WA Secretary of State Blogs

WSL Updates for January 26, 2017

Thursday, January 26th, 2017 Posted in For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for January 26, 2017

Volume 13, January 26, 2017 for the WSL Updates mailing list

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The Washington State Library is offering a free, 3-hour, hands-on course designed to teach the following skills:

  • Using email formats to create clarity;
  • Understanding and utilizing the general and courteous “rules of engagement” when composing or replying to email;
  • Performing an audience analysis prior to writing;
  • Composing email that clearly communicates desired actions (e.g., approval, commitment, providing information, etc.);
  • Recognizing and stopping inappropriate, emotional, or harmful email threads;
  • Essential proofreading for tone, punctuation, and grammar.

Identical morning and afternoon sessions will be offered at four locations throughout the month of February:

  • Thursday, February 2, 2017: King County Service Center, 960 Newport Way NW, Issaquah;
  • Tuesday, February 14, 2017: Pierce County Service Center, 3005 112th St E, Tacoma;
  • Thursday, February 16, 2017: Fort Vancouver Regional Library. 1007 Mill Plain Blvd, Vancouver;
  • Thursday, February 23, 2017: Spokane City Library, 906 W Main Ave.

Visit www.sos.wa.gov/q/email for exact times, and to register.



The Washington State Library received many wonderful entries to this year’s 2nd Annual Historical Zine Contest and the choices were tough, but here are the winners:

  • Grades 4-6: The Grand Coulee Dam, Anna Riley, 4th grade (Bainbridge Island);
  • Grades 7-9: Women’s Rights & Wonder Women from Washington’s Past, Janisa Cook, 7th grade (Bothell);
  • Grades 10-12: Pike Place Market, Adrian Poslednik, 12th Grade (Steilacoom);
  • Adult: 721 Seventeenth Avenue: A Love (Hi)Story, Amanda Demeter (Seattle).

Each winner will receive $75, a certificate of participation and their Zine will be added to the Washington State Library Zine Manuscript Collection. For more information, visit sos.wa.gov/q/Zine.



Remember that “Most Likely to Succeed” award in high school? If you have gone back to a high school reunion you know how unpredictable life’s ups and downs can be. The same holds for community change initiatives. Often it’s the unexpected scrappy little rag-tag groups that succeed. You can dream about change and take your chances on stumbling into just the right partnerships and circumstances, or you can attempt to engineer it.

A new report from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Reinvestment Fund provides insights for libraries and museums to connect with their communities in newer and deeper ways. Produced as part of the Community Catalyst initiative, the 59-page report is a handbook for libraries and museums to position themselves as critical sites within broader social and institutional networks that support community well-being. The report includes case studies and a discussion of conceptual frameworks that can guide libraries, archives, and museums that seek to spark catalytic change in their communities. The report’s full title is “Strengthening Networks, Sparking Change: Museums and Libraries as Community Catalysts.”

For more information and to download the report, use this link: sos.wa.gov/q/spark.



On behalf of The Herb Block Foundation, ELY, Inc., a museums services company, is offering five panel exhibitions featuring the illustrations of Herb Block, editorial cartoonist for The Washington Post. We are asking for your help to spread the word about this exciting opportunity to bring these educational and thought provoking exhibits to university and college libraries. There is no rental fee for the exhibitions. The hosting institution is only responsible for the shipping costs. These exhibits discuss the following subjects:

  • Education
  • Civil rights
  • The environment
  • The presidency
  • Democracy

For more information or to apply, visit www.herblockexhibitions.org/exhibit.



The third annual Regional Reading Apprenticeship® Conference, Metacognition & Mindfulness: Academic Literacies for the 21st Century, will be held March 10, 2017 from 3 to 7 p.m. and March 11, 2017 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Renton Technical College. As an example of a session described as a must-attend for librarians and English composition instructors, consider the following:

“Thinking About Thinking About the Research Paper: Engaging Metacognition Throughout the Student Research Process,” presented by Zoe Fisher, University of Denver. Participants will:

  • Identify Reading Apprenticeship routines to use at various points in the research process, including searching for sources, reading sources, and integrating sources;
  • Model and practice RA routines to use in the classroom;
  • Reflect on how to integrate RA routines into existing research paper assignments.

