WA Secretary of State Blogs

WSL Updates for April 20, 2017

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for April 20, 2017


Volume 13, April 20, 2017 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) ARSL CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIPS

2) WASHINGTON RURAL HERITAGE GRANTS

3) CALLING FOR VOLUNTEERS

4) GOVERNOR’S SUMMIT

5) UNITED STATES OF ANCHORS

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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1) ARSL CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIPS

The information and application form for the 2017 Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) Conference Scholarships are now available at the ARSL website at sos.wa.gov/q/ARSLships. These scholarships are for first time attendees so anyone who has not attended an ARSL conference is invited to apply. Three scholarships are awarded. Check out the website for more details on eligiblity and how to apply. Applications must be received by 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time, June 30, 2017.

If you have any questions about the process or have any trouble with the application form, please contact Shirley Vonderhaar, ARSL Scholarship Subcommittee Chairperson, at scholarship@arsl.info. For more information about the conference, visit arsl.info/2017-conference.

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2) WASHINGTON RURAL HERITAGE GRANTS

Would your library like to digitize its historical materials and special collections? Create an online community archive of unique materials from local family collections? Partner with nearby historical societies and other organizations to collaboratively digitize local history resources?

Washington Rural Heritage (WRH), the Washington State Library’s statewide digitization initiative for public and tribal libraries, is currently accepting grant applications for 2017-2018 digitization projects:

  • This grant cycle is open to all public and tribal libraries currently lacking a functioning digital repository. Current WRH partners are not excluded;
  • Libraries from communities of any size may apply at either the system or individual branch level;
  • The application deadline is Wednesday, May 31, 2017;
  • To review eligibility requirements, grant guidelines, and to download grant applications, go to sos.wa.gov/q/grants.

For questions and to discuss potential projects, applicants are encouraged to contact Evan Robb, WRH Project Manager, at 360-704-5228 or evan.robb@sos.wa.gov.

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3) CALLING FOR VOLUNTEERS

The Medical Library Association (MLA) annual conference will be in Seattle from May 26 – 31, 2017. Registration is open. Not sure you want to attend? A variety of volunteer opportunities are available whether you had planned to attend or not. Come on down and help our city put its best foot forward! For those who are not members, volunteer 4 hours and you can attend one day for free. Here is more information about the conference and how to volunteer.

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4) GOVERNOR’S SUMMIT

There will be 740,000 job openings over the next five years in Washington. Washington’s young people deserve an education that prepares them to take part in our economy, and real world, hands-on career connected learning is a key part of this preparation. Such preparation also equips employers with a workforce ready for 21st century challenges and innovation.

You are invited to join Governor Inslee’s Summit on Career Connected Learning. You’ll be part of a group of industry, policy, and education leaders working together to share best practices and policies to increase and strengthen career-related opportunities in high demand jobs for Washington’s youth. The Governor’s Summit is the culmination of an 18-month, multi-state Policy Academy, co-chaired by the Governor’s office and the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board.

The Governor’s Summit will be simultaneously hosted onsite in Redmond, WA, and at 27 regional sites around the state on May 31, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. Regional sites will focus on what leaders can do locally to make positive impacts for students and business and will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. For more information and to register, visit sos.wa.gov/q/summit and/or #WAcareersummit.

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5) UNITED STATES OF ANCHORS

The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition will hold its Seventh Annual Conference, May 31 – June 2, 2017, just outside Washington, DC. The SHLB Annual Conferences is the premier conference on anchor institution broadband. It unites industry leaders across diverse sectors, such as education, health, government, and broadband providers.

The theme this year is “United States of Anchors.” We are at a pivotal moment of change in our country, and schools, libraries, health providers, and other community anchor institutions (CAIs) have the power to unite and move us forward. This conference will explore five tracks:

  • Broadband Policy in the Trump Administration,
  • Building Telehealth Networks to Rural Communities,
  • The Future of the E-rate Program,
  • Financing Broadband Networks, and
  • Anchor Institutions and Home Access.

