WA Secretary of State Blogs

Washington Talking Book & Braille Library

Thursday, April 18th, 2013 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library | Comments Off on Washington Talking Book & Braille Library


It’s National Library Week and also Library Snapshot Day! Today we feature our Washington Talking Book & Braille Library located in Seattle, Washington.

2013 Washington Talking Book & Braille Library staff

2013 Washington Talking Book & Braille Library staff

Do you know someone who can’t read standard print?  Someone who is blind, visually impaired, can’t hold a book or turn pages, or has a reading disability?  Then you know someone who needs the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL)!  We are the only library in Washington providing uniquely tailored library and information services for those who can’t read standard print material. 

We mail books in audio, braille, and large print across the state and have audio and braille books available for our patrons to download.  WTBBL also has youth services programming, reference, technology instruction and training, book clubs, organizational accounts available for public libraries, schools, retirement homes and much, much more. 

Germaine Covington (Master of Ceremonies), Danielle Miller (WTBBL Program Manager), Quincy (WTBBL Patron) and Mayor Mike McGinn

(left to right) Germaine Covington (Master of Ceremonies), Danielle Miller (WTBBL Program Manager), Quincy (WTBBL Patron) and Mayor Mike McGinn

In 2012 WTBBL was honored with the Mayor’s Award and Proclamation for its work empowering individuals with disabilities.  Mayor Mike McGinn proclaimed June 5 as Washington Talking Book & Braille Library Day. 

Visit our website (www.wtbbl.org), like us on facebook (www.facebook.com/WTBBL), or visit us in downtown Seattle to learn more about this amazing library and the people who count on it day after day.

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.

Back to School: Not Just for Kids

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education | Comments Off on Back to School: Not Just for Kids


The kids are back to school and things are kicking into high gear for training librarians. This fall promises to be a busy and educational season for library staff. With our Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) we are gearing up to offer high impact trainings this fall, both on the ground and online.

On September 24, library staff are invited to attend the 2-hour webinar, Legal Research for Information Professionals. Taught by Kim Ositis of the Public Law Library of King County, this webinar will equip library staff with practical skills that will help them to answer challenging legal questions. Kim’s legal webinars have been sponsored by WSL for a few years now and continue to draw crowds.

In October, Arta Kabashi from Amigos Library Services will be coming to Washington State from Texas to train staff in rural libraries on the eReader landscape. Her full-day workshop on All You Need to Know about E-reader Services in Your Library will introduce the concepts and tools necessary in implementing and delivering e-Reader services to library users. E-readers continue to gain in popularity and this interactive workshop is aimed at helping library staff better serve our customers.

In addition to new technologies such as e-Readers, the need for training library staff in traditional skills continues. One of the most requested training topics is Customer Service. Therefore, WSL contracted with Kate Laughlin, Library Consultant, to offer multiple trainings around the state in 2012-2013 on Service Excellence in Your Library. In November, Kate kicks off her full-day workshops in the Tri-Cities. Additional workshops will be scheduled after winter break into spring 2013. Kate’s workshops are guaranteed to be engaging and practical. Our library patrons are sure to benefit as a result of this excellent customer service training.

Continuing to partner with our colleagues is important. As part of a series of joint workshops and webinars, we are pleased to offer a webinar in October about WTBBL (Washington Talking Book & Braille Library) Youth Services. Mandy Gonnsen, the new youth services librarian at WTBBL, looks forward to enhancing services there for children and teens.

In addition to these trainings, WSL continues to offer a monthly webinar series on the first Tuesday of each month called First Tuesdays. Upcoming topics for First Tuesdays include the eReaders: Best PracticesSummer Reading and Burnout: Avoiding the Flames. Archives of previous First Tuesdays webinars are available at http://www.sos.wa.gov/library/libraries/firsttuesdays/default.aspx.

As the kids return to school, librarians are continuing their education as well through these and many other training opportunities.

