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Library News

  • Left: Mary Ann Olander, 7 1/2, with her dog, Laddie, and cat, Queenie, picketing against the Sputnik 2 rocket. Right: Laika the dog.

    Librarians at Washington State Library are often found serving their customers at one of several microfilm machines, carefully searching among hundreds of Washington newspapers past and present for that elusive article or photo. Sometimes a diligent search can reveal a serendipitous and very curious find, which can make a librarian’s entire day. For example, the front page of the Nov. 7, 1957, Bremerton Sun shows a young animal-rights activist named Mary Ann Olander (age 7 1/2) along with her dog,…

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  • Collage of images from Irwin Nash Migrant Labor Collection. Top row, left to right: Guadalupe Gamboa, left, and Michael Fox clasping hands in a victory pose. Their hands are above a No Trespassing sign on Rogers Walla Walla labor camp. Walla Walla, WA, 1971; Farm workers harvesting hops near Granger, WA in the summer of 1971; Cesar Chavez wearing a checkered shirt with a windbreaker over it and a microphone clipped to his shirt. He is sitting in a cushioned chair for an interview at a TV station. Bottom row, left to right: The exterior of a cafe called the

    Since 2007, Washington State Library has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to numerous public, academic, tribal, and special libraries statewide. The grants enable these libraries — often in cooperation with local museums, historical societies, community organizations, and private individuals — to digitize historically significant photographs, documents, and artifacts in order to preserve them and make them accessible to people all over the world. In 2020, Washington State University’s (WSU) Holland/Terrell Libraries received a Washington Digital Heritage Grant…

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  • Collage of collection holdings from some participating organizations of Northwest Digital Heritage.

    A new Washington-Oregon partnership is helping cultural institutions across the Pacific Northwest make their digital archives more visible and accessible nationwide. Northwest Digital Heritage (NWDH), a Washington State Library, State Library of Oregon, and Oregon Heritage Commission collaboration, is leveraging the infrastructure and best practices of the Washington Rural Heritage project to expand public access and visibility to cultural heritage organizations in the Pacific Northwest. NWDH operates as a service hub of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), which…

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  • Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) is celebrating its 90th anniversary. All this year we are inviting everyone to help us celebrate, and ensure people who are blind or visually impaired have access to the books and other reading materials they love to read. On May 4-5, WTBBL participated in Washington Gives’ GiveBIG, a 48-hour online giving campaign that supports Washington state nonprofits. Thanks to the support and generosity of people all across our great state, WTBBL raised $10,000…

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  • Collage of library staff answering questions through the Ask a Librarian service along with the program logo.

    How often have you heard someone tell you the information you are looking for is “on our website,” only to give up looking because you could not find it? More than likely quite often. Unfortunately, however, and despite the best of intentions, government agencies are not always immune to this issue. Over 190 agencies comprise Washington state government. Thousands of Washingtonians visit their websites every day, often for urgent reasons — whether to make an appointment, pay a fee, or…

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  • Screen captures of participants in the virtual 2021 Washington Regional Braille Challenge.

    On Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26-27, Washington Talking Book & Braille Library (WTBBL) hosted the annual Washington Regional Braille Challenge. The Braille Challenge, developed by the Braille Institute, is an academic competition held in the United States and Canada every January through mid-March. Students in grades 1 through 12 who are blind or visually impaired are tested on fundamental braille skills such as spelling, reading comprehension, proofreading, speed and accuracy, and charts and graphs. This year’s Braille Challenge was a…

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