Library News

  • Libraries are all about sharing. Public libraries are based on the idea that one book can be shared with many. This simple notion forms the foundation of a public library’s mission and goals. Modern libraries offer much more than books, but the idea of equal access for all has never changed. In Washington state, we have a strong library system, but not every community has the time or expertise to tackle fundraising. Last year, leaders of the Seattle Public Library…

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  • March 2019 marks the launch of a pilot project called Check Out Washington at four Washington public libraries. With Check Out Washington, library users can check out a backpack kit that includes a Discover Pass for free access to Washington state’s recreational parks and lands for up to a week. The project’s goal is to encourage new users to go outdoors to enjoy the natural and cultural riches of Washington’s public lands. In addition to a Discover Pass, each backpack…

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  • February is dedicated to honoring African-Americans and their contributions to our country’s history. As a participant in the Federal Depository Library Program, the Washington State Library receives publications produced by the federal government. This collection contains a wealth of resources for exploring the rich history of African-Americans in the United States. This blog post will highlight some of the available material. Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007 provides a biography of the 121 black members of Congress over the 137 years…

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  • The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) Braille Production Department has been increasingly busy in the past several months with new local books being transcribed, proofread, and made available to library patrons. A big part of this is due to WTBBL’s stellar volunteers, who are flexible and willing to explore new ways to improve the braille production process. In fall 2018, WTBBL launched a pilot program to test the feasibility of having volunteer teams perform offsite proofreading. The first…

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  • Virtually every public library in the world wants more funds for buying books. For the Institutional Library Services (ILS) program of the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State, that gap between wish and reality is lessened by Amazon Wish Lists. Through these lists, the ILS staff invites donors to purchase specific new books and materials sought by each library. For the library at Washington Corrections Center for Women, one superstar donor shines brightly: Robin…

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  • All libraries transform. But as you walk through a prison for the first time, you may realize the unique value a library can provide within such an intense environment. An inmate seeking to transform needs hope and resilience to overcome the challenges of building a better life. But where are hope and resilience in prison? Some find them in the environment’s solitude. Others find these qualities in religion. Others may seek them through education. For any of these paths, the…

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