WSL Updates for April 5, 2012

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, Letters About Literature, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library | Comments Off on WSL Updates for April 5, 2012


Volume 12: April 5, Year for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) WSL RELEASES LSTA 5-YEAR EVALUATION

2) DEADLINE APPROACHES FOR LIBRARY COUNCIL VACANCIES

3) RESOURCE SHARING GRANT CYCLE NOW OPEN

4) YOUTH SERVICES & OUTREACH POSITION AVAILABLE

5) LETTERS ABOUT LITERATURE CHAMPIONS ANNOUNCED

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

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1) WSL RELEASES LSTA 5-YEAR EVALUATION

As required by law, the Washington State LSTA Five-Year Evaluation Report was submitted to the Institute of Museum and Library Services on March 27, 2012. The purpose of conducting an LSTA Five-Year Evaluation is to independently evaluate the activities supported with federal LSTA funding. The evaluation provides an opportunity to measure progress in meeting the targets set in the approved five year plan and is designed to help state libraries make more effective resource allocation decisions in their upcoming five year plans.

As stated in the report’s executive summary, “The WSL’s most significant strength is their ability to convene and promote collaboration between and among libraries of all types in the state. Building on this strength, analysis of past performance, and emerging priorities for WSL and Washington libraries has surfaced six main recommendations for the Washington State Library with regard to future activity funded through LSTA.” Visit www.sos.wa.gov/library/libraries/dev to read the entire LSTA Five-Year Evaluation 2008 – 2012 report.

For those of you who have contributed to the development of this report through your participation in focus groups, telephone interviews or surveys, thank you. If you have questions, contact Jeff Martin, Acting Library Development Program Manager at 360.704.5248 or at jeff.martin@sos.wa.gov.

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2) DEADLINE APPROACHES FOR LIBRARY COUNCIL VACANCIES

Applications are currently being accepted for two Library Council of Washington positions. One position represents Special Libraries; the other represents Public Libraries serving fewer than 100,000 persons. The Library Council of Washington advises the State Librarian and the Office of the Secretary of State on statewide library issues and the expenditure of federal LSTA funding.

Applications must be postmarked by Friday, April 6, 2012 to be considered. These positions begin September 2012. More information is available at www.sos.wa.gov/quicklinks/vacancy. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Jeff Martin, at 360.704.5248, jeff.martin@sos.wa.gov, or Anne Yarbrough at 360.704.5246, anne.yarbrough@sos.wa.gov.

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3) RESOURCE SHARING GRANT CYCLE NOW OPEN

The purpose of the Connecting Libraries through Resource Sharing (CLRS) grant cycle is to provide grant funds for collection development with materials that are rotated between partnering libraries, thus encouraging cooperation among public libraries in counties, or those with contiguous borders, where inter-local agreements to share materials do not exist, or did not exist before participation in a previous CLRS grant cycle.

Grants of up to $715 per library may be awarded qualifying partnerships. A single application from each group of partnering libraries is required. A partnership must include two or more public libraries; with one library acting as the lead library in both the application process and, if awarded, the grant implementation.

The application deadline is Friday, June 1, 2012. More details may be found at www.sos.wa.gov/quicklinks/grants. For additional information or questions, contact Carolyn Petersen, CLRS Project Manager, 360.570.5560 carolyn.petersen@sos.wa.gov or Anne Yarbrough, LSTA Grants Manager, 360.704.5246, anne.yarbrough@sos.wa.gov.

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4) YOUTH SERVICES & OUTREACH POSITION AVAILABLE

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL), a program of the Washington State Library and the Office of the Secretary of State, is seeking a Youth Services & Outreach Librarian. This part-time (30 hours per week), permanent, entry-level position is located in Seattle. Statewide travel will be required to implement outreach events and activities.

For more information, including job description, qualifications, and application instructions, visit www.sos.wa.gov/office/employment.aspx.

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5) LETTERS ABOUT LITERATURE CHAMPIONS ANNOUNCED

“Letters About Literature” encourages young readers to write letters to their favorite authors, competing at the national level to win a $500 Target gift card and $10,000 for their community or school library. This is the seventh year Washington State Library has sponsored the competition as part of Washington Reads.

