Dr. Rand Simmons Appointed Acting State Librarian
Posted by: Kristy L. CoomesOctober 2 2010 4:28 PM
Rand Simmons was appointed Acting Washington State Librarian effective September 1, 2010 by Secretary of State Sam Reed. The appointment follows the retirement of State Librarian Jan Walsh at the end of August.
Previous to his appointment Dr. Simmons served as the Manager of the Library Development Program for the Washington State Library. He has been with the Library since May 2001.
Simmons is working with Deputy State Librarian Marlys Rudeen and his management team to move the State Library forward despite impending budget cuts. "There's nowhere we can cut and continue the current programs," Simmons said. "We are too lean. Difficult decisions will have to be made. That's why we need to plan now."
Last year's cut amounted to 11%. WSL cut 31 people but was able to restore 2.6 FTE. It cut 30% of the central library staff in Tumwater, 29% of the branch library staff, and 19% of the Washington Talking Book and Braille staff in Seattle. Simmons is working with his management team to analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in preparation for impending cuts. Some cuts may come as soon as this fall.
Simmons plans to visit legislators much as Walsh did and hopes to capitalize on the relationships she built. He also plans to make some legislative visits this fall with public library directors. "This is an election year with all of the House seats and half the Senate seats on the ballots. We will mold our strategy based on the election outcomes."
Simmons will be getting advice from Walsh, Assistant Secretary of State Steve Excell and Secretary of State Sam Reed. "I'm grateful for Jan's continuing interest in the Washington State Library. And I anticipate support from the staff of Washington libraries and the Friends of the Washington State Library. I can't over-express how much that means to the future of the State Library."
Prior to joining the Washington State Library, Dr. Simmons was the Networking Consultant for the Idaho State Library, now the Idaho Commission for Libraries. He spent his early career in academic libraries in Oregon, Illinois, and Idaho.
Rand has two adult sons who live in Idaho and three grandsons. His partner, David Lane, has three adult children and three granddaughters. Rand and Dave live outside Lacey, Washington with their dog, Maya, and cat, Sissy. He is a native of Oregon.
You can contact Rand at: 360.570.5585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.