In late April, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife hosted an event in the rotunda of the Natural Resources Building for Records Awareness Day, fondly referred to as “RAD Fair.”
Among the groups invited to participate in this fair were the Washington State Archives and the Washington State Library. Laurie Fortier and Carmen Tinker represented the State Library and discussed their work throughout the day with DNR staff and other visitors to their table.
Many of the people they spoke to that day were not aware that by law, the State Library is required to collect all publications produced by state agencies for distribution to state government and the public. Sometimes actually getting those publications can be a challenge. Laurie has worked with State Publications for 32 years, during which she has developed relationships with people in agencies all over the state.
Because of the nature of Laurie’s work, most of these relationships are virtual ones. As people stopped by the table during RAD Fair, she found herself face-to-face for the very first time with a number of people she has corresponded with for years.
Over the course of the day, Laurie and Carmen educated fellow state employees about the work of the State Library and the range of publications the Library collects. They brought and displayed a hardbound book that contains a record of the first meeting of the Dept. of Fisheries in 1921.
The staff of Fish and Wildlife were not aware the book even existed!
After our Libraries team spoke with DNR staff and explained why we archive all the different state publication formats, one person dashed upstairs and returned with a pile of publications, most of which were new and not yet included in the State Library’s collection. Until that day, this person had no idea that we wanted these publications. As the conversation continued, all parties realized that the person with the armload of publications was someone Laurie had previously emailed regarding a customer question, so now the two have a personal connection.
State Library staff shared a space next to the Archives division, which introduced Laurie to some Office of Secretary of State colleagues whose names she knew but hadn’t met in person. She also met several new Archives staff whose job responsibilities are likely to intersect with hers. She was able both to learn from the Archives staff about their work and collections and to explain ours to them.
Following these conversations, several state agencies have been arranging tours of the State Library.
Carissa Bourdon from Fish and Wildlife has set up several tours for her staff. Staff from the Department of Revenue have also been through. Not only do these tours explain our services, but at least one person noted how quiet and easy it is to use our library! He plans to return for the calm as well as the access to information he needs for his job.
Would your agency’s staff be interested in touring the library and learning how we can help you? Maybe you’d like us to visit your agency and present to your staff?
If the answer to either question is “Yes,” please contact [email protected]. We are here to serve you!