Clare Doran, a sixth grader at The Bush School in Seattle, is the 2012 Level 1 champion. Samantha Smith, an eighth grader at Blue Heron Middle School in Port Townsend, is the Level 2 champion. Oliver Reed, a tenth grader at North Central High School in Spokane, is the Level 3 champion. The three champions’ letters have been sent to the Library of Congress for the national competition. The results of the national judging will be released in early May. Read the winning letters at www.sos.wa.gov/quicklinks/LAL2012.

Approximately 5,500 Washington students entered the 2012 contest. 98 semifinalists advanced to round 3 state judging. All state semi-finalists will receive an award certificate in the mail. There will be a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Olympia at 11:00 a.m. May 11 during which the winners and semi-finalists will be acknowledged for their achievement.

To learn more about the 2012 competition, judging, and to see a list of the participating schools, use the link provided above. Thank you to all the students, teachers, librarians, and families who participate in Washington’s Letters About Literature program. Keep reading and writing!

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6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

Monday, April 9, 2012:

  • Deflection on WorldCat Resource Sharing (OCLC); 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PDT;
  • Everything I Need and Want is in the Teen Section: YA Spatial Practices in New U.S. Public Libraries (SJSU SLIS); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT;

Tuesday, April 10, 2012:

  • The New Science of Building Great Teams: Analytics for Success (Harvard Business Review ); 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. PDT;
  • 25 Twitter projects to engage your community and benefit your business (O’Reilly Community); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT;
  • Custom Holdings on WorldCat Resource Sharing (OCLC); 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PDT;
  • ProQuest Research Library – With so many publications, how do you find the right one to search? (ProQuest); 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. PDT; www.sos.wa.gov/quicklinks/PQ245;
  • Virtual Connections (WebJunction); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT;
  • Picture These: What’s New with Graphic Novels (Booklist); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT;
  • Apps for Speech Therapy and Autism (Accessible Technology Coalition ); 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT;
  • Spring Adult Book Buzz (Library Journal); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT;

Wednesday, April 11, 2012:

  • Snapshot Day: What It Is and How Your Library Will Benefit from Participating (NCompass Live); 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. PDT;
  • Advanced Searching: Beyond the Single Search Box (ProQuest); 11:00 – 11:45 a.m. PDT: www.sos.wa.gov/quicklinks/PQ242;
  • Intermediate Tips & Tricks for Microsoft Office 2010® Level 200 (New Horizons ); 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT;
  • Patron-Initiated Resource Sharing (OCLC); 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PDT;
  • Before You Seek a Grant: A Checklist for New Nonprofits (GrantSpace ); 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. PDT;
  • Information Professional to Intelligence Analyst: Translating your LIS Skills (SJSU SLIS); 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. PDT;

Thursday, April 12, 2012:

Friday, April 13, 2012:

 

For more information and to register (for those not linked above), visit the WSL Training Calendar at www.sos.wa.gov/quicklinks/training.

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WSL Employee of the year: Theresa Connolly

Friday, August 12th, 2011 Posted in Articles, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library | 1 Comment »


Theresa ConnollyTheresa Connolly, Audio Production Supervisor for the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) is the Washington State Library (WSL) Employee of the Year.

The transition to digital talking books in both physical form (cartridge) and downloadable form on the internet has increased access and equity for the blind. Whereas many libraries similar to WTBBL are only recently switching to digital production of local books, thanks to Theresa’s leadership, WTBBL is far ahead of the game.

Theresa worked at WTBBL for 15 years and put the digital system in place. Then she left, returning in 2008 when WTBBL became a direct service of WSL to “finish what she started.”

“Theresa exemplifies the best characteristics of WSL staff,” notes Acting State Librarian Rand Simmons. “Theresa is easily one of the most fair, just, and thoughtful people I know,” adds WTBBL Manager Danielle Miller, “and her return wasn’t simply to see digitization through, but to improve information access for people often marginalized and with scant resources.”