For a full schedule, and to register, visit www.rtc.edu/3rd-annual-reading-conference. Early-bird discounted registration is available until February 1.



Monday, January 30

Tuesday, January 31

Wednesday, February 1

Thursday, February 2

Friday, February 3

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


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WSL Updates for January 5, 2017

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, State Library Collections, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for January 5, 2017

Volume 13, January 5, 2017 for the WSL Updates mailing list

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By designing your library with the user experience in mind, you have the potential to deepen the connection your library has with its community, and make your library a place that people love to use. This hands-on workshop presented by UX expert Aaron Schmidt is a practical guide to assessing and improving all sorts of touchpoints in your library, and also covers foundational UX theory. You’ll acquire experience with important user research techniques as well as analyzing the resulting data. After this free workshop you’ll have a keener critical eye, and a framework with which you can make your library the most important place in your community.

Workshops are scheduled from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. as follows:

  • April 5, 2017 – Burlington Public Library
  • April 6, 2017 – Lacey Timberland Library
  • May 10, 2017 – Brooks Library Central Washington University
  • May 11, 2017 – Spokane Public Library – South Hill Branch

Sign up for these workshops via the WSL training calender.



This month’s First Tuesdays webinar, “How to Do a TEDx Presentation,” is scheduled for January 10, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Sno Isle Libraries has presented two TEDx events to rave reviews. Join us as Ken Harvey, Sno-Isle Communications Director, who organized these effective events, shares what is needed to stage a successful TEDx program.

Designed as a continuing education opportunity for library staff in Washington State, these free First Tuesdays web presentations are an opportunity to learn about new library-related topics. Sessions are recorded so that others may listen at their own convenience. For more information about First Tuesdays, visit sos.wa.gov/q/FirstTuesdays. For instructions on joining the presentation, visit sos.wa.gov/q/FirstT.



Applications from Microsoft Imagine Academy program members are being accepted now through January 24, 2017 to receive equipment and limited funding to support new, or expand existing, coding programs and Microsoft certification. Laptops, 10-inch tablet computers, and routers purchased by the State Library are available (there is no limit to the quantity of each that can be requested; hardware technical specs are available in the Grant Guidelines), along with up to $3000 per award to purchase equipment accessories like cases, tablet sleeves, keyboards, etc., or other materials and activities to support project activities.

  • Lab Grant applications must be received by COB Tuesday, January 24, 2017, with contract execution expected before March 20, 2017.
  • Grant materials (Guidelines and Application) are available on the State Library’s Grant page.
  • This Lab Grant opportunity replaces the Microsoft Imagine Academy 2016-2017 grant, which will close Tuesday, January 17, 2017.

Questions and comments about this opportunity should be directed to Elizabeth Iaukea at elizabeth.iaukea@sos.wa.gov.



For the past 50 years, the Washington State Library has compiled a quarterly bibliography of Pacific Northwest history publications for the Pacific Northwest Quarterly (PNQ). Historian, author, and Washington Room librarian Hazel Emery Mills began the column in the January, 1967, Vol. 58 issue. WSL librarians have performed this service ever since. The current compiler is Sean Lanksbury, WSL Pacific Northwest & Special Collections Librarian. For more information, including links to PNQ and its index, visit Between the Lines, the WSL blog.



The online library science degree programs at Spokane Falls Community College, (LiS AAS, LiS Certificate, School Library Media Paraprofessional AAS) offers the following classes starting winter quarter, January 2017:

  • LMLIB 125, 5 credits, online: Introduction to School Library Media Services;
  • LMLIB 126, 3 credits, online: Library Technology for Educational Support (meets ALA Library Support Staff Competency for Technology);
  • LMLIB 220, 5 credits, online: Technical Services II: Introduction to Cataloging (meets ALA Library Support Staff Competency for Cataloging and Classification);
  • LMLIB 116, 5 credits, online: Introduction to Circulation and Customer Services (meets ALA Library Support Staff Competency for Communication and Teamwork).

