Secretary of State Kim Wyman has named Cindy Altick Aden as director of the Washington State Library.
Aden will take the helm next month of one of the state’s oldest cultural institutions, dating back more than 160 years when it was created by the state’s first territorial governor, Isaac Stevens.
Aden has an extensive background in public libraries and the private sector, including stints at Amazon, Corbis, and community newspapers. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Washington School of Library and Information Science.
Wyman said Aden is an outstanding choice:
“I am delighted to appoint Cindy to provide new leadership at one of the library community’s most important jobs. I am excited about the creativity and passion she brings to the table. She has the skills and the vision to help pivot the Library to new levels of relevance, technology advances and user-friendliness in this challenging and exciting new century.”
Aden said she is “honored and excited” to take the new post and eager to join a staff of experienced professionals. She praised the Legislature and Secretary Wyman for working hard to put the Library on a solid financial footing.
Wyman said the selection of the new State Librarian reflects her vision for a Library that responds to the public’s need for solid information across platforms that are convenient and easy to use.
The Washington State Library offers a wide variety of services, including print and digital collections, genealogy resources, photo collections, historic newspapers, help for researchers, assistance to the Legislature and other policy-makers, and crucial assistance and resources for the state’s community, college and tribal libraries.
The Library, a service of the Office of Secretary of State, operates the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library in Seattle and libraries in the state prisons and mental hospitals. Partnering with Microsoft, the Library and over 400 community libraries offer hundreds of free online computer and IT courses through the Imagine Academy.
“The Washington State Library has amazing resources for school kids, businesses and regular folks who want to expand their literacy and job skills. It’s very hands-on. The Library also is the official conduit of federal library dollars that are a real lifeline to our community libraries. So literally the reach of the Washington State Library extends to every community and legislative district.”
Aden is a seasoned professional with background in management, strategic leadership, librarianship, metadata, project management and more. She has worked at the Library of Congress, the University of Washington Libraries, and Kitsap Regional Library. She was the first professional librarian hired by Amazon and also worked with Corbis and OCLC. She is a former president of the Washington Library Association.