In the last year, Theresa made WTBBL the only library in the nation to offer locally produced books for download; she was the first to try and master the Nation Library Service encryption program; the first to test and master the Book Wizard Producer program for marking up digital books; and she presented and spent hours and hours helping her peers to help their own programs meet standard set by WTBBL and Theresa’s Audio Production Department.

“During the last year, Theresa also juggled training new volunteers, preparing books, editing, building, and uploading books with a complete change in audio recording and production software and hardware,” Miller notes. “Throughout all the changes and hiccups, Theresa kept her department going and in fact produced more books than ever before and began a project to make older titles available in digital format.”

Theresa would say she is not a technology person, and while that may be true to her, from Miller’s perspective she is the best kind of technology person: one who takes time to play and try and fail, and discover the best way to explain to another person. She also is aware there will be exceptions and work-arounds and she deals with these with humor and grace.

“I chose Theresa as the State Library’s Employee of the Year because she exemplifies an ideal employee of the Office of the Secretary of State and the Washington State Library,” Simmons remarked. Miller adds, “She is smart, committed, capable, creative, unrelenting, and a joy to her colleagues and the patrons she serves, both internal and external.”

Photos from Washington Library Snapshot Day

Thursday, May 5th, 2011 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public | Comments Off on Photos from Washington Library Snapshot Day


On April 12, 2011 the Washington State Library participated in Washington Library Snapshot Day. Hundreds of libraries statewide gathered photos, stories, and usage statistics, providing a glimpse at the important services they provide every day.

This set of images offers a look at a single day in the life of the Washington State Library. Enjoy!

WSL Updates for January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 Posted in For Libraries, News, Updates, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library | Comments Off on WSL Updates for January 27, 2011


Volume 7, January 27, 2011 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) FIRST TUESDAYS – INNOVATION AT WTBBL

2) LIBRARY LEGISLATIVE DAY

3) FREE GENEALOGY EVENT – BING CROSBY’S FAMILY HISTORY

4) WASHINGTON LIBRARY SNAPSHOT DAY

5) VIDEO CONTEST – ESPECIALLY FOR TEENS

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

Read the rest of this entry »

WSL Updates for January 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 Posted in For Libraries, Grants and Funding, Institutional Library Services, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library | Comments Off on WSL Updates for January 13, 2011


Volume 7, January 13, 2011 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) NEW DIGITAL COLLECTION – NORTH PEND OREILLE HERITAGE

2) LIBRARY SNAPSHOT DAY FEATURES WSL ILS

3) FIRST TUESDAYS – WTBBL NEEDS YOU!

4) WASHINGTON LIBRARIES HELP JOB SEEKERS

5) BOOKS FOR CHILDREN GRANTS

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

Read the rest of this entry »

Digital transition begins at WTBBL

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 Posted in Articles, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library | 1 Comment »


Danielle, Mary, and her new player

Danielle, Mary, and her new player

The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) started the transition from 4-track cassettes and cassette players to digital talking books and digital talking book machines last week. This long awaited transition is one of the biggest things to happen in library services for the blind, visually impaired, physically disabled, and learning disabled communities in over 35 years. The new technology includes a higher quality, smaller and more portable player and, best of all, an entire book (or multiple books) can all fit on one cartridge containing a usb drive – no more shuffling multiple cassettes, switching sides, finding the next tape, etc.

Arne, digital talking book machine, Danielle

Arne, digital talking book machine, Danielle



 

By federal law, veterans have priority for service and will be the first to receive the new digital talking book machines and digital books. On Friday, August 28th, I personally delivered our first two players to our first two veterans. The first stop was to the home of Arne Kielhaven, an 82-year old WWII veteran. Arne is an avid reader and was very pleased with the new player and looks forward to getting more books. Next, was a visit to 96-year old Mary Tift, a Navy WAVE during WWII. Mary was delighted with her new player and was most impressed with the sleep key since she often listens to her books as she is going to bed. It was wonderful to spend time with Arne and Mary and show them how the technology works and hear about how much our service means to them. WTBBL currently has approximately 11,000 active patrons, so getting everyone transitioned to digital will take a couple years and we’ll be running dual formats (cassettes and digital) for quite some time.