For more information contact Paula Swan, LiS Instructor, SFCC at paula.swan@sfcc.spokane.edu or 509.533.3617 or visit libguides.spokanefalls.edu/librarytech.



Monday, January 9:

  • What Is Tech-Savvy Leadership? A Panel Discussion (edWeb); 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. PST

Tuesday, January 10:

  • Career Development: Today’s Meta-Priority (Training Magazine Network); 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PST
  • How to do a TEDx presentation (Washington State Library); 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PST
  • 2017 ALA Carnegie Shortlist Finalists (Booklist); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST
  • Bozarthzone! Better Than Bullet Points (InSync); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST
  • Preschool Storytime Basics (Texas State Library and Archives Commission); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST

Wednesday, January 11:

  • The Psychology of Success: Why Are Some People More Likely to Succeed than Others? (American Management Association); 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PST
  • How to Implement Things When People Hate Change (SirsiDynix); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PST
  • Nonprofit Boards & Effective Governance (4Good); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PST
  • Science Soup, Part 1 On Major Government Science Databases (Federal Depository Library Program); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST
  • Using Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) for Research and Learning (Infopeople); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PST
  • Service Excellence in Challenging Times (WebJunction); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PST

Thursday, January 12:

  • What is Bioinformatics Librarianship? (National Network of Libraries of Medicine); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PST
  • The Power to Delight: Providing extraordinary service (Colorado State Library); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST
  • Outcome Measurement Made Easy with PLA’s Project Outcome (Public Library Association); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST
  • Philanthropy Blueprint 2017 (GrantSpace); 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. PST
  • School Library Resources Available at Wyoming State Library (Wyoming State Library); 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. PST

Friday, January 13:

  • Going Digital (LYRASIS); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PST

For more information and to register, visit the WSL Training Calendar at sos.wa.gov/q/training.


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WSL Updates for March 12, 2015

Thursday, March 12th, 2015 Posted in Digital Collections, For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for March 12, 2015

Volume 11, March 12, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:







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WSL Updates for March 5, 2015

Thursday, March 12th, 2015 Posted in Digital Literacy, For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for March 5, 2015

Volume 11, March 5, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:







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WSL Updates for September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 Posted in For Libraries, News, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for September 11, 2014

Volume 10, September 11, 2014 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:







The Washington State Library/Washington Library Association Continuing Education Needs Assessment (CENA) Survey is now available.

Your participation will help WSL and WLA offer valuable, targeted continuing education opportunities over the next 2 years. Please share this survey widely with all library staff in public, school, academic, college, tribal and other libraries.

The survey should only take 15-20 minutes to complete and is available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/WACENA2014



The WSL Statewide Database Licensing Project and AWE Digital Learning Solutions are again announcing a multi-state special group purchase pricing to all public libraries for both the Early Literacy Station™ and AfterSchool Edge™. To take advantage of this special offer, orders should be placed before December 15, 2014.

The Early Literacy Station™ (ELS) is a dynamic all-in-one digital learning solution for early learners, ages 2-8. It is available in English and Bilingual Spanish and features over 70 content applications. The AfterSchool Edge™ features content for all elementary age students (approximately 6-12 years old). The educational programs, which are correlated to Common Core and state standards, span all seven curricular areas. Each product features engaging graphics, intuitive menus, usage tracking, and administrative functions. No Internet connection is required to use either of these products.

Pricing will be available from the Statewide Database Licensing AWE group purchasing page at sos.wa.gov/q/AWE-2. For more information, contact Cynthia Busse, AWE Senior Account Executive at bussec@awelearning.com or 281.210.4799.



Protecting Cultural Collections: Disaster Prevention, Preparedness, Response & Recovery is a free two-part workshop sponsored by the Western States & Territories Preservation Assistance Service (WESTPAS). Funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The instructor, Gary Menges, is a retired Preservation Administrator, UW Libraries, a WESTPAS trainer, and a member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works Collections Emergency Response Team (AIC CERT).

