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Spotlight on Staff: Marlys Rudeen


Marlys Rudeen is the Deputy State Librarian at the Washington State Library. Rand Simmons, Acting State Librarian observed, “It is the responsibility of the State Librarian to envision wild schemes that may rile up the staff. It is the responsibility of the Deputy to help him see the ramifications of those visions.”

“It usually begins something like this: Well, let’s think about the implications of doing that . But when an idea is a good one I can count on Marlys having my back!” 

The Deputy State Librarian oversees budget issues and is the primary contact for the Office of Financial Management (OFM), the Legislature and legislative staff regarding fiscal impact of legislative and budget information. Simmons stated, “I know I will get good advice from Marlys regarding approaching the Legislature. She listens well and I listen when she speaks. We are a good balance for each other.”

When the responsibilities of being the Deputy State Librarian become too burdensome Marlys finds relief by working on digital projects. She is the Head of Digital and Historical Collections which is a part of the Central Library Services program.

“I would say that Marlys is warm, open, welcoming, helpful and receptive,” commented Pam Griffith, new to the Digital and Historical Collections group.

You can’t help but love working with Marlys. When asked about that, veteran Judy Pitchford quipped, “Oh, I have lots of Marlys stories, but I can’t share most of them. But I can share that she is very passionate about the work we do in Digital Collections and she is a very hands-on manager. She loves historical materials and can give you specific details about each item and the people/events they are about. She especially  has a huge interest in historic maps. I think she sees them as more of an art form than just a visual representation of the land around us. Marlys makes our work meaningful. I guess that’s my favorite part about working with her. That and she has a great sense of humor, a must when you work with me.”

Steve Willis, Manager of Central Library Services said, “I love brainstorming with Marlys. She is not afraid to run with a thought through undiscovered countries and imagine all kinds of possibilities and potential. And then, to balance it out, she provides practical reality checks in a very positive way.”

So hats off to Marlys, veteran of many a dreadful budget cut. Simmons say, “When it comes down to final decisions, Marlys and I make the decisions based on recommendations of the Program Managers, and then send them to Executive Management for review.” As Sam Reed once told me, “It’s lonely at the top.”

Thanks, Marlys. You make the Washington State Library a better, kinder, gentler place to work!


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2 Responses to “Spotlight on Staff: Marlys Rudeen”

  1. Dalene Conant Says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself – Marlys is the best!

  2. Glenda Pearson Says:

    I collaborate with Marlys on the Washington State National Digital Newspaper Project, and I could not hope for a more patient, smart and kind person. As a WSL outsider from the UW, I can only envy those of you who get to work with her every day. Cheers, Marlys!