On the 4th floor of the central library building you’ll find a man sitting at a workstation in the southeast corner surrounded by numerous chicken figurines. You might hear him talking back to his computer in a colorful manner as he processes yet another book truck of material. Meet Bill Baas.
Bill has been with the Washington State Library (WSL) for nearly two decades. In that time he has performed a variety of tasks in Technical Services including assigning call numbers, processing material in every format, repairing bibliographical accidents, and doing collection inventory. When something odd or weird surfaces in the catalog, it will inevitably find itself on the desk of this biblio-detective.
Bill was a major part of the WSL retrospective conversion push, 2000-2010. His ability to process numerous book trucks of material is truly amazing. In the 3-year newspaper on microfilm project alone, he was instrumental in helping to make over 40,000 reels of microfilm more accessible to the public. On one occasion a former Head of Cataloging, accompanied by an evil laugh, rolled in no less than five, yes, five book trucks all crammed with microfilm reels of the Spokane Chronicle. “Take no prisoners” Bill hardly blinked. Then he churned them out in record time.
Yes, he’s Bill, but he’s our Bill and we are danged proud of it.