Who should attend? Administrators and staff responsible for emergency preparedness, response and decision-making, in all types of cultural institutions. By registering for the workshop, the institution commits to supporting the attendee(s) to achieve the workshop’s disaster preparedness goals. When possible, please commit two attendees so they can work together on the disaster preparedness activities.

Event details:

  • Part 1: ON-LINE WEBINARS – Prevention & Preparedness (archived 2½ hours total)
  • Part 2: IN-PERSON WORKSHOP – Response & Recovery
  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014 – 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. – Yakima Valley Museum, 2105 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98902.

Participation in the in-person workshop requires viewing the archived Part 1 webinars BEFORE attending the Part 2 in-person workshop AND completing the workshop assignments. Any exception requires the permission of the instructor.

For more information or to register visit sos.wa.gov/q/WESTPAS-Yakima. For registration assistance, contact Alexandra Gingerich, gingerich@plsinfo.org; for general & content information, contact Gary Menges menges@uw.edu.



September 15

  • VIP Webinar with Ken Burns (Baker&Taylor); 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/kenb

September 16

  • Shared Print Repositories (ALCTS), two-day webinar; 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/spr
  • When Remembering Really Matters: The Power of Serious Games for Learning (Training Magazine Network); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/whenre
  • Walking the Walk: Engage Volunteers in your Volunteer Engagement Program (VolunteerMatch.Org); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/volwalk
  • Executive Branch Documents (ProQuest); 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/exdoc

September 17

  • Shared Print Repositories (ALCTS), two-day webinar; 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PDT wa.gov/q/spr
  • Grant Proposal Feedback Clinic (4Good); 12:00 – 1:00 PDT wa.gov/q/grtfeedback
  • Strategic Decision Making: Shifting Your Culture from Reactive to Proactive; 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/strdec
  • Storymakers: Tell Your Library’s Story (Techsoup); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/storym
  • Subject Matter Expert + Tablet = Faster, Cheaper, Better Video Learning Content (Training Magazine Network); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/subjmex
  • The Team Equation: Managing Teams that Deliver (Training Magazine Network); 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/teameq
  • ProQuest Health and Medical Complete; 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/medcompl
  • ELibrary for Schools (ProQuest); 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/eschool
  • My Research & RefWorks: Perfect Together; 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/myres
  • Busqueda Avanzada en la Plataforma (Spanish – ProQuest); 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/spapro

September 18

  • Making Our Gadgets Work for Us, Spokane County Library, Argonne Branch, Spokane; 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • You Can Do I.T. On Your Own (Infopeople); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/doit
  • Teen Books Buzz Fall 2014 (School Library Journal); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/bookbuzz
  • Funding Rural America: Finding Support for Small Communities (Techsoup); 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/fundrur
  • Measuring Success: How to Strategically Assess Your Program (VolunteerMatch.Org); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/volmeasure
  • ABI/INFORM FAQ (ProQuest); 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/abipro
  • Ebrary-ebooks for Schools (ProQuest); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/ebraryproq
  • New Literature Online LION (ProQuest); 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. PDT sos.wa.gov/q/lionpro

September 19

  • Leading without Authority, Bellingham Public Library, Bellingham; 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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


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Spotlight on Staff: Jennifer Fenton

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Training and Continuing Education | Comments Off on Spotlight on Staff: Jennifer Fenton

If you had to use one word to describe Jennifer “Non-stop” would be a good one. Other words that apply are enthusiastic, friendly, and knowledgeable.  library photo

Jennifer has worked in libraries for over 25 years starting in her high school years at King County Library (KCLS) as a Page. She continued working for KCLS all through her college and graduate school days honing her skills as she went. Her dream job and where she focused her education was in Children’s Services and fresh out of library school she went to work for the Ellensburg City Library as the youth services librarian. Pulling on her experience at KCLS and knowing what was possible, Jennifer took the children’s program to a new level introducing baby and toddler story times, school age programs as well as teen programming. With her quiet charm she roped in the Police and Fire Departments, the City Manager and the Mayor to come and read to the kids. She participated on behalf of the library with the kids in the Ellensburg parade, rode on a float and had on average four programs A DAY! One of the most popular programs was an American Girl Doll event. It started as a Victorian tea complete with real china but soon became a multi-age event for both boys and girls where they put on plays. As she said “The kids enjoy being stage managers and lighting engineers even if they won’t appear on stage.” Sets were made, costumes produced, the show must go on! Jennifer stressed however, that the kids did the work, she just coordinated the event. Did I say “non-stop”?

