WA Secretary of State Blogs

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.


Amy Ravenholt honored by a National Library Service Award

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library | 1 Comment »

Amy Ravenholt 2014Amy Ravenholt recognized by a National Library Service Award for Knowledge, Creativity and Expertise

Keystone Systems announced today that Amy Ravenholt, Assistant Director at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) is the recipient of the 2014 Julie Klauber Award.

Individuals honored with this annual national award must provide noteworthy service to their library and community and use KLAS (Keystone Library Automation System) to perform their daily job responsibilities.

WTBBL Director & Regional Librarian, Danielle Miller, says Amy “exemplifies knowledge, expertise, and creativity that benefit our patrons and all aspects of library services.” “She is kind and patient and makes learning new processes and technologies fun.”

Danielle says Amy’s position and expertise as WTBBL’s KLAS Administrator enhances the library’s overall service. As an example of her creativity, she cites Amy’s project “to use tablet computers running KLAS to streamline some of the circulation procedures that were cumbersome with desktop computers on carts. She worked closely with Keystone and our local IT department to make this happen and it has been a huge benefit to our circulation process.”

Amy says this year’s award is an acknowledgement of all of the work WTBBL’s circulation and advisory staff do with KLAS. “They identify the problems, they help develop and test solutions, and they use the software to its fullest extent every day.”

The award includes a trip to the 2014 KLAS Users’ Conference in Boston, MA, where Amy was recognized for her outstanding service to WTBBL and its patrons.  Keystone Systems, CEO, Kay Holloman presented the award during a special ceremony.

“It means I get to go to conference and geek out with people who care about what I care about,” Amy says. “We use specialized software to get our readers the books they want as fast as possible.  We make a lot of patrons happy on a daily basis, and the conference is the place to be to find out how to do that even better.”

“Amy is well deserving of this award,” observed State Librarian Rand Simmons. “Her dedication to serving WTBBL patrons and her leadership in the use of KLAS makes this award spot on. Job well done, Amy!”

Amy has been with the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library since July 2008. The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library is a program of the Washington State Library, Office of the Secretary of State.



Spotlight On Staff: Rocio Franklin

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 Posted in Articles, For the Public, News, Uncategorized, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library | Comments Off on Spotlight On Staff: Rocio Franklin

Rocio with WTBBL patron
Rocio with WTBBL patron

Rocio Franklin, as Washington Talking Book & Braille Library’s Receptionist, has one of the most important jobs at the library. Her smiling face and voice greet our volunteers, visitors and patrons when they enter the library and her cheerful voice welcomes all incoming calls to WTBBL’s main phone line.  “Rocio is like a ball of sunshine. She brings a special warmth, kindness, and humor to WTBBL,” says Danielle Miller, WTBBL’s Program Manager. This perfectly describes Rocio and why she is such a treasure to the library. When Rocio’s colleagues are asked to describe her, her willingness to take on new tasks and projects is repeatedly mentioned.  Rocio’s tireless dedication, optimistic spirit and never-ending creativity have made her one of the most celebrated members of the WTBBL team.

While Rocio’s title is Receptionist, she takes on many administrative and clerical tasks to assist the patrons of the library. Since she moved from the position of Custodian to Receptionist in 2009, Rocio has become the point person working with OSOS purchasing to keep WTBBL stocked with supplies, assisted with two summer reading programs and has become a major part of the team that processes donations for WTBBL.

Rocio, a native Spanish speaker, has also become the library’s translator and a lifesaver for our Spanish speaking patrons. “She has made it a special mission to reach out to our Spanish speaking patrons, welcoming them and ensuring their library service is muy bueno!,” adds Danielle Miller. She has since become a de facto reader’s advisor for this important group of patrons, who in many cases did not fully benefit from the service before her efforts.

Rocio translates all of our print material into Spanish and took the initiative to call the parents of our young Spanish language patrons to ensure the parents received materials to remain a part of their child’s reading life. In April of 2012, Rocio suggested and spearheaded WTBBL’s first celebration of Dia de los Niños/Dia de los Libros, which included packets of her personal story from her childhood experiences of Dia de los Niños in Mexico.  Every WTBBL child received the packet and Rocio created a marvelous display to capture the celebration for visitors to the library.

Tyler Kaye, WTBBL’s Patron Registrar, says it best: “Working at the front desk is often like being an air-traffic controller. You’ve got to efficiently direct telephone calls, visitors, and volunteers to where they need to be. It can be a pretty stressful task, but Rocio always handles it with grace.” Rocio’s graceful handling of all patrons and volunteers and her motivation to assist in all areas of the library has made Rocio an irreplaceable member of the WTBBL, WSL and OSOS team.