Chapter History

A Brief History of the Pacific Northwest Chapter

In the fall of 1944, a group of librarians from the University of Washington began to organize a local chapter of SLA. At their first official meeting in April of 1945, the fledgling Puget Sound Chapter had forty-one members. Annual dues were five dollars. The first annual business meeting was held on May 23, 1946 by which time the membership had swelled to seventy-one representing librarians form Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

In 1963, the Chapter changed its name to the Pacific Northwest Chapter, and by 1965 the geographic boundaries included Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, British Columbia, and Alberta. Oregon libraries organized their own chapter in 1973, and the Western Canada Chapter formed in 1980. Montana was aboard by 1976. Finally in 1984, when British Columbia joined Western Canada, the PNW Chapter reached its current size including the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Washington.

Over the years the membership continued to grow, but times were often rocky. Chapter presidents in 1951 and again in 1957 warned that the Chapter was in danger from lack of participation. By the late 1970's, Chapter membership had grown to around 300 and as many as 100 members attended meetings. With most members residing in Western Washington, occasional Saturday seminars, Annual Conferences, and join-meetings with other chapters, as well as the quarterly INTERFACE newsletter, helped to keep members in touch.

In 2015 the Oregon Chapter brought up the possibility of merging back into the Pacific Northwest Chapter after separating from them in 1973. Talks between the Chapters were fruitful, and in the summer of2016 the SLA Board voted to merge the two Chapters together under the name of the Pacific Northwest Chapter, to occur at the beginning of 2017.

Past Presidents
2019 | Laura Grove
2018 | Ilse Allison
2017 | Laura Horan
2016 | Laura Grove
2015 | Jennifer Robbins
2014 | Elizabeth Doyle
2012-2013 | Kathryn Nelson