For more information and to register, visit 2017conference.shlb.org/ and/or #USofAnchors.

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6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

Tuesday, April 25

Wednesday, April 26

Thursday, April 27

Friday, April 28

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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.

The Washington State Library has gone social! Friend/follow us at:

WSL Updates for February 9, 2017

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for February 9, 2017


Volume 13, February 9, 2017 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) SERVICE EXCELLENCE IN YOUR LIBRARY

2) WSL GRANT DEADLINE EXTENDED

3) USER EXPERIENCE WAIT LISTS

4) VOLUNTEER AT MLA ANNUAL CONFERENCE

5) EZRA JACK KEATS MINIGRANTS

6) BECOME A NASA@ MY LIBRARY PARTNER

7) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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Today We Celebrate our Volunteers

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For the Public, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Today We Celebrate our Volunteers


wtbbl volunteers

Volunteers working at WTBBL

September 18, 2013

Today we recognize the many volunteers in the Olympia area who work in the Washington State Library and Washington State Archives. There will be a celebration this afternoon in the Governor’s Mansion to simply say, “thanks.”

Washington State Library volunteers are not a luxury. They are a necessity. State Librarian Rand Simmons noted, “They help us to better meet our customers’ needs by providing services we wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.”

Without volunteers we would not be able to offer such robust services in our Central Library, located in Tumwater, or in our Seattle Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL).

Steve Willis, Manager of the Central Library says, “We treat them in the same way we hire staff. We talk with them about their interests and skills and look for a good fit with the opportunities available.”

We have an amazing crew of volunteers at the Talking Book & Braille Library — more than 400 who donate over 30,000 hours each year. The WTBBL volunteers work in areas such as book recording, braille transcription, and other library services. Our WTBBL customers are located throughout the state and materials are sent and returned through the US Mail system by our shipping and circulation volunteers.

In our Digital and Historical Collections program we have three projects involving volunteers. The main project is the indexing of historical newspapers. Volunteers view each page of the newspaper and enter keywords into a database so that researchers can find the articles they need. This labor intensive work makes our online newspapers more searchable.

The newest project is the conversion of some of the historical digital collection to braille. Volunteers are converting selected titles to text files and correcting the text misread by the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. Once this is done, the files will be sent to the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library to be converted to braille. This project is bringing our online material to a wider audience.

Judy Pitchford comments that “Both projects require a lot of reading of historical material, which is what these volunteers appear to love the most.”

Our National Digital Newspaper Program has a goal to upload 300,000 pages of historic Washington newspapers to the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website by mid-year 2014. Our volunteers are often history and newspaper enthusiasts willing to help correct key terms misread by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software and improve the search results.

Project manager Shawn Schollmeyer says, “The editing they do helps us meet and improve on standards set by the Library of Congress and contributes to online resources used by genealogists and historians everywhere.” We are currently seeking volunteers for this project. Volunteer Rhonda Fabert encourages others to volunteer for the project, “If you are someone who enjoys incredibly interesting work that will benefit generations to come, I highly recommend that you call Shawn Schollmeyer to arrange your own volunteer opportunity with this very prestigious project.”

Gordon Russ is helping to create a database of the library’s historic ephemera files. In doing so, Gordon is improving future subject and keyword access to this extremely useful collection for researchers of Washington State history.

The State Library receives many requests from family genealogists for newspaper obituaries. While we have lost our capacity to fill requests from out-of-state individuals because of staff reductions, the contribution of volunteers enables us to continue to fill in-state requests.

The historic Northwest card file, housed in 180 card catalog drawers, is being converted to an online format by volunteer David Lane. The resulting online database will be available to genealogists, researchers, and historians. The work is slow because each card, an estimated 172,000 of them, must be entered into an Access database which is then made available online.

Rhonda Fabert also created a database of microfilm vendors which allows library staff to more efficiently identify sources of given microfilm titles.

