WA Secretary of State Blogs

Washington Libraries Shine in eBook Checkouts

Thursday, January 9th, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, News, Technology and Resources | Comments Off on Washington Libraries Shine in eBook Checkouts

One Million Digital Checkouts Club Official Members 2013

Two Washington libraries are in OverDrive’s 2013 Million Digital Checkouts Club. The King County Library System (KCLS) actually led the way with the most OverDrive digital checkouts of any library system worldwide! Seattle Public Library (SPL) was also in the club, at position number 6. OverDrive recently published the numbers (see below) on their blog.

OverDrive is a vendor which libraries frequently use to provide access to downloadable digital content, especially eBooks and eAudiobooks. Here are the 2013 members of OverDrive’s Million Digital Checkouts Club:

Last year, only two libraries broke the 1 million mark in digital circulation, but the number one both years was KCLS. We posted the top five for 2012 here on the blog last March. SPL was number 4 in 2012.

Here at the Washington State Library we also have the privilege of managing an OverDrive consortium for a group of smaller libraries, most of whom could not afford to offer this service to their patrons on their own. Going in together, these 39 libraries provide the Washington Anytime Library, also powered by OverDrive, and partially subsidized with federal LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) funds administered by IMLS (The Institute for Museum and Library Services). The group calls itself the Washington Digital Library Consortium (WDLC).

The 39 WDLC libraries serve a combined population of 725,362 which is less than King County’s 1,362,870, but more than Seattle’s 616,500. But, the group has a way to go to make it into the same league as KCLS and SPL, at least in terms of digital checkouts. In 2013, the Washington Anytime Library had 380,000 checkouts, compared to 216,000 in 2012. Still, that’s a 76% annual increase, compared to the 22-25% increases shown by the larger systems. So look out big guys, the WDLC is on your tail!

Congratulations to all of these libraries for staying relevant by offering eBooks and eAudiobooks to their eager patrons, who love to read, whether in digital formats, or in traditional print. It will be fascinating to track how these numbers continue to increase in years to come!

Washington Libraries Lead in eBook Circulation

Thursday, March 14th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, News | 1 Comment »


OverDrive, one of the most popular public library eBook and eAudiobook vendors, recently announced its “Library eBook Leaders” for 2012. Two Washington libraries ranked in the top 5!

King County Library System (KCLS) was Number 1 in eBook and other digital title circulation, with Seattle Public Library (SPL) not far behind, in the Number 4 spot. Here’s a listing of the top 5, with the circ numbers:

1. King County Library System, Wash. (1.3 million checkouts)

2. New York Public Library (1.1 million checkouts)

3. Toronto Public Library (900,000 checkouts)

4. Seattle Public Library (850,000 checkouts)

5. Hennepin County Library, Minn. (750,000 checkouts)

Congratulations to KCLS & SPL for leading the North American continent in eBook circulation!

Sammamish Library is LJ Landmark!

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public | Comments Off on Sammamish Library is LJ Landmark!

Congratulations to the King County Library System‘s Sammamish Library, which has been selected as one of Library Journal’sLandmark Libraries” for 2011! Read the full citation here. The rest of the winners and honorable mentions are here.

Washington State has Two New "Movers and Shakers"

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, News | Comments Off on Washington State has Two New "Movers and Shakers"

Library Journal March 15, 2010: Movers & Shakers 2010Anyone who works in libraries in Washington State knows that there is a whole lot of moving and shaking going on. I can’t think of a library staff-person I’ve met in my work who hasn’t been completely dedicated to their jobs and offering 150% to provide their users the best possible service.

So when Library Journal takes the time to honor two of these individuals in the ranks of their 2010 Movers and Shakers, it’s a tribute to the hard work that all of us do every day. Keep up the good work, and remember that it’s never too early to start nominating your library’s superstar staff for the 2011 Movers and Shakers list.

In the meantime, congratulations (and well-deserved!) to Washington’s newest Movers and Shakers!

