WLA Mission

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


Registration Is Open for #WLA2020Now Online!

Registration is open for the 2020 WLA Conference, October 5-10, now online!

While we were looking forward to coming together in Spokane this October, the health and safety of our communities and the accessibility of the conference are our top priorities. You can look forward to a schedule packed full of engaging keynotes, sessions, networking opportunities, and exhibitors at #WLA2020.

Conference highlights include:

  • Keynotes – Hear from Wanda K. Brown, 2019-20 ALA President; CiKeithia Pugh of Equity Matters; Chris Coward and Jevin West of the UW Center for an Informed Public; and a youth author panel!
  • Professional Development – Access 65 sessions from experts and innovators in academic, public, school, and special libraries throughout Washington.
  • Recordings – Unsure if you can fit in the conference to your workday? All registrants receive access to all session and keynote recordings through December 31, 2020!
  • WLA After Dark – Participate in evening breakout sessions that are more irreverent, fun, or provocative than our standard conference fare. All sessions are BYOB, obviously.
  • After School Sessions – School librarians can attend these afternoon programs that are hyper-focused on school libraries. School-relevant programs are still scheduled throughout the conference.
  • Exhibit Hall – Explore a bustling virtual exhibit hall where our vendors will be hosting live-streams, raffles, Q&As, giveaways, and more.
  • Networking Coffee Breaks – Grab your beverage of choice and join meetups, hangouts, and topic-specific discussions—or schedule your own!
  • User-Friendly Platform – Navigate the conference with ease through Whova, our user-friendly conference platform. Make use of the desktop and mobile apps to participate at home, at work, or on the go.
  • Accessible Price – Get full conference access for $50 for WLA members, $35 for WLA Student/Friend/Trustee/Retired/Unemployed Members, and $65 for non-members.
  • Organizational Rates – Purchase an Organizational Rate pass to allow staff from all levels, roles, and career stages to attend for a flat fee!

The conference theme is 2020 Vision: Looking to the Future. Now more than ever, we know our library community needs opportunities to learn, build connections, and tackle the new challenges we’re facing. By reflecting on our collective past and remembering that libraries have always faced change head on, let’s come together to share our clearest visions for the future!


CAYAS Summer Workshop: Best Practices for Serving Trans Youth

WLA's Children & Young Adult Services (CAYAS) Section is excited to invite you to an online workshop where we'll be strengthening our knowledge and compassion for the struggles of our young transgender patrons! Aiden Key from Gender Diversity will help with your confidence around trans needs by reviewing what questions and conversations you may encounter, how to stay respectful when faced with topics of faith and politics, learning about current medical and mental health research, and simple steps you can take to create safe spaces for youth to grow. The workshop covers needs for children & teens and there will be time for Q&A at the end.

When: Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Where: Online

Registration is open now!


2021 WLA Elections - Nominations Now Being Accepted!

Are you looking for leadership experience to help with your career? Need a reason to meet new library people and expand your network? Want to give back to Washington's library communities? WLA wants you! Learn more about WLA Elections today.


WLA Elections Open House 

Are you curious about stepping up into a WLA leadership position but you don't know where to start? Do you want to get involved but are concerned about time commitments? Are you confused about the differences between leadership positions on the board vs in a division vs in a section?

Current WLA leaders are here to answer your questions! We are setting aside three separate times during the week of August 3 to help everyone get involved in leading WLA in a way that is right for them! Whether you have specific questions or just want to stop in and chat, please feel free to join us. There are two more opportunities this week and there is still time to register for today's event:

All three events will be held in Zoom. Simply click on your desired date above for the registration link. You can one, two, or all three days!

Feel free to drop in and say hi!


WLA Merit Awards Now Accepting Nominations

Do you know any amazing library professionals, advocates, students, or groups that deserve to be recognized for their support of or contributions to libraries in Washington? Of course you do!

Nominate a colleague today. Nominators may nominate more than one person for any given award, or one person for multiple awards. A separate nomination form is required for each nomination. Nominations are due September 2. Learn more about each award here. Submit your nomination here.


WLA Scholarship Winners Announced

On behalf of WLA Professional Development Committee, we are excited to announce the winners of the 2020 WLA Scholarships!

  • Neah Ingram-Monteiro - Maryan E. Reynolds Scholarship
  • Marissa Rydzewski - Maryan E. Reynolds Scholarship
  • Nicole Florence Atienza - Hahn-Ahlers Continuing Education Scholarship
  • Sameera Teezab - John Stanford Continuing Education Scholarship

Thank you to all of the applicants and congratulations to the recipients!