Besides her day to day work, while in Ellensburg, Jennifer was also the backup Library Director and was often called on to function in this role. In her “free time” She became involved in CAYAS and has been active in the Washington Library Association (WLA) since 1997.

Jennifer loved her time in Ellensburg but wanting to be closer to family she moved back to Western Washington and to the Sno-Isle Libraries, specifically the Mukilteo Library. While at Sno-Isle she was promoted to Assistant Children’s Service Manager. She co-implemented an early learning program called “Ready Readers”. She reports that working with the Children’s staff at Sno-Isle is “Where I got my love of training.” Jennifer’s tenure at Sno-Isle was before Washington’s state-wide involvement with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), each library had to create their own Summer Reading Program.

Richard Jesse Watson’s Sno-Isle’s Summer Reading Logo

Richard Jesse Watson’s Sno-Isle’s Summer Reading Logo

She developed a partnership with authors/illustrators to help produce programs and materials for the SRP and other programming and is still friends with many of these authors.

While at Sno-Isle, Jennifer also worked as a collection development librarian and was “loaned” to Lake Stevens Library as a Branch Manager. She found she really liked the “high level work” and that is what eventually led her to the State Library.

Ready for new challenges, in 2008 Jennifer became the Training Coordinator for Washington State, coordinating trainings both in person and online. She plans at least two major “on the ground” events a year, this year’s being the wildly successful “Gadget Menagerie” and “Mental Health First Aid”.   “She also partners with the WLA on a Continuing Education Needs Assessment which goes to all  librarians in Washington state. This fall look for a Social Media training and more sessions of “Leading without Authority.” Judging on the success of Jennifer’s past programs you might want to sign up early.

You would think with ALL this going on in her life there would be no time for anything else but Jennifer has a husband and two dogs to keep her busy in her off hours. She and her husband make jewelry (just look the next time you see her) and love to travel. Her cubicle walls are covered with gorgeous pictures taken in London, Hawaii and Egypt. Jennifer Egypt

But enough from me, let’s see what her fans have to say about her.

“Jennifer is a person of many dimensions but more than anything she is patient, everywhere and every when, she is cool, calm and patient with, well, everybody.”

Lauren L R Murphy, Senior Librarian, Bonney Lake Pierce County Library

“I have worked with Jennifer on numerous projects and her depth of knowledge is always a great asset to each one. She brings a genuine enthusiasm to everything she does and her professional joy is infectious. Jenn is such a treasure to work with!”

Brianna K. Hoffman Richland Public Library

“I admire her as a ‘connector’ creating networks with people state-wide as well as with CE people in other libraries around the country.”

Jeanne Fondrie, Learning Coordinator, Whatcom County Library System

‘I first met Jennifer when I was a new librarian – I followed her as children’s librarian at the Mukilteo Library.  From the beginning, I appreciated the way she took me under her wing and mentored me… I can always count on Jennifer to offer advice on potential trainers, improving training or leadership.  She is knowledgeable, friendly and approachable.”

Kristin Piepho, Children’s Coordinator, Sno-Isle Libraries

Are you tired reading this? I could barely keep up with taking notes. Do you have a training need? Washington Librarians and libraries are in good hands with Jennifer Fenton.




Gadget Menagerie Takes Off

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, Library 21 Initiative, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Less than a month into a whirlwind tour of over 40 libraries around the state and the Gadget Menagerie is officially a big hit in libraries. January kicked off the Gadget Menagerie with visits to Skagit and Lincoln Counties as well as the Ritzville Library and Mid-Columbia Libraries. Now, we are preparing for a super-busy February with visits to Gonzaga University, Richland Public Library, Timberland Regional Library, Washington State Library, Spokane County Library District, Sno-Isle Libraries and Everett Public Library. Wow, that’s exhausting just at a glance!


