Alki became the official journal of the Washington Library Association (WLA) in 1983. WLA began posting issues of Alki on their website in 1997, and in November 2012 shifted to an online-only publication. More than just a scholarly journal, Alki has featured a broad array of content including research, conference reports, on-the-job insight, humor, creative writing, and philosophical pieces. Each Alki editor has brought new perspectives and initiatives to the journal. Most recently, in 2020, Alki established an Antiracist Editorial Policy. In 2021, the journal gained peer-reviewed status. In 2023, with a commitment to accessibility and sustainability, Alki moved to a web-based format on PubPub.
“Alki,” a Chinook word meaning “by and by,” was suggested by the late Nancy Pryor, Special Collections at Washington State Library, as a title for the Washington Library Association’s journal. “Alki” is also the state motto, signifying a focus on the future. The journal is published three times per year in March, July and December. Each issue centers on a theme selected by the Alki Editorial Committee, with one issue per year focused on either the WLA annual conference or WLA business in general.