childhood, others will tell stories of their own children or grandchildren, but all of them show the impact libraries have had on our lives. I wish you happy reading as we bring you our memories.

Grateful for Another Day

Thursday, February 16th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | Comments Off on Grateful for Another Day

Western State Hospital Library

The last few years have been difficult for all due to the state of the economy.  In spite of shrinking budgets and the uncertainty of the future, the staff in Institutional Library Services have lived up to their mission by continuing to serve their customers “with spirit and fortitude”. Over the next few weeks ILS will be sharing what they have been thankful for in the year 2011 and how they look forward to 2012.  Please check out the upcoming posts from the library staff in the prisons and psychiatric hospital libraries across the state.

Author of Sisters Brothers visits Coyote Ridge Corrections Center

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Author of Sisters Brothers visits Coyote Ridge Corrections Center

Patrick deWitt

Sisters Brothers is a book about two brothers from gold-rush era Oregon and California who are employed as henchmen. They ride horses, camp out on the trail, try to gather clues about their target, and eventually uncover a lot more than they probably wanted to know about him. What starts out as a simple job becomes something more fantastic, and the two become entangled in the life of a man they set out to eliminate.

As I was reading this book last summer, I noticed the author, Patrick deWitt, was local to the Pacific Northwest, and I immediately thought to ask if he would visit Coyote Ridge for a reading. I wanted this particular author to read from this particular book. Sisters Brothers is modern, funny, and easy to read, but also thought-provoking. I felt that inmates might relate to all the characters in the book on some level, not just the hired killers but also the side characters who display a variety of weaknesses that make them human.

To my surprise, Patrick was immediately agreeable and enthusiastic about the idea. He told me he had been wanting to do some sort of work with inmates related to books and writing. He arrived on November 30, 2011, and read from Sisters Brothers for about thirty minutes to an audience of forty inmates. Many of those who attended said they had never been to a live author reading before. There was a seemingly endless supply of questions about the book, writing, publishing. Some had read the book prior to the event and had complex questions about the themes and characters. Others were interested in learning how to improve their own writing, or the process of getting a book published. Patrick patiently answered all the questions, never departing from his kind and gracious demeanor, until the time ran out. He even volunteered to take the unanswered questions, written on slips of paper, and answer them by email after he returned home.

Patrick has written two books and is working on a third.