Sedro-Woolley staff show off devices at the Gadget Menagerie

The exciting thing about the Gadget Menagerie program is that it is not only for staff, but also for the public. Libraries wishing to offer a public program are partnering with Washington State Library staff to bring the Gadgets to the library for patrons as well. Working directly with library users has been a joy. It is so much fun to help people discover the world of eReaders and tablets. Everyone has different needs when it comes to using a tablet and our job is to help people understand how they are all similar, yet different. Is this a contradiction in terms? Perhaps, but it is very true.

By working with staff and encouraging them to approach devices in a “device agnostic” manner, we hope to get staff more comfortable helping patrons coming to the library on a daily basis with various devices. Each day of the Gadget Menagerie, we are learning more about devices and about our communities.
Devices in the current menagerie include: Kindle, Nook Touch, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD, Galaxy Tab 10.1, iPad Mini, Microsoft Surface RT and a Chromebook.

New devices are coming soon and will include more android-based tablets. Patrons and students may bring their own device or explore one from the Washington State Library.


Just a few of the available devices at the Gadget Menagerie.

At the public workshops, we assisted many people with their own devices and showcased the gadgets from our menagerie. An 83-year old woman wanted to compare tablets. After working with the various tablets in the Menagerie, she was able to narrow her interest down to 2 tablets. At another session, a 70-something farmer wanted to know when high speed internet would come to his county and town. He loves technology and has quite a few of his own gadgets already. He enjoyed showing us what he liked about the different tablets and was enthusiastic when telling us that when high-speed internet comes to his town, he’d be able to do so much more with all his high-tech toys. When the local librarian asked him “How did you get so tech savvy?,” he responded with, “My grandkids, and I have a lot of them!”

Our youngest patron at the Gadget Menagerie was 9 years old. She had a tablet and wanted to learn about YouTube. Unfortunately, since she has no access to internet at home, her tablet has limited functionality when items aren’t downloaded directly onto it. She loves coming to the library and now knows that she can bring her tablet in and use the library’s wi-fi to download what she needs and ask the friendly staff for help.

So, by now you are probably wondering, what exactly is this Gadget Menagerie?

The Washington State Library is partnering with local libraries across the state providing gadget training for library staff. Library patrons and students will be given similar training focused on the needs of the device user. Over 40 locations and 70 trainings are scheduled for the Gadget Menagerie through June 2014.

“We are very excited to be able to provide this training,” State Librarian Rand Simmons said. “We hope these skills will be beneficial to both library staff and those who rely on library resources.”


Staff at the Burlington Public Library study devices at the Menagerie.

Library staff will learn how various eReaders, tablets and other devices work. They will discover what these devices have in common, how they differ, and learn basic operating tips. Staff will learn basic troubleshooting and tips for helping patrons with their devices, including how to download books from the library.

The Gadget Menagerie will familiarize local library staff with the variety of gadgets available, allowing for staff to be more comfortable and skilled in helping library patrons.

Not all libraries are offering both types of training; some libraries are focusing only on staff training since they either already offer public workshops or don’t have the resources to offer trainings at this time.

These trainings are funded by the Washington State Library via the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

For this project, which is part of the Washington State Library Digital Literacy project, we are actively encouraging feedback and stories. So far, 100% of the public attendees say they have learned something valuable and would recommend the program to another. Comments from the public vary, but this one is very typical of the responses we have been receiving; “It was useful to have knowledgeable persons explain the equipment-what they will and will not do. Thank you for bringing the variety of devices.”

As one staff person said in a thank-you note, “We couldn’t have asked for better, more useful, hands-on training!”

Sing With Our Kids: WSL Workshops Wrapping Up

Thursday, October 24th, 2013 Posted in For Libraries, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sing With Our Kids: WSL Workshops Wrapping Up

Parachute play

Parachute play

Music powers the young brain and children’s musician, Nancy Stewart, brought that message to over 300 librarians across Washington State. Nancy launched a pilot program last year to connect families with free resources for early learning through community singing. Her project takes place in her own community of Mercer Island and has been expanded to last through at least summer 2014. The ideas shared at the trainings provided by Nancy around the state for library staff will be incorporated into her resources. Nancy’s free website for “Sing With Our Kids” is available at http://singwithourkids.com/.