“It is a win-win situation when the library benefits from the volunteers’ work and the volunteers’ experience enriches their lives,” notes Volunteer Coordinator, Marilyn Lindholm.

Rhonda wrote about her volunteer experience, “I’ve experienced an incredible amount of personal and professional growth through interactions with the dedicated staff of WSL over the past year. The project entrusted to me was to design a database which will make access to serials microfilm vendor information quicker and easier. I am delighted to have had the experience of working with Technical Services Supervisor, Shirley Lewis, and look forward to the project’s completion.”

A retired State Library employee and former federal depository specialist, Carol Estep, assists our staff who work with federal publications by doing a wide variety of duties. Her faithfulness helps us bridge the gap left by staff reductions.

Motivation to volunteer varies with each individual. Michele Weaver wrote, “I want to thank the Washington State Library for giving me the opportunity to ‘give back’ as a genealogy research volunteer finding obituaries for patrons. Having done genealogy research for many years on my own family, I know how frustrating it is to hit the proverbial ‘brick wall’, and get stalled with your research. Through the years I have had some kind people do research for me, and I love the thought that I am ‘paying it forward’ by finding obituaries for State Library patrons, and filling in holes in some family trees.”

How do people come to volunteer? The paths are many. Gordon Russ has volunteered for the State Library for about 10 years. He got his start by sending an email to the State Librarian after reading a newsletter article that featured the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company, a subject of particular interest to him as he collects railroad-themed books. The article mentioned that some of the documents would be digitized so he thought he might help with that process.

One thing led to another and he began volunteering for what is now the Digital and Historical Collections Program. Then, one night while reading in bed, he dropped a book he was reading and the spine broke.

Knowing that the State Library had a preservation program, he asked its program manager, Diane Hutchins, how he might repair the book. She pointed him to the “Conservation Kitchen,” a YouTube tutorial developed by State Library staff. That led him to a stint helping the State Library preserve rare materials including some of Governor Isaac Stevens’ books along with maps, photographs, and other rare items dating as far back as the 15th century.

Gordon loves history and that love is evident as he tells colorful stories about Washington. We appreciate his dedication to helping the State Library preserve the history of the state of Washington.

Want to explore volunteer opportunities at the Washington State Library? Please contact Marilyn Lindholm at marilyn.lindholm@sos.wa.gov or 360.704.5249.

How do volunteers benefit those of us who work in the State Library? Marilyn Lindholm said it best, “Our volunteers bring creative ideas and a fresh perspective to how we do business.”

Thank you, Kendall Brookhart, Kathie Dexter, Carol Estep, Rhonda Fabert, Karen Fieldman, David Lane, Barb Monti, Brynn Pitchford, Anissa Rajala, Gordon Russ, Kelly Sjoblom, Amelia Turnbull, Michele Weaver, and Mary Webster. Your skills, expertise and service are invaluable in helping us meet the needs of our customers.

NW Card File Starts the Journey to Online Access

Monday, April 15th, 2013 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, News, State Library Collections, Technology and Resources | Comments Off on NW Card File Starts the Journey to Online Access


0415131231aFrom the desk of Steve Willis, Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library:

What do these people have in common?

John Anderson – the Swedish immigrant who served as a consulting engineer in the construction of the USS Monitor and after the Civil War settled in King County, where he continued to tinker and invent.

Grover Andrews – “The Destroying Angel” who was a leader the Morrisite Colony in the Waitsburg region in the 1880s.

Donald Archer – The daredevil student from The Evergreen State College who in 1980 donned a costume with wings and big bug eyes, then climbed the side of the Federal Building in Seattle.

Dr. Nettie Asberry – The first African American woman in the United States to receive a doctorate degree, Nettie was an early civil rights activist in Tacoma who lived to the age of 103 in 1968.

Yes, all of them have surnames starting with the letter “A.” And, they are a part of Washington State history as indexed in the Northwest Card File.

