All branches of the Washington State Library are currently closed to the public. Questions received via email, chat, and phone will be answered between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Collection items are available through your local library using interlibrary loan. All collection materials currently checked out due July 15, and the blue book drop located near our back door is available for use. For more information, please visit our page regarding the closure.

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Library News

  • Thanks to past and ongoing digitization efforts at the Washington State Library, Washington Digital Newspapers hosts digital copies of some of the earliest newspapers published in Washington. Through their columns, early territorial editors provided a glimpse of some of the hardships faced by settlers in general, and by publishers in particular in the 1850s. This blog, one of a three part series, covers the arrival of newspaper publishers in Olympia and Steilacoom and the housing they found in these early…

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  • Librarian sitting with archival newspapers

    Through multiple National Digital Newspaper Program grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities in conjunction with the Library of Congress, the Washington State Library has contributed over 300,000 pages of digitized Washington newspapers to Chronicling America ( since 2008. The contributions from the Washington State Library are part of the over 16 million searchable newspaper pages from 48 states and two territories made freely available on Chronicling America. Ben Lee is working to extend the usability of these digitized…

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  • A volunteer narrator records a book in the studios at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library.

    On April 29th, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library’s (WTBBL) Director, Danielle Miller; Audio Book Production Supervisor, John Pai; and Assistant Manager, Alycia Ensminger, hosted a webinar, Getting to Know WTBBL’s Audiobook Production, for the Washington State Library. This webinar discussed how an audiobook is produced: starting with selection of materials, the narrators and narration process, production and editing of recordings, and the final stages of production as staff prepare the audiobook for circulation. The speakers gave an overview of how…

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  • In 1918, while Washingtonians were anxiously awaiting for their boys to come home near the end of WWI, reports were coming over from Europe about soldiers dying from a mysterious Spanish Influenza. Reports of “la grippe,” the “flu,” and “pneumonia,” the epidemic was caused by a strain of Pfeiffer’s Bacillus, named after the epidemiologist who discovered it in 1892. By mid-September, before the war was over, it had reached the shores of Washington and at least 23 other states. Warnings…

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  • Give Big graphic for May 2020 showing WTBBL staff and patrons.

    On Tuesday and Wednesday, May 5th and 6th, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) will be participating in GiveBIG Washington 2020, a 48-hour long online giving campaign that is designed to support Washington state nonprofit organizations. This year, WTBBL’s goal is to raise $10,000 to purchase a 3D printer for their Youth Services Program, launch a Teen Advisory Board, and provide additional program support. WTBBL’s Youth Services program provides books and materials in all formats for children of…

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  • Troy and Cheryl LaBrum have a passion for giving.  A devout family, they donate often to local churches and missions, but their generosity doesn’t stop there; for years, they have also been donating extensively to the various prison and hospital libraries that make up the Institutional Library Services (ILS) program of the Washington State Library.  Hearing of ILS from a loved one who experienced the benefits firsthand, Troy and Cheryl decided to seek out a way to contribute to the…

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