bay area

The History of BAISL

BAISL was born from need.

In the seventies, a small group of independent school librarians met in San Francisco a couple of times a year. They met when one of them had a problem, needed advice, or a shoulder to cry on. They referred to themselves as the least organized library organization in the world, but planned
to get organized “someday.”

The catalyst to organize more formally came when they attended a CAIS program on the peninsula and met some other CAIS librarians. Listening to the prominent library director from the East explain how to run a library with a staff of 16, they realized that organization might give them more influence. As they were still trying to get part-time clerical help and trying to make sure their libraries were used for study and research and not as study halls, they realized that strength in numbers might make achievement of their modest goals more feasible. They knew they needed to get organized enough to design the programs they needed. 

They met in San Francisco in 1978 and 1979 at Schools of the Sacred Heart on Broadway. They decided to meet on a regular basis, and started calling themselves the Bay Area Independent School Librarians or BAISL.

And they decided that the important thing about being a member wasn’t whether the school was in CAIS, or if you had a special degree, but that you could mutually give support and encouragement to independent school librarians by sharing expertise, materials, programs and solutions.

The Founders of BAISL were Jane Lesh, Eloise Andrus, Brenda Brown, Eleni Coltos, Jane Folz, Ann Ogilvie, and Kit Wilson.

(Written by Jane Lesh; edited by Carolyn Karis) (Download)

BAISL Presidents

Jane Lesh 1977-1979
Eloise Andrus 1979-1981
Margo Phelan 1981-1983
Kit Wilson 1983-1985
Eleni Coltos 1985-1987
Brenda Brown 1987-1989
Debbie Abilock 1989-1991
Betsy Schultz 1991
Debbie Abilock 1992-1993
Helen Wiley 1993-1995
Judy Scudder 1995-1997
Lissa Crider 1997-1999
Carol Sauer 1999-2000
Diana Morris 2000-2001
Susan Geiger 2001-2003
Shelagh Smith 2003-2005
Chad Stephenson 2005-2007
Carolyn Karis 2007-2009
Joyce Roby 2009-2011
Billie King 2011-2013
Lauri Vaughan 2013-2015
Sarah Levin 2015-2017
Nicole Hunter 2017-2019
Liz Price-Patel 2019-2020
Danielle Farinacci 2020-2023
Junia Ziblay 2023-2025

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