WLA Mission

The Washington Library Association leads, advocates, educates, and connects.


November Alki: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is now available!

Our latest edition of Alki focuses on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Libraries.

When it comes to libraries, racial equity and social justice need to be front and center. In this issue, we set out to highlight some of the fantastic work that library staff and organizations are engaged in and also ways that we can challenge ourselves to do better and to think bigger. This is certainly not an endpoint, but rather a starting place to share ideas, tools, and perspectives on how to be more inclusive, to share more power, and ultimately create a place of belonging for those that we serve. 


Assistant Director Brianna Hoffman to Become Executive Director January 2020

The Washington Library Association is pleased to announce that beginning January 1, 2020, Assistant Director Brianna Hoffman will succeed Kate Laughlin as WLA’s Executive Director. At that time, Laughlin will begin her role as the first Executive Director for the national Association for Rural & Small Libraries, but will remain a strategic advisor to the WLA team. 

Primary Source, WLA’s current management office and Laughlin’s library-support agency, will continue to provide dedicated office support for the association’s operations, events, and general membership. Since 2016, Primary Source has helped guide WLA through an internal reorganization, significant fiscal improvements, a revitalization of its member-run committees, and many other strategic initiatives. WLA has enjoyed a bolster in fresh leadership representing members from all four WLA Divisions, improved online presence and member resources, and increased attendance in quality conferences and events. 

Hoffman has been on staff with Primary Source since the beginning of 2019, and will continue working with the same team who has handled WLA’s daily operations, conference coordination, and membership engagement for several years. She is a longtime WLA member and Past-President of the WLA Board, so she is well-acquainted with the association’s mission and vision. Hoffman also brings to her new role over 13 years of experience supporting and advocating for libraries both large and small. 

She is a former public librarian and an active member of the American Library Association and the Pacific Northwest Library Association. “I am excited and honored to be stepping into this position at such an amazing time of growth for WLA,” she stated about her upcoming role. “WLA has been an integral part of my professional development and I am thrilled to give back to our community in this way.” 


 Alki Seeks New Editor: Deadline Extended to December 17

WLA is seeking an Editor for Alki! A minimum two-year commitment is requested, and the position will begin by March 2020. The Alki Editor is responsible for providing a balanced mixture of relevant and thoughtful articles and features on the interests, responsibilities, and concerns of all library personnel. Editor receives a $3,000 annual honorarium to be delivered in three equal installments, plus approved expenses. Apply by December 17.


Registration Opens for WLA Virtual Conference

Registration will open soon for our first-ever WLA Virtual Conference! The conference will be held Tuesday, January 14, 2020. This all-day event will bring together library professionals from around Washington and the world to build connections and envision the future of libraries. By holding this conference online, we’re able to lower the barriers of attending and presenting that many face due to limited staffing, funding, or location. 

Registration for WLA members will open Monday, November 18, and for non-members on Wednesday, November 20.


WLA Office Hours Extended

The WLA office will now be open 7:00 am–5:00 pm (Pacific Time). We hope these expanded office hours will better accommodate our members' needs.


Save the Date: WLA Academic Library Conference

When: March 20, 2020
Where: Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA

CLAWS (College Libraries Across Washington State) and ALD (Academic Library Division) will come together with their first-ever conference for library workers in academic libraries. This all-day event will be held at on March 20, 2020 at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA.

The conference theme of "Deep Roots, New Growth" seeks to cultivate the fruit of academic library work while staying grounded in an ever-changing library environment. We find ourselves at a crossroads of new and emerging ways of accessing information in academic libraries and continuously challenging the library image on campus, while also staying connected to the bedrock principles of libraries. How do we remain responsive to a changing student population, as well as increasing focus on diversity and inclusion? How can we grow with the culture of our campus patrons and rise to meet the future needs of teaching and learning?


Save the Date: 2020 WLA Conference

Save the date for the 2020 Washington Library Association Conference!

