July 24, 2017

Ellensburg Public Library

What does your organization do?

As a small, rural municipal library situated in Kittitas County, our mission is to provide a safe and welcoming place in which our community can develop an appreciation for reading and learning. We do this by stimulating young children’s interest in reading, encouraging lifelong learning, ensuring freedom of access to information, providing the space and the opportunity for people and ideas to come together and responding to the needs of our diverse community.

Currently, what is the most important work that your organization is doing to serve your communities?

One of the most important work we continue to do is to keep our library and community center at the heart of the community. We do our best to meet the needs of our community as well as collaborating with local agencies in order to maximize each other’s resources and services.

Approximately how long have you been a WLA institutional member?

At least 20+ years.

What is your most memorable WLA experience or collaboration?

Probably the most memorable WLA experience for our library was when over half our staff was able to attend the 2007 WALE conference in Spokane. With our institutional dues benefits, WSL continuing education grants and monetary donation from our Friends of the Library group, the cost to send staff was reasonable. They had a great time at the conference learning new things and meeting other professionals in the field.

In what ways has your organization gotten involved with WLA or taken advantage of its benefits?

Our library staff has had the great opportunity to present at several different conferences such as WLA and WALE. Being in a fairly isolated area, it’s empowering for our staff to be able to share their knowledge, work and projects with others. It’s a great opportunity for them to grow, learn and network with other professionals they never would have met otherwise.

What would you tell other organizations about being a WLA member?

I am happy and proud to say that the Ellensburg Public Library is an institutional member of WLA. I must admit, it is difficult to pay our yearly dues as we could use those funds toward other necessities. However, I know our contribution is helping a greater cause; an organization that is committed to helping all libraries and library staff in WA state. We will continue to support and advocate for WLA.