WLA Mission

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

2019 WLA-OLA Conference

Mark your calendars for the 2019 OLA-WLA Conference

When: April 17–20, 2019
Where: Hilton Vancouver Washington

The conference will bring together the Oregon Library Association (OLA) and Washington Library Association (WLA) for four days packed full of professional development opportunities and exciting networking events. 

The conference theme is “Charting the Unknown Together,” which reflects the current climate of change, injustice, and uncertainty that affects library professionals and patrons alike. Together, we’re hopeful that our collaboration and camaraderie can help us navigate these new waters.

On behalf of the 2019 Conference Committee, we hope to see you in Vancouver!

2019 WA Library Legislative Day

Join us in Olympia on February 6th for the WA Library Legislative Day, sponsored by WLA! This is a great opportunity to network with library supporters from around the state and meet with State Legislators and their staff to discuss the value of libraries and the impact laws have on them. This event will be free to attend. More information about this event will be available soon!


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)

Alki Call for Submissions

Alki Switching to Conference Wrap-Up Issue! If you're headed to conference this year, consider contributing to Alki! Your WLA journal is looking for:

  • Thoughtful reportage on WLA sessions
  • High-res images of conference happenings
  • Follow-up interviews with keynote speakers 
  • First-timer/mid-career/old guard impressions 
  • And of course, articles of interest to the WLA community either on the theme "Cultivating Communities, Harvesting Ideas" or completely independent of the theme

The new deadline for the Fall issue of Alki is Monday, November 12. For questions or to pitch an article idea, contact Sheri Boggs, Alki Editor, at [email protected].

Alki: What No One Ever Tells You About Working in Libraries

The summer issue of Alki is all about the things you don't find out about libraries until you're actually working in one! From pages on up to library directors, and from public to special libraries, our membership shares how library work comes with unique -- and sometimes comical -- challenges. At the same time it often yields surprising, even personally meaningful, rewards. We also take a look at Everett Public Library's forays in podcasting, anticipate an amazing weekend of children's literature in Bellingham, and consider the ideal "real world" library syllabus. 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 summer issue of Alki!


 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