Georgia Lomax, Deputy Director @ Pierce County Library System

Bernadette Salgado, Children’s Section Supervisor @ King County Library System

Ask-WA(tch): Stats, Kudos and Comments for Dec 2009

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 Posted in Articles, For Libraries | 2 Comments »

Ask-WA Statistics – December, 2009

December Survey Comments WordcloudDecember tends to be a slower month for Ask-WA, mainly because academic traffic drops off so sharply during the holiday breaks. In numbers:

  • Email questions received: 3319
  • Chat sessions requested: 3474
  • Chat sessions accepted: 2883
  • Qwidget requests (% of total): 791 (22.8%)

On a positive note, our answering percentage rose from its dangerously low 74% last month up to 83% in December, which is ideal. The best part is that this higher ratio is due to every cooperative maintaining a good ratio in December (as opposed to one group doing super-well and raising the rest up). Qwidget requests, as a percentage, rose from November to come back up to their average 20-25% level.

The word cloud highlights some of the most-used words left in survey comments throughout December. Some great words this month include: amazing, awesome, prompt, kind, helpful, useful, and wonderful.

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KCLS Gets Attention for Staffless “Library”

Thursday, December 10th, 2009 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, News | 1 Comment »

http://www.kcls.org/libraryexpress/images/redmondridge.jpgKing County Library System (KCLS) has been getting quite a bit of attention the last few days for its staffless library branch.

It started on LJ – http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6710470.html

“So, how to expand library service on a tight budget? Some libraries have tried vending machines (such as the Go Library/Library-a-Go-Go) or kiosks. The King County Library System (KCLS), WA, just opened an unstaffed 300-square-foot Library Express @ Redmond Ridge, in partnership with the Redmond Ridge Residential Owners Association.

“The new mini-branch was inspired by a survey of community residents; some 95 percent said they would rather pick up their holds in a nearby unstaffed library than drive to a full-service library. Redmond Ridge is a 1,228-unit master-planned community.”

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New digital collection: Vashon Island Heritage

Friday, December 4th, 2009 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public | 2 Comments »

Tad Burd and Martha Bates Vashon College 1892 Vashon College Interior, 1900(?) Tad Burd 1924

The Washington Rural Heritage initiative is pleased to announce our newest digital collection: Vashon Island Heritage.  A project of the Vashon Library (King County Library System) and the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Association, the collection documents life on the island from the late 1800s through the 1960s. Four sub-collections make up the collection:

  • Journals & Memoirs features local histories such as Marjorie Rose Stanley’s Search for Laughter and Bill Rendall’s Memoirs of Maury Island. Our favorite item in this sub-collection is a scrapbook documenting a mother and daughter’s 1923 move from Michigan to Paradise Cove on Vashon Island.  Florence Harger Burd painstakingly recorded her daughter Tad’s early years in this scrapbook, which includes photos, letters, artwork, and a journal narrating their day-to-day activities. Here’s a good place to begin exploring this large scrapbook.
  • Maps and Periodicals includes maps from c.1895 through the 1920s, and some of the Island’s earliest newspapers and publications. During the 1930s Islander Janet Haugen founded a monthly magazine called the Nor’Wester, which featured many stories of Vashon’s pioneers and farmers.  Here’s a Nor’Wester story about one of those early pioneers.
  • Vashon’s First Peoples documents the S’Homamish people of Vashon Island. It includes images of traditional tools and baskets on display at the Vashon Heritage Museum, and details life on the Island prior to S’Homamish removal to the Puyallup Reservation.  Born in a longhouse on Quartermaster Harbor in the 1840s, native S’Homamish Lucy Gerand would later provide vital information regarding the island’s native population and traditional place names. Here are some of those names, told by Lucy to anthropologist T.T. Waterman in 1922.
  • Vashon College (1892-1912) includes photos and memorabilia documenting the first college on Vashon Island, which operated from 1892-1912, when fire destroyed key buildings (Vashon College resumed operation as a Washington State nonprofit in 2005, and contributed material for this digital collection).