This searching tool is comprised of 180 card catalog drawers divided into two groups: personal names, and, topical subjects. The file serves as a finding aid for Washington State newspaper articles, obituaries, book chapters, pamphlets– indexing the collection in much more detail than a traditional card catalog.

It appears the Northwest Card File was started in the early 1950s, although it indexes material much older than that. In the early 1990s the File was basically retired, and the indexing was performed on computer. Stored on Bernoulli drives, the indexes were printed into hardcopy form. By the mid-1990s a more updated online index was introduced and continues to this day.

Throughout 2012 WSL staff from Central Library Services (Glenn Parsons, Marlys Rudeen, Sean Lanksbury, Shirley Lewis) working with Evelyn Lindberg of Library Development, designed a database to provide online access to the Northwest Card File. We are hoping to provide public access to the index in increments as we go. Inputting started on a trial basis in late October, but really began at the start of 2013 when WSL volunteer David Lane joined the project.

Two and half drawers later David has completed the “A” surname file! As he dives into the letter “B” I can either figure out how to clone him, or, make a pitch to our faithful readers out there with strong data entry experience to join the project as a volunteer. If you are interested in helping us build this unique finding aid please contact Steven Willis, Program Manager for Central Library Services, ph: (360) 704-5276, email: steve.willis@sos.wa.gov for details.

Volunteer Engagement Strategies for Libraries

Thursday, October 20th, 2011 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Volunteer Engagement Strategies for Libraries


Carla presenting in Kennewick

“This was one of the best workshops I have attended. It was relevant and had great information. The presenter was EXCELLENT!”

“It was an inspiring day full of useful information. Carla’s energy is contagious and she offered information at a lively pace.”

“Wonderful. The presenter was extremely organized and had a wealth of experience. Very impressive.”

“I’ve been employed with this library since 2001 and have attended numerous library conferences, training seminars and workshops during that time. This was the BEST library related training I’ve ever attended!! Thanks!!!”

These comments are direct quotes from the evaluations for the recent round of Successful Volunteer Engagement for Libraries workshops held in eight libraries around Washington State, ranging from Liberty Lake to Bellingham. The workshops were presented by Carla Lehn from The Lehn Group based out of California. Carla is also the Library Programs Consultant at the California State Library.

This workshop grew out of the Transforming Life After 50 project that involves fellows from Washington, California, Idaho, and other states. One of the courses taught as part of the fellowship, which focuses on serving adults 50 years and older, was Volunteer Engagement and Carla was the instructor. Her templates for volunteer job descriptions and targeted recruitment plans proved to be valuable tools.

As libraries across the nation and in Washington struggle with budget cuts, volunteers are more in demand than ever. However, creating successful volunteer programs is not always easy. Carla’s experience in this area provided a great blueprint for libraries in Washington to follow.

The workshop focused on baby boomers and the generations that will follow them and how they are seeking new ways to use their skills and experience to make a difference in their communities. The workshop focused on how to start or “re-tool” a volunteer engagement program that will not only capture the talents of these potential volunteers, but will reap the benefits of ongoing support for the library that comes from having these people meaningfully engaged.

As a result of these workshops, a WebJunction Washington page has been created under “Washington State Library Resources” on Volunteer Engagement Strategies for Libraries. You can access the page at http://wa.webjunction.org/685.

Among the resources shared on the page are links to Carla’s Transforming Life After 50 archived course and a recorded webinar presented by David Junius (Washington Talking Book & Braille Library/WTBBL) called The Bottom Line on Volunteers.

For the workshop scheduled in Seattle at WTBBL, WSL partnered with David Junius and WTBBL volunteer Steve McCarthy to add their unique volunteer perspective as well. Here’s David’s view of Carla’s workshop:

“Both Carla and I have a nonprofit fund development background, so I appreciated her approach to the identification, recruitment and stewardship of volunteers, and her point of view on the generational pools of talent we have available to meet our needs. Fund development is akin to relationship development, which is what managing volunteer programs is all about.

