CWU News

CWU Libraries Staff Recognized for Outstanding Service by Washington Library Association

Maureen Rust Washington Library Association 2021 Outstanding Service Awardee

The Washington Library Association (WLA) has awarded the Central Washington University Libraries Access Services Team and Professor Maureen Rust with the 2021 Outstanding Service Award. 

Rust and the Access Team were honored for their work bridging the gap between CWU and the Ellensburg community. They were also praised for providing dependable library services despite the significant challenges presented by the pandemic.

“I was really surprised,” said Rust when asked how she felt when she received the news. “I didn’t realize I had been nominated.” 

Rust is also the student engagement and community outreach librarian—a role that she agrees fits her perfectly. 

“I love my job. I love developing programming specific to the students on campus, but also we develop a lot of community events and partner with a lot of community entities,” she said.

Hosting Cultural Conversations is only one way CWU Libraries actively engages with the Ellensburg community. Now in its third year, Cultural Conversations takes place with the library, inviting individuals from different backgrounds and identities to tell stories of their culture and talk about things they’ve faced integrating into Kittitas County and the US. 

Partnering with the Ellensburg Public Library and the Office of International Studies, CWU Libraries started these conversations at the Ellensburg Community Center and later transitioned to virtual conversations during the pandemic, continuing to garner engagement online. 

The WLA 2021 Outstanding Service Award recognizes outstanding contributions made by an individual or group involved in improvement to library services, advancements in the profession, advocacy for libraries, service to colleagues, or other outstanding work on behalf of libraries. 

Media Contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs,, 509-963-1484.