When: October 7-20, 2020
Where: Spokane Convention Center

A request for conference proposals will be sent out in early 2020. Check back soon for more details!


2019 WLA Award Winners Announced

On behalf of the 2019 WLA Awards Committee, we're thrilled to award eleven Merit Awards to the below recipients for their commitment to Washington libraries.

  • Carlotta Walker (Outstanding Performance Award)
  • Lynne King (Lifetime Membership: Emeritus)
  • Rep. Steve Tharinger (Lifetime Membership: Honorary)
  • Aileen Luppert (Advances in Library Services)
  • Tanya Patton (Trustee Award)
  • Kay O'Connell (Friends/Foundation Award)
  • TuesD Chambers (Outstanding Teacher Librarian of the Year Award)
  • Dr. Kristine McDuffy (Superintendent of the Year Award)
  • Heidi Bush (CAYAS Visionary Service Award)
  • Lisa Vos (WALE Outstanding Employee Award)

Come celebrate with your colleagues from around the state at the WLA Awards Reception! WLA members and their guests are invited to the NCRL Distribution Center in Wenatchee on October 5 to celebrate these award winners, plus incoming and outgoing WLA leadership and our 2019 Scholarship Winners!


WLA Election Winners Announced

The polls have closed for the 2020 WLA Elections, and we have a fantastic group of incoming leaders! Thank you to all of the candidates who ran and the WLA members who voted. Let's give a warm WLA welcome to the newly elected 2020 leaders below!

WLA Board

  • Vice President/President-Elect: Danielle H. Miller
  • Board Director, Public Library Division: Lisa Vos
  • Board Director, School Library Division: Rebecca Wynkoop
  • Student Representative to the Board: Kaitlyn Griffith 

WLA Divisions

  • Academic Library Division Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Amy Thielen
  • Public Library Division Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Carol Ellison
  • Public Library Division Secretary/Communications: Elizabeth Koenig
  • School Library Division Chair: Hillary Marshall 
  • School Library Division Secretary/Communications: Elizabeth Roberts
  • Special Library Division Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Laura Edmonston
  • Special Library Division Secretary/Communications: Carmen Tinker

WLA Sections

  • CATS Chair: Jocelyn Kehr
  • CATS Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Julie Graham
  • CAYAS Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Nic Figley
  • CAYAS Steering Committee Position #1: Jodeana Kruse
  • CAYAS Steering Committee Position #2: Sue Hart
  • CLAWS Chair: Greg Bem
  • CLAWS Secretary/Communications: Katie Hart
  • IFS Secretary/Communications: Karen Kline
  • LIFE Secretary/Communications: Katy McLaughlin
  • LISS Chair: Marissa Rydzewski
  • SAIL Chair: Beth Wood
  • SRRT Chair: Samantha Hines
  • SRRT Secretary/Communications: Alexa Andrews
  • WALE Secretary/Communications: JoLyn Reisdorf
  • WALT Chair: Tami Masenhimer
  • WLFFTA Chair: Marvin Waschke

Are you interested in getting involved in a WLA Division, Section, or committee in 2020? Email [email protected] to find out how.


Congratulations to Our 2019 Scholarship Winners! 

On behalf of the WLA Professional Development Committee, we're excited to announce the winners of the 2019 WLA Scholarships

  • Daniel Tate – Maryan E. Reynolds Scholarship ($1,000)
  • Hanna White – Maryan E. Reynolds Scholarship ($1,000)
  • Marissa Rydzewski – Hahn-Ahlers Continuing Education Scholarship ($1,000)
  • Pearl McCrea – Hahn-Ahlers Continuing Education Scholarship ($500)
  • Belva Tyska – Denny Bond Library Paraprofessional Scholarship ($1,000)
  • Jennifer Altena – Sharon Bates Professional Growth Scholarship ($1,000)

Scholarship recipients will be recognized at the WLA Awards Reception in Wenatchee, October 5.


July Alki: Literacy in Libraries: Many Forms, Many Audiences, One Mission

The July 2019 issue of Alki, the journal of the Washington Library Association, is now available!

