iSchool alumna Cindy Altick Aden appointed to lead state library

Cindy Altick Aden, an alumna of the University of Washington Information School, has been appointed as director of the Washington State Library, the Secretary of State’s Office announced June 13.

Aden has an extensive background in public libraries and the private sector, including stints at Amazon, Corbis, and community newspapers. She earned her master’s degree in 1987 at what was then the UW Graduate School of Library and Information Science and is now the Information School.

Aden said she was “honored and excited” to take the post.

“It will be rewarding to once again put the State Library squarely in everyone’s line of sight,” she said in a statement. “I look forward to reaching out to all of the libraries in the state for dialogue on what we can do together to make to make library services stronger for everyone in Washington.”   

Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who announced the appointment, said Aden shares her vision for a library that responds to the public’s need for convenient access to information across platforms.

“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.”

The Washington State Library’s services include print and digital collections, genealogy resources, photo collections, historic newspapers, help for researchers, assistance to the Legislature and other policy-makers, and resources for the state’s community, college and tribal libraries. It also operates the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library in Seattle and libraries in the state prisons and mental hospitals, and it partners with Microsoft and more than 400 community libraries to offer hundreds of free online computer and IT courses through the Imagine Academy.

Aden’s professional background includes management, strategic leadership, librarianship, metadata and project management. 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 the Online Computer Library Center.