WLA Mission

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


Mark your calendars for #WLA2018!

When: October 17-20, 2018
Where: Yakima Convention Center

This year’s conference theme, “Cultivating Communities, Harvesting Ideas,” honors the bridge-building and innovation happening in and outside of libraries, as well as gives a nod to Yakima’s autumnal agriculture.

We will start posting the conference schedule, program descriptions, and keynote information this month, so check back soon for updates!

WLA Merit Award Nominations Open

Each year, WLA recognizes outstanding members from all types of libraries with the WLA Merit Awards. Nominations are due August 6, and recipients will be announced October 5. Nominate a colleague or peer today for one of the following awards!

  • Emeritus Membership(s)
  • Honorary Membership(s)
  • Advances in Library Services Award
  • Outstanding Performance Award
  • Trustee Award
  • Friends/Foundation Award
  • Candace Morgan Intellectual Freedom Award
  • Outstanding Teacher Librarian of the Year Award
  • Superintendent of the Year Award
  • Principal of the Year Award
  • Small District/Private School Administrator of the Year Award
  • Supervisor of the Year Award
  • CAYAS Visionary Service Award
  • WALE Outstanding Employee Award

Apply for a WLA Scholarship!

Applications are now open for WLA Scholarships! The WLA Professional Development Committee (formerly the Continuing Education Committee) has launched five scholarships to support the professional development of WLA members. Applications close July 1, 2018.


Summer Alki Call for Submissions

It's time to submit article ideas for the next issue of Alki! The theme for Summer 2018 is “What Nobody Ever Tells You About Working in Libraries." Did you learn more on your first day of work than in two years of your MLIS program? Do you still have to educate friends and family on what modern libraries are all about? As a page (or specialist or associate) do you have a bird's-eye view of what we're doing well -- or not?

And to take a deeper dive, what do the things you've learned behind the scenes say about libraries moving forward?

Please send 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

Deadline for articles is Monday, June 4. Article ideas that fall outside of the theme are also encouraged!


March 2018 Alki: Bridges and Walls


In this issue of Alki we look at how libraries -- the services, the collections, the buildings themselves -- bridge gaps and take down walls. The Seattle Public Library finds a collaborative solution to a dearth of Somali language materials. Bellingham Public Library and the Spokane County Library District explore new ways of meeting the needs of patrons experiencing homelessness. A new community space opens up within the walls of the Spokane Public Library, while the Everett Public Library helps patrons explore the fascinating, even macabre, history of their own four walls. High school students find success as college interns, former prisoners are welcomed as new library patrons and even Facebook neighborhood groups and apps like Next Door provide unforeseen opportunities for outreach -- all in the March 2018 issue of AlkiDownload the PDF here!


 2018 Final Legislative Summary

The 2018 Legislative session adjourned on time—for the first time since 2014—on March 8, 2018. The 60 day legislative session was a busy one with hundreds of new bills introduced. In the end though, only 261 made it to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

For WLA, the operating budget had a number of important spending victories:

  • $250,000 is appropriated for the Secretary of State’s office to hire two staff people to digitize state library materials for wider accessibility and to further develop the online teacher portal.
  • $80,000 was appropriated to facilitate a capital needs assessment study of public libraries in distressed counties – including the library facility backlogs and local funding capacities for both non-historic and historic libraries.
  • $900,000 is appropriated from to enable more student access to digital learning through the e-rate program.
  • $100,000 was appropriated for K-12 Open Educational Resource grants
  • $100,000 was appropriated to expand access to electronic Braille display technology at the Washington State School for the Blind

On the policy side, WLA had some key victories but also lost a couple bills due to the fast time frame and the fact that more time was needed to complete the work.

  • Increasing Broadband Access (SB 5935): This bill would have set up an Office of Broadband Access and provided funding for broadband improvements throughout the state. Although WLA was able to amend the bill to ensure participation in the Office of Broadband Access and the needs assessments by the Washington State Librarian, the bill was not able to be brought to the floor for a vote prior to the end of session due to disagreements about some of the technical issues with broadband. WLA will be working on this over the interim and will be back next year to get this bill passed.
  • School Library Bills (SB 6140/HB 2695): These bills would have created a three-pronged approach for school library support. They would have given “library materials” its own line item in the prototype school allocations, required OSPI to study what is happening with school libraries across the state, and added a school library oversight position at OSPI. While neither of these bills made it past the cutoff dates, WLA was able to amend the “library materials” change onto SB 6362 (see below).
  • School Library Materials (SB 6362): WLA was able to amend a "library materials" change onto SB 6362, which passed and was signed by the governor. With this change, every school will receive an allocation for “library materials,” equivalent to $20 per full time equivalent student. It is an allocation, not a mandate, but it will go a long way towards providing resources for school library bills.
  • Service Animal Misrepresentation (HB 2822): This bill clarifies the definition of “service animal” for all public accommodations (including libraries) to match the federal definition of a dog (or miniature horse) that is specifically trained to do a task for a person with a physical, psychiatric, mental, or sensory disability. It then makes it illegal for a person to misrepresent their animal as a service animal and allows law enforcement to cite a person who is doing this. The bill, which was drafted by the Governor’s Office for Disability Rights and the Human Rights Commission, passed both houses with overwhelming support and is now on the Governor’s desk. The hope for this bill is that it will make people think twice before bringing their untrained pet into a public place and will also provide more protection for those who do have trained service animals in the disabled community.
  • Expanded Learning Council (HB 2802): WLA was very disappointed to see this bill die in the Senate Early Learning & K12 Education Committee. The bill would have made permanent the existing Expanded Learning Council (which has a WLA serving on it). This council is important to coordinating efforts between early learning, K-12 education and summer learning programs. The proponents, including WLA, plan to work over the summer and bring this bill back next year.
  • Student Freedom of Expression (SB 5064): This bill, which passed and is now on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature, offers protection to student media at both public high schools and higher education institutions. School officials may only prohibit student media that is: libelous or slanderous; an unwarranted invasion of privacy; obscene or indecent under the Federal Communications Act; violates school district policy or procedure related to harassment, intimidation, bullying, or discrimination; incites students to commit an unlawful act on school premises or violate a lawful school regulation; or creates a material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school. Political expression by students in school-sponsored media may not be deemed use of public funds for political purposes and student media advisors are also protected from repercussions for failing to repress student-protected media.

Click here to read the full report from WLA lobbyist Carolyn Logue, and click here to download the comprehensive bill list of bills being tracked by WLA over the 2018 Legislative session. The WLA Legislative committee worked hard over the session to read bills and help narrow this list. Now comes the work of deciding the 2019 Legislative Priorities.


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

Washington State Library/WLA Continuing Education Needs Assessment