July Alki: Resilience & Resolve

The July 2020 issue of Alki is now available. We called for an issue on Resilience & Resolve, and the deadline for submissions came at the end of May. Before the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Manuel Ellis, and too many others. The context of Black Lives Matter matters, and there will be future issues and ongoing conversations devoted to accountability and anti-racist actions in our libraries.

The articles you find here are primarily about COVID-19, and they center your experiences of resilience, resolve, but also struggle. Importantly, we are introducing a new anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion column, to keep these core values front and center in Alki. In creating a new column, we do not intend to limit the conversation to this space alone.

We examine the raw responses to lockdown and quarantine, examine disaster planning, look at health and equity, and how libraries might reenvision themselves. There is poetry, and there is emotion. The Alki Editor chose to let feelings speak for themselves, and too a very light hand to editing this issue.


WLA Statement on Anti-Racism

The Washington Library Association decries the brutality Black communities experience from those charged to protect and serve. Libraries are providers of vital resources for historically underserved communities, and this work has never been more important than it is now. We are responsible for continuing to do this difficult, sometimes painful work that demands we address our biases and how they impact our ability to serve our communities equitably. We urge library professionals across Washington to fight for Black lives, actively oppose systemic oppression and police brutality, and prioritize anti-racism in all that we do. The WLA Board is committed to doing this anti-racist work within our association. To be silent is to be complicit.

For resources regarding anti-racism, click here.


CLAWS Reveals New Logo

WLA's CLAWS (College Libraries Across Washington State) Section held a contest to design their new logo, and the winner is Corinna Whitehurst from Walla Walla Community College! The logo was revealed at the 2020 WLA Academic Conference on March 20.


WLA Office to Work Remotely

Governor Inslee has extended the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order through May 4. In the best interests of our staff, the physical WLA office will continue working remotely from home through March 4. After that we will assess on a week by week basis. Our top concerns at this time are to minimize our own exposure while maintaining WLA's necessary operations, and to support our individual and organizational members virtually however possible.

While the office phones will not be answered in person during this time, all voicemail left will generate an email to the office account so we are promptly notified and can return the call. We will continue scheduling and attending all online WLA meetings that we typically attend. We know this is an incredibly challenging time for every one of you and your organizations, patrons, and students. If there is anything that the WLA office can do to assist you and yours now or in the coming weeks, please let us know.


2020 WLA Academic Library Conference: Recordings Available Now

On March 20, the 2020 WLA Academic Library Conference was held online, bringing together over 100 attendees from university and community college libraries across the state any beyond. Due to the growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in Washington State, we had less than two weeks to transition from an in person conference to a virtual one. Thanks to the adaptability of our presenters, committee, attendees, sponsors, and Central Washington University, we pulled it off! 

Missed the conference? You can still register to get access to all recordings.


#LibrarySnapshot is April 19-25!

Join the Washington Library Association and the Washington State Library in celebrating Library Snapshot DayApril 19-25, a full week of advocacy for our libraries, archives, and special collections across the state!

Show us a “day in the life” at your library or repository! We want to see your programs, your collections, your people (with their permission, of course!), your catalogs, your shelves, your study spaces, your meetings... All library things!


2020 WLA Virtual Conference Recordings Available

Did you miss the 2020 WLA Virtual Conference? You can still register to receive access to the recordings of all sessions. Sessions include:

  • Connecting EDI Efforts With Everything the Library Does
  • The Art of the Reference Interview Defy Distance: How to Use Virtual Reality to Engage Youth
  • Smart Facebook Marketing for Shoestring Budgets
  • Project LIT Leads the Way to School-Wide Reading Culture Expand Library Access Through Self-Serve Technology
  • Fact-Checking News Media in the Digital Age
  • Working with Communities Exposed to Trauma & Toxic Stress: How Libraries Create Resilient Communities
  • Libraries & E-Materials Lending Up to BAT: How to Create and Build a Broadband Action Team in Your Community
  • Adulting 101 for Teens & College Students
  • Not Enough Time? Let Students Do It! Student-Centered Learning in Makerspaces
  • EDI in WLA and Our Libraries
  • From Advocate to Activist

Welcome to Our New 2020 Leadership! 

WLA welcomes its incoming 2020 leadership, including its newly appointed Treasurer, Joy Neal; PNLA Representative, Jane Lopez-Santillana; and our new Alki editor, Johanna Jacobsen Kiciman. 


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.” 


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.


2020 Board Meetings

The 2020 WLA Board meetings have been scheduled! All WLA members are welcome to attend, and online meetings can be accessed via the member event calendar.

January 31, 2020 | Online Meeting

April 16, 2020 | Online Meeting

October 10, 2020 | WLA Annual Conference

July 23, 2020 | Online Meeting


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.


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