A big thanks to our participants at the Vashon Library and Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Association for their hard work digitizing and cataloging these materials!

stone maul Faculty Vashon College 1892 Inner Quartermaster Harbor Bill Rendall 1885

Clippings, June 10, 2009

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, News, Updates | Comments Off on Clippings, June 10, 2009

Clippings, June 10, 2009

Visitors to the Richland Public Library should expect to spend extra time locating and checking out books today and Wednesday while the library installs a new automated system (Tri-City Herald [Kennewick], 5.19.09) http://www.tri-cityherald.com/kennewick_pasco_richland/story/583304.html

Tenino Timberland Library, a part of the Timberland Regional Library System, is looking for a special volunteer to serve on the library board. If interested in serving the community as a member of the library board, pick up an application at the Tenino Timberland Library and return by May 31st. (Tenino Independent, 5.20.09)

After spending $10 million during four years of planning, the vision of state officials for a majestic state Heritage Center is fading and its future existence in doubt as hard economic times forced reconsideration of the project. Although its future is uncertain, Gov. Gregoire downplayed any second guessing of the way the project has been handled so far. (Daily Journal of Commerce [Seattle], 5.28.09)

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Clippings, June 5, 2009

Friday, June 5th, 2009 Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, News, Updates | Comments Off on Clippings, June 5, 2009

Clippings, June 5, 2009

The Clark County Historical Museum – housed in a former library – is heading up “Mr. Carnegie’s Grand Tour of Washington.”  The tour is designed as a theme for family road trips and to bring visitor traffic to heritage sites around the state.  Washington’s Carnegie library cities include: Auburn, Anacortes, Burlington, Edmonds, Goldendale, Pasco, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Ritzville, Seattle (six sites), Snohomish, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, and Walla Walla.  (Photo)  (Columbian [Vancouver], 5.31.09) http://columbian.com/article/20090531/NEWS02/705319970/


Malden voters will be asked this November whether or not they want the town annexed into the Whitman County’s Rural Library District.  If voters approve the annexation, a library tax will be levied against property owners.  This year the library levy was just over $.45 per $1,000 assessed value.  (Whitman County Gazette [Colfax], 5.14.09)


The Burien Library (King County Library System) opens June 13 at the Burien Town Square.  (Highline Times/Des Moines News [Burien], 5.13.09)

With a construction project looming to expand the Coupeville Public Library (Sno-Isle Libraries), Sno-Isle Library officials are finishing up a deal for a temporary home starting this summer.  (Whidbey News-Times [Oak Harbor], 5.13.09) http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/whidbey/wnt/news/44838997.html

Battle Ground celebrates its new library (Fort Vancouver Regional Library) with a grand opening.  At 13,000 square feet, it’s more than three times bigger than the library it’s replacing, a 50-year old facility on the campus of Battle Ground High School.  (Photos)  (Columbian [Vancouver], 5.30.09) http://columbian.com/article/20090530/NEWS02/705309964/

Work is under way to clear the lot in downtown Vancouver for the future 83,000-square foot, $38 million main library (Fort Vancouver Regional Library).  It is set to open mid-2011.  (Vancouver Business Journal, 5.29.09) http://www.vbjusa.com/stories/2009-05-29/like_a_good_neighbor.html

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Clippings, May 29, 2009

Friday, May 29th, 2009 Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, News, Updates | Comments Off on Clippings, May 29, 2009

Clippings, May 29, 2009

The Seattle Public Library has expanded its Web site to offer more information for its Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish-speaking readers. The site will also contain information, written in different languages, about programs and materials that the library offers.  (Northwest Asian Weekly [Seattle], 5.2.09)

The Maple Valley Library (King County Library System) invites you to join the Library Guild.  The Guild’s mission is to support programs for children, teens, and adults at the Maple Valley Library.  If interested, attend a monthly meeting on the first Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at the library.  (Voice of the Valley [Maple Valley], 5.5.09)

The deaf and hearing impaired can now place a free call at the Monroe Library (Sno-Isle Libraries) using a videophone.  (The Daily Herald [Everett], 5.5.09) http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20090505/NEWS01/705059870


The Hilborn Studio is to be torn down to make way for the new Vancouver Community Library.  (Photo)  (Columbian [Vancouver], 5.21.09) http://columbian.com/article/20090521/NEWS02/705219946/-1/NEWS

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