WLA Mission

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

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.

November Alki: Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

It's time to submit article ideas for the next issue of Alki! The theme for Fall 2019 is “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.” In these challenging times, our profession has an opportunity and a responsibility to rethink how we engage communities that are using our libraries, and also those that are not. Many organizations and library staff are setting bold visions, policies, programs, and examples for creating spaces of inclusion, empowerment, and belonging for everyone, particularly those who are underrepresented and marginalized. This issue is devoted to this goal and the ongoing work needed to achieve it. If you or someone you know are doing this work, and would like to write about it, please consider sending your article idea(s) to [email protected] and include:

  • Your name and position/library
  • Description of the article
  • Suggested title
  • Estimated length (in pages); each page = 750 words (or fewer with graphics)
  • Intent to include graphics (photo, logo, other)
  • Contact information

The deadline to submit articles for the Fall issue is October 18, 2019. Please see the Instructions for Contributors for more details. Di Zhang, the editor of Alki, is happy to discuss ideas and expectations with you as well. We are also accepting articles that are not related to the theme but are of interest to the WLA community.

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 Meetup at Seattle Chilren's Book Festival

Will you be attending the first-ever Seattle Children's Book Festival, Saturday, September 28, at Greenwood Elementary? After the festival, take a short walk to Luso Food & Wine to meet up with WLA colleagues for happy hour food and drinks!

When: Saturday, September 28, 3:00-5:00 pm
Where: Luso Food & Wine, 8218 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

Save the Date: WLA Awards Reception

Join us for the WLA Awards Reception! All members are welcomed to join your colleagues from around the state to celebrate Merit Award winners, incoming and outgoing WLA leadership, and scholarship winners. Beer, wine, and appetizers will be served.

Date: Saturday, October 5, 2019
Time: 4:006:00 pm
Location: North Central Regional Library Distribution Center, Wenatchee

Due to the timing of the 2019 OLA-WLA Conference, we didn't have the opportunity to hold our traditional awards lunch after the elections and awards cycle. This reception will allow us recognize those leaders and go-getters during the usual timing of WLA's annual conference.

Save the Date: WLA Virtual Conference

Mark your calendars for the first ever WLA Virtual Conference on 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. Stay tuned for more information about the schedule, keynotes, registration, and opportunities for group viewings. The request for session proposals will be sent out in October and will be focused on three topic tracks: Emergent Technologies, Career & Professional Development, and Marketing & Communications. Special consideration will be given to programs relevant to small and rural libraries.

Save the Date: 2020 WLA Academic Library Conference

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. A request for conference proposals will be sent out in Fall 2019. Check back soon for more details.When: March 20, 2020
Where: Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA

Meet our 2020 Academic Library Conference Committee!

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!


WLA Announces New Assistant Director

The Washington Library Association is pleased to announce that Brianna Hoffman has been named Assistant Director of WLA. Working with WLA’s management company, Primary Source, Brianna will assist in the day-to-day operations of the association including the coordination of conferences and WLA's internal groups and committees.

Brianna brings 13 years of public library experience and three years of national project coordination experience to the Assistant Director role, and she received her MLS from Emporia State University in 2013. A longtime member, Brianna served as a WLA board director from 2013-2015 and as Vice-President/President/Past-President from 2015-2018. Brianna has also co-chaired several WLA conferences and internal WLA groups.

WLA Executive Director, Kate Laughlin, is excited to bring this former role back to the WLA management team, and Brianna’s in-depth knowledge and experience will be a true asset to the association.

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!

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

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