Report: “Washington’s First Female State Archivist Hopes to Expand Access to Digital, Paper Records”
As a longtime public servant in Thurston County, Heather Hirotaka is used to preserving history, not making it.
But that’s what Hirotaka did earlier this month, when Secretary of State Steve Hobbs appointed her as the next Washington state archivist, the first woman to ever hold the position.
In that role, Hirotaka will oversee the Washington State Archives, which collects and preserves the state’s historical records and makes them available to the public. The archives have branches in Bellevue, Bellingham, Ellensburg, Olympia and Cheney, which is the first state archives branch in the country dedicated to the preservation of electronic records.
Before accepting her new role as Washington state archivist, Hirotaka was the director of community programs at the Office of the Secretary of State. Hirotaka said one of her responsibilities as director was overseeing Legacy Washington, a program aimed at retelling the stories of extraordinary Washingtonians through public exhibits, novels, short stories and digital projects.
“I think when I met with Secretary Hobbs, and he heard that passion that I have for that program – because it’s so important to tell those stories and to preserve those stories – that I think for him, he was like, ‘This is a really great connection to move into archives’,” Hirotaka said.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.