WA Secretary of State Blogs

Dear Dewey has a New Name

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »

Dewey Digest GraphicDear Dewey from Western State Hospital has a new name…Dewey Digest and a new format.  Check out the latest issue, “Dog Days of Summer.”



March Issue of Western State Hospital Library Newsletter Salutes Kim Wyman

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Kim WymanAmerican Libraries celebrate Women’s History Month!

We salute the new Secretary of State Kim Wyman—the second woman to hold that position in Washington State.  Kim served as Thurston County Auditor for 12 years prior to her election.

Dear Dewey-WSH Newsletter March 2013

Dear Dewey from WSH February 2013

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Dear Dewey

Latest isssue now available, check it out here.   Dear Dewey February 2013

Dear Dewey from Western State Hospital

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »

dear dewey screen shot 1-13Dear Dewey January 2013 from Western State Hospital has arrived.

Dear Dewey Newsletter October 2012

Monday, October 1st, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »

Check out the latest issue of Dear Dewey from Kathleen Benoun at Western State Hospital!!!

Western State Hospital Library takes a look at history

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | 2 Comments »

Western State Hosptial

Kathleen Benoun at Western State Hospital Library has done it again.  Not only does she keep the patients and staff happy in the libraryher love of history has drawn her to help create the historical museum on the grounds of Washington State Hospital.  Now that love of history and the library has combined to bring a great program to the hospital treatment centers.  This program is a great addition to the library services at Western State Hospital.  Check out the attached flyer to see how Kathleen showcases the hospital’s rich history.

The theme for 2011 at the Western State Hospital Library was Re-New and Re-Use!

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | 1 Comment »

Western State Hosptial

To re-new interest in the WSH Library, we began the year by participating in ILS Snapshot Day 1-11-11 and all branches shared stories and pictures on the State Library website.  A month later, a WSH Library newsletter was introduced on campus to highlight the collection’s offerings.  Starting mid-year, classes at the hospital treatment centers were entertained with a weekly show-n-tell—poetry—storytelling format library programming.  District #28 Rep. Troy Kelley accepted an invitation to visit the library and WSH history museum.  The Library is a major supporter of the hospital’s historical heritage and hosted a WSH Museum open-house in September.

In the spirit of thrift,  Eastern and Western State Hospital staff wrote to certain publishers to seek in-kind donations.  The donations received were shared with all 12 ILS branches.  The Forest Institute donated good quality psych education videos to the WSH Library.  Branches shared equipment and materials to maximize shelf-life.  WSH Staff and patients donated books, DVDs, music CDs and artwork throughout the year.

Western State Hospital Museum Open-House

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »

Frances Farmer Room

At that first meeting in 2000, hospital staff, patients and citizens organized themselves into a group they called the Grave Concerns Association.  They discussed plans about how to restore the hospital cemetery and bring honor and dignity to the forgotten.  Patient advocates, genealogical societies, gardening groups, and cemetery restoration experts offered advice and counsel.  Work parties were organized. Memorials were held to honor the dead and reveal the names of those loved ones lost to history. 



Music room - dedicated to "play therapy"

In 2001, the Earth shook the hospital grounds.  Buildings were damaged and hundreds of patients were moved around to other wards.  During demolition, old artifacts had to be moved to an abandoned ward.  This afforded an opportunity to the GCA volunteers to organize those artifacts into an historical museum that would complement the work done by the Grave Concerns Association (GCA).


Kathleen Benoun with samples of "work therapy"

 Since 2004, the WSH historical museum has been toured by hundreds of visitors that include students, elected officials, the public, and hospital patients and staff.  On September 13, Kathleen Benoun — from the Washington State Library/Institutional Library Services–  hosted an open-house at the museum for visitors in honor of National Recovery Month and Heritage Happens Month — Pierce County.

Small Hunch Pays Big Results!

Monday, October 3rd, 2011 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | 1 Comment »

Some months ago, two ILS staff decided to write to some publishers of mental health resources and ask them about the possibility of receiving donated materials.  National Recovery Month is every September and their collections were sadly depleted from the demand for such materials.  They hoped that one or two of the companies might respond with an offer of a few donations.  Much to their amazement and profound appreciation three companies responded within weeks of the letters being sent.

Hazelden and New Harbinger are outstanding publishers of educational and inspirational literature about substance abuse and recovery.  Their products are consistently of the highest quality, and highly sought for library collections.  Sounds True produces wonderful spoken word and music CDs for relaxation, meditation and health & healing.  The gifts received from these generous companies resulted in dozens of books and several multiple CD sets.  The cost to buy these materials would have been hundreds of dollars.

Western State Hospital immediately processed and published a “hot list” of the new Hazelden titles.  The books started flying off the shelves within hours.  Eastern State hospital patients will benefit from these gifts as well as staff who can use these resources for treatment groups.  This bounty will also be shared among the other ILS branches either directly or through the ILL program.

Western State Hospital Museum Open-House

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »

WSH Museum

Ten years ago, I had a library visit from a hospital staffer who excitedly asked me to provide him information about the “dead people in the park.” Although I’ve received some odd questions during my years in the library of a state psychiatric hospital, this request was something unusual even for me. I suppressed a grin and asked him to give me more details. He told me he had stumbled upon a numbered stone during his lunch break walk in the park across the street from the hospital and was sure he had found the old patients cemetery of the hospital. I shrugged my shoulders and referred him to the campus historical expert. He left, and I thought that would be the end of talk about “dead people in the park.”

Not so. Two weeks later I received a call from my friend Laurel who invited me to attend a meeting after work about what to do about those “dead people in the park.” Now I was taken aback. Laurel is typically level-headed. She informed me that not only were there bodies in the park, there were over 3000 interred in a cemetery.Patients who lived and died at the “insane asylum” often had lost touch with their family members. The state bore the responsibility to bury their remains. Stigma about mental illness inspired lawmakers to stipulate that persons buried on site at a insane asylum must not name the deceased. Only a stone marker indicated the final resting place of somebody’s child, parent, relative.

More to follow….