When we talk about literacy in libraries, it's more than just reading and writing. This issue is about the many (but not all) forms of literacy that libraries and librarians in Washington are exploring and co-creating with patrons. The world has shifted beneath our feet, and our profession continues to grow to encompass greater levels and types of expertise needed for 21st century challenges. In this issue, you'll likely encounter literacies that you never thought of as literacy, and that's great! Those light bulb moments are what make literacy so special. So, please celebrate and learn about literacy by reading our newest issue of Alki!


WLA Book Awards: 2019 Winners & 2020 Nominees

OTTER Award: The 2019 OTTER Award, for students in grades K-5, was awarded to Game Over, Super Rabbit Boy! (Press Start! #1) by Thomas Flintham. This year, over 7,400 students across the state read the nominees and voted. Check out the 2020 OTTER nominees!
Sasquatch Award: The 2019 Sasquatch Award, a kids' choice award for grades 4-6, was awarded to A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen. This year, over 11,600 students across the state read the nominees and voted. Check out the 2020 Sasquatch nominees!

Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award (WCCPBA): The 2019 WCCPBA, a childrens' choice award for grades K-3, was awarded to The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Adam Rex. This year, over 134,300 children across the state read the nominees and voted. Check out the 2020 WCCPBA nominees!

Towner Award: The 2019 Towner Award, for informational texts for grades 2-6, was awarded to This Book Isn't Safe by Colin Furze! The Educators' Choice book is the Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson. Check out the 2020 nominees here!


Meet CLAWS: CLAMS to Merge with WLA, Form New Section

WLA is excited to announce that CLAMS (College Librarians and Media Specialists of Washington) has voted to dissolve and join WLA. They will form a new WLA Section with a catchy new name: College Libraries Across Washington State (CLAWS). CLAWS will continue to serve as a hub for library professionals in the Community and Technical Colleges system of Washington State. Let's give CLAWS a warm WLA welcome!

The conversation with CLAMS began in 2017, and since then leaders from WLA and CLAMS have worked closely to make sure both sides are fairly and clearly represented in a memorandum of understanding. During the April 17 board meeting at the OLA-WLA Conference in Vancouver, the WLA Board voted to approve both the CLAMS merger and the petition to form the new CLAWS Section.

Until the next WLA Elections, CLAWS will be led by a steering committee consisting of several members who petitioned to start the new Section: Heath Hayden, Greg Bem, Rowena McKernan, and Jessica Koshi-Lum.

If you're interested in becoming a WLA member, you can join both CLAWS and WLA here. If you're already a WLA member, you can join CLAWS for free!


2019 WLA-OLA Conference

In April, the 2019 OLA-WLA Conference brought together the Oregon Library Association (OLA) and Washington Library Association (WLA) for four days packed full of professional development opportunities and exciting networking events. Over 900 attendees, 70 exhibitors, and 300 presenters came to Vancouver to chart the unknown!

Thank you to all of the attendees, volunteers, presenters, and exhibitors for making this conference so successful. In particular, thank you to the Conference Committee, who worked tirelessly for the better part of a year to plan a fun and rewarding experience. 

The conference theme was “Charting the Unknown Together,” which reflects the current climate of change, injustice, and uncertainty that affects library professionals and the communities we serve. It also honors the spirit of exploration in the Pacific Northwest and the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Together, we’re hopeful that our collaboration and camaraderie can help us navigate new waters.


New WLA Events Calendar

We're excited to announce the latest improvement to the WLA website: a meeting and events calendar! Here we will post any WLA meetings (Board, Committee, Section/Division, etc.), as well as other library events and association conferences. For online meetings, Zoom links are included in the description.

The calendar is available to WLA members after they log in to their accounts. We hope it will help members keep organized and also keep aware of the goings-on throughout WLA.

Have a meeting to add? Email the details to the WLA office and we’ll add it for you! Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions for this new feature.


Have a question for WLA? Please contact us:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (206) 823-1138