Nancy’s free website includes songs, videos, book recommendations, community toolboxes, a grandparents corner, tips on using technology, advice from the experts, early learning and music information, your voice and ears and much more. All the information is available freely as long as credit is given and not profit is made.

Programs related to the project have included flash mobs, scavenger hunts, caroling, may pole celebration, storytimes,  campfire sing-alongs and early literacy talks for parents and care-givers. When Nancy demonstrated the may pole at the library workshops, excitement was so high that many libraries now have their own maypole for singing and dancing. In addition, one librarian in Everett came up with the idea of theming the may pole to reflect the current season and a new version about a spider was created. Check out Nancy’s flash mob video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnFA4DOIwdc&feature=share.


Martha Shinners and the May Pole

Making inter-generational connections and getting out into the community is what Nancy’s pilot project is all about (in addition to encouraging singing and the development of early literacy skills in young children.) Nancy has partnered with the local library, bookstore, parks, churches and even families she has never met while working on this project. Using social media (blog, facebook, twitter) helps Nancy reach a wider audience and connect with new people. For her community Christmas caroling, Nancy’s basic idea was to get families together and go caroling. She threw out the idea that someone could do this in their own neighborhood and even project the lyrics onto a big screen if available at someone’s home. Next thing she knew, Nancy was contacted by a family inviting her to lead caroling at their home with lyrics projected. Neighbors and family came together to sing making for quite the memorable event.

Early literacy skills are vital to helping children prepare for kindergarten. Nancy has great videos on the six early literacy skills and five practices of early literacy at http://singwithourkids.com/video.htm. She collaborated with Charlie the Noiseguy to make the videos both educational and fun.

Feedback from the workshops held in 13 locations around the state was extremely positive. Participants shared the following comments on the impact of the workshop:

Campfire Sing-Along

Campfire Sing-Along

  • I would say the project was great to learn about and Nancy was very motivating. It helped me feel encouraged to understand the importance of music in a child’s life and the need to incorporate it more into storytimes. I also enjoyed the live examples of how to use a parachute, maypole, etc. Great ideas!
  • Being reminded about the power of music once again and how it can connect families together.
  • It was just listening to Nancy talk about the power of song. It gave me a lot to think about and also a new way of talking to patrons about the importance of song. Also, her website looks incredible! I think this will be invaluable.
  • Building the confidence and providing the outstanding free resources for integrating songs and singing into children’s programming in the community.
  • The wealth of ideas and all the connections that were made. The reminder about the importance of music in my professional life and personal life!
  • I really enjoyed the videos that Nancy shared of herself going out into the community. Breaking up in to small groups and brainstorming gave us a “hands-on” approach and I think that helps us retain the information better and we also learn from each other.

The final workshop takes place tomorrow in Spokane at the Moran Prairie branch of the Spokane County Library District. After the final workshop, Nancy will continue to share her project with libraries throughout Washington via her website, blog and other avenues. Interested in giving it a try yourself? Check out Nancy’s community toolbox at http://singwithourkids.com/toolbox.htm.


Sudoku, Battle decks, Gamification…Oh My!

Friday, June 28th, 2013 Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, Training and Continuing Education | 1 Comment »

Sudoku was a foreign concept to me; I couldn’t understand why people were obsessed with filling in crossword puzzles made up of numbers. I’m not much of a mathematician and I was convinced Sudoku was a math game. Being stranded in eastern Washington 100 miles from the nearest town led me to give Sudoku a try and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s all about logic and as a librarian and trainer, I do love logic games.

One of the (manySudoku) new trends in learning, both classroom and virtual, is gamification. Games help people learn by getting them involved competitively and helping them find the intrinsic value in the subject matter. However, gamification in its most simple form of pop-quizzes is not quite the same. In developing trainings, many trainers are now adding in components that help participants learn materials by exploring and achieving results on their own and with colleagues.

