WLA Mission

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


Nominations Open for WLA Elections

Are you looking for leadership experience? Need a reason to meet new library people and expand your network? Want to give back to Washington's library communities? WLA wants you! Nominations are now open for all vacant 2020 WLA leadership positions, from the WLA Board of Directors to our Division and Section steering committees. Nominate yourself or another WLA member by August 15.


Nominations Open for WLA Merit Awards

Do you know any rockstar library professionals, advocates, students, or groups that deserve to be recognized for their support of or contributions to libraries in Washington? Nominate them for a WLA Merit Award! Nominations are due August 15.


Apply for a WLA Scholarship

Applications are open for WLA scholarships, awarded by the Professional Development Committee to support the professional development of WLA members. Applications are due August 1, and winners will be announced September 4 in the WLA Wednesday newsletter.


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!


Call for Milestones Submissions: Summer 2019 Alki 

Alki is seeking submissions for the Milestones section. Milestones focuses on significant moments for libraries statewide—recognizing notable new hires, transitions, retirements, as well as remembrances of those who have passed. We're looking for submissions, of approximately 250 words, that highlight notable accomplishments in the careers of those profiled. Photographs are encouraged. Please send information to Di ZhangAlki editor.


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!


March Alki: Overwhelm/Overcome

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

Libraries, library staff, and our patrons are overwhelmed. Shrinking budgets, changing demographics, different expectations, political and social uncertainty, you name it. This issue of Alki is about how we cope, and how to face these challenges head on. We start things off with a look at the increasingly used e-collection at SPL, where budgets are struggling to keep up with demand. We also take a look at how the Bellingham Public Library responded to a shelter crisis with open arms. Further in, you'll find pieces on yoga, self-care, innovative programs, and much more. There's even a meditative poem! And of course, we check in on our regular features, "I'd Rather Be Reading," "Read This Book," and "Dispatches from Swellville." Enjoy all this and more in the new issue of Alki!


2020 WLA Conference: Save the Date!

Mark your calendars for the 2020 WLA Conference, October 7-10, 2020 in Spokane! Check back soon for a conference theme, keynotes, and more exciting announcements.

Interested in serving on the 2020 Conference Committee? Email [email protected]


Announcing New WLA Advocacy Committee

We're excited to announce that WLA has formed a new committee to advocate on behalf of libraries and library staff in Washington! The new Advocacy Committee will be chaired by Kristin Piepho. Interested in getting involved? Email [email protected]


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.


2019 WLA Board Meetings

The 2019 WLA Board meeting dates have been announced. Any WLA leaders or members are welcome to attend these meetings, and access information can be found in our WLA events calendar.

February 16, 2019 | 1:00-3:00 pm | online
April 17, 2019 | 2:30-4:30 pm | in person at Vancouver Hilton
July 29, 2019 | 9:30-11:30 am | online
October 23, 2019 | 3:00-5:00 pm | online


Congratulations to the 2018 WLA Merit Award Winners!

On behalf of the 2018 WLA Awards Committee, we're thrilled to award ten Merit Awards to the below recipients for their commitment to Washington libraries.

  • Hayden Bass – Outstanding Performance Award
  • Issaquah Schools Foundation – Friends/Foundation Award
  • Jeff Martin – Lifetime Membership Award: Emeritus
  • Kylie Fullmer – Advances in Library Services Award
  • Ann Crewdson – Candace Morgan Intellectual Freedom Award
  • Thom Barthelmess – CAYAS Visionary Award
  • Joe Olayvar – WALE Outstanding Employee Award
  • Julie Wasserburger – Supervisor of the Year Award
  • Dave Sonnen – Outstanding Teacher Librarian of the Year Award
  • Keven Wynkoop – Principal of the Year Award

2018 WLA Scholarship Winners Announced

On behalf of the WLA Professional Development Committee, we're excited to announce the winners of the 2018 WLA Scholarships!

  • Magenta Loera – Maryan E. Reynolds Scholarship ($2,000)
  • Meredith Kostek – Maryan E. Reynolds Scholarship ($1,000)
  • Andrea Alaniz – Hahn-Ahlers Continuing Education Scholarship ($1,000)
  • Dovi Mae Patiño – John Stanford Continuing Education Scholarship ($1,000)
  • Chimena Kabasenche – Denny Bond Library Paraprofessional Scholarship ($1,000)
  • Hillary M. Marshall – Sharon Bates Professional Growth Scholarship ($1,000)

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