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Spotlight on Staff: Will Stuivenga

“He weaves together many strands, that’s what makes him a good librarian.” These are the words of Will’s supervisor, Carolyn Petersen, Assistant Program Manager for Library Development. And what a great description of a man who has one of the premier vintage tie collections in the country, but we’ll get back to that…

Will Stuivenga and Rand Simmons

Will Stuivenga and Rand Simmons

Will recently celebrated his 10 year anniversary of service to the State Library. During his tenure he has tirelessly worked on the Statewide Database Licensing Project (SDL Project). Will is known for being a great negotiator who works hard to get the best deal not only on price but also the best content for his clients. He regularly attends national conferences and is both well-known and well respected by vendors. He does a great deal of professional reading to stay current. His work was noted in 2007 when he was recognized in an Alki (WLA’s Journal) article “Changing of the Guard: A Dozen Who Make a Difference.”

“The SDL project, a group purchase of the ProQuest databases, is currently calculated to save non-profit Washington libraries $22 million over what they would have to pay if they licensed ProQuest individually at list price.”

Will’s excellent work with the SDL Project led to him being approached by some of the smaller libraries in the state to help form a consortium to purchase subscriptions to e-books and audio books. Without the consortium the costs for these would be untenable. This consortium now serves 40 libraries; libraries as small as Roslyn serving a population around 900 people to Whatcom County at 122,000.

Will’s attention to detail is well known at the State Library. A proofreader extraordinaire, nothing slips by his eagle eye! “When you need someone to dot the i’s and cross the t’s he’s your guy!” says Carolyn Petersen. Jeff Martin, Program Manager for Library Development, describes Will as “Very focused and detail oriented.”

Will is always open to new ideas and believes in technology’s ability to help libraries. Besides the database licensing project Will was involved in the development of the Library Now mobile app, and the creation of a statewide catalog- Wayfinder. This catalog enabled many of the smaller libraries in the state to add their records to OCLC, something they would not have been able to afford without state support.

While Will is an incredible librarian, his avocation is music. Will has two degrees in music, is a respected church organist and often plays at two different churches on weekends. He also is a prolific reader. If you want good book recommendations check out his GoodReads site. When he travels Will always brings his camera and many of the pictures of libraries on our Flickr site have been taken by Will. This also shows you how widely he travels in his service to the libraries of Washington State.

Will's tiesAnd then there are the ties… Will collects vintage ties and has around a thousand in his collection. Every month has a theme and every day brings a new tie for the pleasure of his co-workers. They range in age from the thirties through the nineties and recently his cubicle wall has featured everything from a shocking pink tie from the 70’s to a skinny square-ended silk from the 50′s.

Each is unique, categorized and cataloged by this neck-tie archivist. Want to see more? Check out the pictures at vintageties.blogspot.com/ .

Here are a few quotes from the many people he helps with his hard work.

“I have been in the state a long time and you are one of the very best Library Development staffers ever!”

Regan Robinson, Public Services Manager, Whatcom County Library System

“You GO! Will, rock star!!!! Thank you and thank you.” and “You are our hero.”

“I have a formal official thank you for Will’s work on Overdrive… He has done awesome work on this”

Richland Public Library

“Thank you for the time you put into this Will. Your work for the WDLC is invaluable!”

Beth Farley, Bellingham Public Library

“This is wonderful! Thanks for taking the time to send me so much information. I know that you are extremely busy, and I appreciate it immensely.”

Julie Patterson, St. Thomas School in Medina, Washington

“Again many thanks Will – you are also a lifesaver.”

North Olympic Library System

“You rock; thank you!”

Roslyn Public Library

“Thanks for passing this along – very timely and pertinent! You’re like our secret weapon!!”

Arnold Digital Library, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Our “Secret Weapon” has been revealed, when you need a “Rock Star”, a “Hero” or a “Lifesaver” Will Stuivenga is your man!



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