April 19, 2018

Nancy Zussy, WA State Librarian, Steps Down

By Debra Lau

The saga at the Washington State Library continues. Nancy Zussy, the state
librarian for 16 years, is stepping down this summer following news that the
library will be folded into the Secretary of State’s Office. Jan Walsh, the
assistant director for customer services, has been appointed acting state

“Now that the state library is merging into the office of Secretary of State
Sam Reed, the library will be in good hands,” Zussy says. “This is a good time
for me to take a much needed break from a total of 33 years of public service
and then pursue other opportunities.”

Zussy began her library career in Georgia as a library media specialist and
an assistant at the Georgia State Library. Since becoming Washington’s state
librarian in 1986, Zussy designed and implemented one of the state’s largest
privatization efforts–moving about one-half of the state library to nonprofit
status. The library also has an Early Learning Initiative, which trains
librarians to use new brain research about the way young children learn.

Gov. Gary Locke recently signed a bill that will merge the library into a
separate department of the Secretary of State’s Office on July 1. The move will
abolish the state library commission, eliminate five full-time jobs, and save
about $450,000. Initially, Locke had proposed closing the library to save the
financially strapped state $5.8 million.