For those of us with a competitive streak, this style of training can be highly engaging and fun. And of course there’s that sense of fun and not taking things too seriously. Many people like ice-breakers and games, but there are always those that prefer not to engage in these activities and perceive them as a waste of time. The trick is to make sure that the games and activities contribute to the learning goal. For example, in a communication workshop, you could do an ice-breaker that involves miscommunication. Here’s an example from http://www.trainerbubble.com/

Follow the Leader

Duration:  15 – 30 minutes.

Objective: Useful during a session on body language or communication skills, where you want to highlight how people communicate.


  • One person is asked to leave the room. While they are gone the rest of the group identify a ‘leader’. This leader must perform a subtle action that everyone has to follow (i.e., rubbing their nose, licking their lips, scratching their ear, winking, crossing legs, etc.)
  • Ask the person to return to the room and explain that they must identify the leader of the group. The leader should alter the action every few minutes with everyone following suit.
  • In review, discuss what was noticed and how we interpret and spot body language in others.

braingamesAh, the possibilities….

There are many great ice-breakers out there and the possibilities are endless.

In addition to ice-breakers and energizers, training can be gamified by its very structure. Take Battle decks as an example.

From http://www.webjunction.org/documents/webjunction/Battledecks_2010.html:

Battledecks is a fun improv exercise that challenges contestants to deliver a presentation on the fly using an unknown slidedeck containing random (and often hilarious) slides. The contestants are judged on their ability to create a coherent presentation that incorporates the slide content smoothly. Laughs and getting through all of the slides on time are a plus.

How it works:

  • Each presenter will be given 5 minutes to present 12 slides.
  • They have not seen the slide deck before today.
  • Attendees will judge the presentations based on a set of criteria.
  • You are encouraged to use chat during the presentations.
  • There is a slide from one of the conference presentations in each of the decks!

Criteria for judging:

  • Believability, humor, and integration with conference theme.
  • Ease and presence in online conferencing tool, engaging the audience.
  • Presentation flow with minimal pauses or stammering, and getting through all of the slides

Beyond the classroom: Brain Games for Health

Studies show that keeping the brain engaged through games helps stave off the onset of dementia (New England Journal of Medicine, Joe Verghese, M.D., volume=348, issue=25, 2003). Some fun brain games that can be done in trainings or on your own include:

  • Write a short story…in only 7 words.
  • Here’s a brain workout that will help keep your mind on track. Try these three exercises in simple subtraction:
    • Beginning at 200, count backward, subtracting 5 each time (200, 195, 190…).
    • Beginning at 150, count backward, subtracting 7 each time (150, 143, 136…).
    • Beginning at 100, count backward, subtracting 3 each time (100, 97, 94…).

Let’s keep our brains sharp and engaged and try adding some gaming to our trainings. And just for fun, let’s test your attention skills with this video.








OCLC WorldShare ILL Update & Training Information

Friday, June 21st, 2013 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education | Comments Off on OCLC WorldShare ILL Update & Training Information

oclcAs a reminder, all libraries currently using OCLC’s WorldCat Resource Sharing (WCRS) service need to plan a migration to the new WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan service between now and the end of the calendar year, when WCRS will no longer be available. Academic libraries that belong to Washington Group Services (sos.wa.gov/q/waywho) are encouraged to migrate as a group in July and August.

Members of Washington OCLC Group Services have the unique opportunity participate in a managed migration from WCRS to the new service. It’s important to take advantage of this opportunity for training in the new service before access to WCRS ends in December. If your library has not already registered for WorldShare ILL, please register at sos.wa.gov/q/WA-ILL-Form.

Training scheduled specifically for Washington libraries will be held at 11 a.m. Pacific Time as follows:

Self-paced training options are also available. Visit sos.wa.gov/q/WayfinderNews for more links and information, including archived webinars and self-paced training options.

WorldShare® Interlibrary Loan now has new, recently released features including 2-per-page printing of book straps and requests. To learn more, consider viewing a webinar recording that provides an overview of new and upcoming WorldShare ILL enhancements. The program also included a chat with OCLC’s WorldShare ILL team about effective use of the service, best practices, and plans for its ongoing enhancement and expansion. The recording is available at sos.wa.gov/q/ILL-Enhance.