Library News

  • In early 2018, the Washington State Library launched a project to bring virtual reality (VR) to the state’s public libraries, in partnership with the University of Washington’s Information School (iSchool) and Oculus. The project’s first phase included six libraries, selected in part for their proximity to Olympia to make technical issues easier to address: the Tukwila Library and Federal Way Library of the King County Library System, Shelton Timberland Library, Hoquiam Timberland Library, the Mount Vernon City Library, and ­­­­the Puyallup Public Library. An additional partnership with…

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  • Kalama

    Another grant cycle for the Washington Rural Heritage project is wrapping up! The folks at the Washington State Library are working with participants from all over the state to put finishing touches on new and existing digital collections. In the past year, nearly 2,000 items have been added to Washington Rural Heritage, a digital collection hosted by the State Library. Five new collections were created, 10 libraries became project partners, and nearly 20 partnerships were formed between libraries and local…

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  • WTBBL Custom book service photo

    The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) is working to further narrow the digital divide among its patrons who read talking books. WTBBL circulates talking books two ways. Books can be delivered by postage-free mail, or books can be instantly accessed from the National Library Service’s Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD), which is a website and mobile app to download talking books. Although all registered WTBBL patrons are eligible to access talking books through both mail and the…

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  • 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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