“Carla’s workshop was valuable for new and veteran volunteer managers. Saying WTBBL has 400 volunteers donating 32,000 hours annually is the standard statistic I share, to the point where it almost doesn’t register with me anymore.

“However, when I mentioned this statistic at the start of Carla’s workshop, people were impressed.
That reminded me that even after doing volunteer management for three years, on top of another dozen in various nonprofits working with volunteers, I still have something to be excited about…especially in this economy where volunteers are (even more) valued.

“While we often look at outputs in volunteer management – how many hours, how many volunteers, how many items circulated by those volunteers, etc. – we also need to look at the outcomes. Just as our volunteers help the lives of our libraries’ users, they are also elevating their own lives by being involved with us. Carla’s workshop re-amplified this for me.”

WTBBL volunteer Steve McCarthy also attended the workshop, and he has started to use a few of Carla’s tools in further developing the volunteer corps at the local nonprofit where he is the board chair. Carla’s information is transferable between types of organizations, with the common denominator being a respect for the people involved in each part of the organizational relationship: staff, volunteers, and library users.”

WSL Updates for September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 Posted in For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for September 15, 2011


Volume 7, September 15, 2011 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT WORKSHOPS

2) RETHINKING REFERENCE COLLECTIONS

3) ONLINE NORTHWEST CALLS FOR PROPOSALS

4) SURVEY – PROFESSIONAL IDENTITIES AND SOCIAL NETWORKING

5) FUNDAMENTALS OF PRESERVATION

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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WSL Updates for March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for March 17, 2011


Volume 7, March 17, 2011 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) CONNECTING GRANT CYCLE NOW OPEN

2) ASSIST IN SELECTING DATABASE PRODUCTS FOR WA LIBRARIES

3) SEQUIM GAZETTE MICROFILM AVAILABLE

4) APRIL IS THE MONTH OF THE MILITARY CHILD

5) COMMUNITY CONNECT GRANTS WEBINAR

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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WSL Updates for March 3, 2011

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for March 3, 2011


Volume 7, March 3, 2011 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) WASHINGTON RURAL HERITAGE GRANT CYCLE OPENS

2) NEW SUPPORTING STUDENT SUCCESS GRANT CYCLE OPENING

3) HELP REVIEW DATABASE PRODUCTS FOR WA LIBRARIES

4) CELEBRATE NATIONAL BOOKMOBILE DAY

5) MONEY SMART WEEK IN WASHINGTON

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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WSL Updates for October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on WSL Updates for October 28, 2010


Volume 6, October 28, 2010 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) FIRST TUESDAYS – ROMANCE READERS’ ADVISORY

2) VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT FOR DAILY OLYMPIAN INDEXING

3) SCHOLARSHIP MONEY AVAILABLE FOR FUTURE LIBRARIANS

4) LIS FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE DIRECTORY

5) DIGITAL HUMANITIES START-UP GRANTS

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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Serve.gov: Your Online Resource for Finding and Posting Volunteer Opportunities

Monday, July 6th, 2009 Posted in Articles, For Libraries | Comments Off on Serve.gov: Your Online Resource for Finding and Posting Volunteer Opportunities


clip_image001The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is working in partnership with the Corporation for National & Community Service, to get museums and libraries involved in this national volunteer initiative. I encourage libraries and museums throughout the country to use this initiative to engage new volunteers and to encourage new projects.

How can you get involved? Post your local volunteer opportunities online at www.serve.gov, and encourage community members to visit the web site to find volunteer opportunities. Encourage your staff to volunteer and partner with other organizations in your community to support volunteering. And plan with others to make September 11, the last day of this summer initiative, a day of service and remembrance.

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To learn more about the initiative, please visit http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/initiatives/summer.asp. Thank you for all you do to ensure that your community has access to great museum and library services and resources! We have a unique opportunity to come together and solve our nation’s most vexing problems.

Yes, library opportunities are available within Washington. See the following search screen: