2018 WLA Election
Section Candidate Statements


Vice Chair/Chair-Elect, CAYAS

Whitney Winn

Hello! My name is Whitney Winn and I’m running for Incoming Chair of the Children’s and Young Adults Services (CAYAS) section of WLA. For the past two years I have served as the newsletter editor of CAYAS and have enjoyed contributing to the organization and being involved in the library world at the state level. I have been a teen services librarian with the King County Library System for four years and have also served on and chaired several ALA and YALSA committees. As the incoming chair of CAYAS, I would hope to further connect youth services librarians across the state both in person and virtually to learn from each other. I believe CAYAS has room to change and grow and I would look forward to working with members to meet their needs and create a fun and rewarding professional organization.

Position #1, CAYAS

JJ Higgins

I've worked in libraries for over 12 years: 7+ in public libraries and 5 in a special library. I currently work as a Public Service Assistant for KCLS. I started my career as a page for the Children's Librarian, helping her with story time and learning all about Children's and Teens' books. After I received my MLIS, I worked as a Community Programs Coordinator and Librarian for the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle. One of the first tasks I was given was to create an Asian American booklist for grades K-12. While working for KCLS, I became a Story Time Librarian sub. I want to be a part of this Board because I am passionate about serving children and young adults, and want to utilize my experience to help CAYAS with their goals.

Position #3, CAYAS

Elizabeth Doenges

Greetings and Salutations, My name is Elizabeth Doenges and I am a Librarian 2 at the Yakima Valley Libraries serving the wonderful people of Moxee, WA.  I think it’s important to invest in the lives of future generations.  That is why I think it’s significant for libraries to continue to provide programs for early literacy, STEAM, teen advisory groups, and volunteer opportunities for young adults.  I have a MLIS degree from San Jose State University.  Prior to becoming a Librarian, I was a Library Assistant 1 for the Richland Public Library and a Substitute Library Clerk for the Walla Walla County Rural Library District.  My experience in planning and presenting programs for children and young adults includes Storytime, summer reading kits, teen advisory group, and teen book club.  It would be an honor to serve as a board member of CAYAS.

Chair, LISS

Shannon Adkins

My name is Shannon Adkins, and I'm excited to be running for 2018 Chair of the Library and Information Student Section. As a student and incoming library professional, getting into the field is daunting, and joining WLA has made all the difference for me. It has provided a unique opportunity to make great connections with other library professionals who have shared their insights and advice. I have become an active WLA member myself, going to the state capital and advocating for libraries with WLA at Library Legislative Day, learning alongside other WLA members at the Learn Local! Conference in Seattle, and taking over as Interim Chair of the LISS section when former chair Jessica Martinez relocated for work.
I'm now running for 2018 Chair because I'm enthusiastic about the work WLA does, and I'm excited at the opportunity to similarly strengthen the connection between my fellow students and fellow WLA members doing great work in the library field. I look forward to connecting students to the many opportunities already available through WLA, as well as advocating for ways the organization could better serve its student members. Over the next year, I also hope to elevate the LISS Section by recruiting new student members, revamping the section website, and holding regular membership meetings, along with the incoming 2018 Co-Chair and Secretary/Communications Member. In order to achieve this, I'll use the experience I've gained as Interim Chair of LISS, as an officer of the student chapter of ALA (sALA), and the skills I've gained through employment at the Seattle Public Library and the University of Washington Libraries.

Secretary/Communications, LISS

Brandi Gates

My name is Brandi Gates and I am currently in my final year of the MLIS program at the University of Washington. I am the Co-President of the UW chapter of the Association of Library and Information Science Students (ALISS) where I serve as a liaison between MLIS students and iSchool administration, plan and facilitate quarterly meetings to receive feedback from MLIS students that can be presented anonymously to iSchool administration, as well as plan and manage social and professional events each quarter to help build community for MLIS students. I am one of two MLIS student representatives who serve on the iSchool Student Leadership Council, where I offer insight and suggestions from an MLIS student perspective on topics including iSchool and student organization budgets, program and curriculum changes, and cross-departmental collaboration. I am also an MLIS iPeer Advisor where I provide general advice for graduate school and insight into specific class experiences.
As the LISS secretary/communications officer, I will work to get more Library and Information Science students involved with LISS, making it a more active section of WLA. I am already very involved with the MLIS student body at the University of Washington, which provides me with an excellent opportunity to communicate the on goings of LISS as well as encourage involvement with LISS, and WLA as a whole. By creating more awareness around LISS, we would be taking an already great resource for Library and Information Science Students and making it even better; I would be honored to have the opportunity to be a part of this process.

Emely Perez

As I enter the field of librarianship I continue to learn about and engage with information professionals who have the experience and knowledge needed to navigate the field of librarianship. Building connections with others is an important part of the work that libraries do and it is just as important to connect librarians to incoming professionals. As your Secretary/Communications member I hope to contribute to WLA and the work they do by outreaching, sharing information, and connecting fellow WLA members and MLIS students.

I am a strong advocate for outreach, working with communities, and connecting people to resources, services and information. In my role as Secretary/Communications this can include, ensuring students are aware of Library Legislative Day, so that they can attend and discuss the value of libraries and the impact laws have on them. As well as inform students of the Graduate Study Scholarships that provide financial assistance so that they can pursue volunteer and internship opportunities with minimal financial burdens.

I currently serve as the co-secretary and co-treasurer for the student chapter of the American Library Association at the University of Washington. The communication skills I have gained while holding this position will allow me to effectively and efficiently connect MLIS students to WLA and all of the resources and services offered through it. In this position, I have also gained first hand experience of working with my fellow group members in order to provide our student body with the information needed to succeed through the program as well as professionals. I look forward to using this first hand experience to serve as your Secretary/Communications member of LISS.

Chair, WALE

Warren Chin

My name is Warren Chin and it is an honor to be nominated for the WALE Chair. I have worked at The Seattle Public Library since high school, starting out as a library volunteer and then as a shelver with Seattle’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Since then, I have worked a wide range of classifications for The Seattle Public Library, including shelver, clerk, special collections staff, reference support staff and librarian. I have several strong skillsets, such as leadership, project management, communication, analytical and facilitation skills. And as a 2010 Washington Library Association Scholarship winner, I would like to fulfill my commitment to contributing these skills to the association. I strongly support library staff in honing and developing their skills through many onsite and online training sessions. I facilitate and host several programs at Seattle Public Library, such as the “Our Ways” series (opportunities for staff to have conversations with members of marginalized groups and to become allies for racial and social equity) and as a Race and Social Justice Initiative Facilitator.

I have had so many memories and experiences with the WLA & WALE Conferences. It was such a rewarding experience to learn, network, and developed skills at these conferences. By being actively involved with WLA & WALE, it got me to where I am today! A summary of my experiences with WALE are as follows:

  • 2015 WALE Conference Planning Committee Co-Chair: Facilitated meetings, worked with sub-committees, communicated with WLA contacts, compiled reports and evaluations, coordinated key components and logistics for the conference 
  • 2014 WALE Conference Prizes & Packets Sub-Committee: securing items for raffle, fundraiser, and prizes from local businesses, libraries and individuals. Compiled and organized materials for the conference packets.

Even though there are no more conferences for WALE, it is still a strong division that advocates for all library staff and members. Library Employees are the foundation to making the library a functioning, welcoming and productive gem to their community. Having worked in a wide range of library classifications and librarian roles, I can relate to what library staff are going through, such as ongoing issues, conflicts, changes and developments. My experience with networking, collaboration and communication are strengths that could be valuable for the WALE Chair position. I would love to use all my skillset to make sure that the WALE Division will continue its goals to build a strong communication network among library employees, to encourage continuing education for library personnel, and to improve library service through skill development.

Chair, WALT

Brian Haight

When I’m not reading books about motorcycle journeys, I am busy helping library customers find their next great read and working closely with frontline library staff to ensure the Coupeville Library is welcoming and inviting community place.

I have been a part of Sno-Isle Libraries since 2002. During my time at Sno-Isle I have “opted in” on many opportunities to help improve the workplace, increase staff engagement and overall happiness at work. The key to success has been staying involved through participating in Continuous Process Improvement, Ideascale moderation, online Polaris software training, Program Chair for WALT and presentations about online learning and happiness at work for WALE and WLA. With each opportunity, I have embraced change and encouraged others to support the trends and tides of change in libraries.

My current work assignments include Reader Services/BiblioFiles blog writer, Circulation Supervising, serving as a program/interim vice chair for WALT (WA Library Trainers section of WLA), and serving on the Trudy J. Sundberg Lecture committee.

I look forward the opportunity to continue serving WALT as Chair. WALT provides a vital communication link and networking support between all libraries in Washington State. I believe that is the most important part of this leadership position. I will make the utmost effort to keep the communication and connections open for all staff who are directly and indirectly involved in leadership and training development for library workers.

Program Chair, WALT

Elizabeth Oder

I have been an active member of WALT since I became the Training Manager for The Seattle Public Library three years ago. My background will well equip me for the Program Chair position. I have worked in education and training for eighteen years. My background includes extensive experience in instructional design, e-learn development, classroom instruction, training management, learning management system administration, and service-learning class design and support. Prior to coming to SPL, I did this work for a variety of organizations in multiple sectors, including higher education and healthcare. I hold an M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University.

WALT has very active membership and fosters a great network. I want this to continue and grow further. I would like to have more WALT programming on how people learn, instructional design, and equity and social justice issues.