Library News

  • Officials from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a U.S. government agency which regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable, visited the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) on September 18th to answer patrons’ questions about telecommunications and broadcast matters. It was a great opportunity for WTBBL’s patrons to get answers to questions such as: What do I do about unwanted robocalls? How can I keep my favorite television stations after the upcoming broadcast transition? Or whom should I complain…

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  • On September 15th and 16th at Seattle Center, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library hosted an outreach table at Fiestas Patrias, the annual commemoration of independence for Latin American countries, many of which celebrate independence days in the month of September. The theme of Fiestas Patrias for 2018 was “Sin Barreras” or “Without Barriers.” The festival is an expression of Latino culture through music, dance, cooking demonstrations, a health fair, and food and community vendor booths. WTBBL staff and volunteers…

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  • Recently, a Washington State Library patron arrived to ask about accessing old Washington newspapers. She turned out to have quite a story. She had just landed her dream job: no more night shifts, double the salary, and reduced commuting time. She was over the moon, except for one thing: her new job required an official copy of her state-issued birth certificate, plus other documents. How hard could that be? She was born in Washington, and had a driver’s license and school records,…

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  • Since 2003, Washington state has sent a representative to the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. annually. The festival was the brainchild of librarian and First Lady Laura Bush and then-Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. In its early years, the festival was held on the National Mall, but as it grew in size and popularity it was moved to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Each year all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories are asked…

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  • Public and traveling libraries 1904

    J.A. Gabel, appointed Washington State Librarian in 1902 at just 29 years old, penned an insightful report on the condition of the state library system as “an active and aggressive force” for state education and governance. We found the document well worth sharing, both as an interesting historic record and as an explanation of how the State Library came to grow to its current form. Enjoy! Above is a map of the state’s library system as it existed then: the…

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  • On August 28th, author Patricia Briggs gave a presentation in the library at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center to inmates and the Institutional Libraries Services staff of the State Library, which is a division of the Office of Secretary of State. Nearly 50 inmates attended, and many posed insightful questions about how Briggs approaches the writing process. She said that if you want to be a writer, the first thing you should do is read anything and everything. Her mother was a…

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