Board Members

Eric Petersen, President - 2017

After growing up in Minnesota, Eric moved to Seattle and earned an MBA at the University of Washington. This led to a career as a finance and planning executive. In 2014, he retired, and now deeply enjoys the freedom to re-focus on longstanding personal interests. These include international travel (he has now visited 19 countries), photography, reading and yoga. Reading interests span the gamut from detective mysteries to global economics. Interest in the library stems from a deep belief that information is an important pillar for a democratic society. He has lived on the island since 2005 with his wife and two rescue cats.

Claudia Anderson, Vice President

Born in Seattle and educated at the University of Washington, Claudia then lived away for the next 40 years including 7 years in Frankfurt, Germany, and 22 years in Toronto, Canada. During those years she held numerous professional positions including Chief of Public Affairs and a member of the Executive Committee at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, working for a major advertising agency in Minneapolis, writing a weekly newspaper column in Lake Oswego, OR, and serving as editor of a faculty/staff newsletter for York University in Toronto. After moving back to the USA and settling on Bainbridge, Claudia has volunteered with the Executive Service Corps and most recently as president of the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council.

Nancy Taylor, Secretary

Nancy Taylor is an Emeritus member of the faculty of Evergreen State College, having served there for 37 years in teaching and administration. Locally, Nancy has served on the K-12 Language Arts Curriculum Committee for Bainbridge Island Schools (2007 - 2009), worked as a tutor in the Woodward Middle School TAP program (2007 - 2009), a volunteer at Helpline House since 2007, a member of the funding selection committee for BIAHC, and on the Bainbridge Public Library Planning Committee since 2009.

Eric Weissman, Treasurer

Eric Weissman graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A. in history and went on to pursue his Masters and Ph.D. in the same subject at the University of Washington.  Eric’s work career spans many corporate positions in marketing and management.  In 1999 he left corporate life to pursue independent business ventures.  For 11 years he owned and operated Kirshner Trailer Sales, Woodinville.  In 2010 he sold the business and he and his wife, Barbara, retired as planned to Bainbridge Island.  Eric was active for many years in the Corvallis School District where he served on numerous committees and the board of directors.  Eric and his wife have been active participants and supporters of the Bainbridge Public Library’s Library U program.

Bernie Baker, Director

Karen Gerstenberger, Director

Karen Gerstenberger earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art. Her professional background includes work in writing, health-care advocacy, public speaking, pastoral care, sales and finance.  She is the author of "Because of Katie,” a memoir recounting the journey of accompanying her daughter Katie through pediatric cancer. She is founder and president of Katie’s Comforters Guild at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and founder of the Katie Gerstenberger Endowment for Cancer Research, which supports the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research. Karen created WORD SOUP©, a workshop originally presented to Field’s End Writers’ Community, which stimulates creativity in beginning writers and those experiencing writers’ block. Karen lives with her husband and son on the shores of Puget Sound, Washington, and enjoys reading, writing, yoga, fitness walking, beachcombing, good food and travel.

Caryl Grosch, Director

Caryl moved to Bainbridge Island in 1995 from Marblehead, MA. She grew up in a small community in New York, attended college in Longmeadow, MA and has enjoyed moving from coast to coast as an adult - CT to CA to MA to WA. After about 10 years of managing volunteers at IslandWood, she recently retired from that role. Since it's a very difficult place to completely sever ties from, she still works a few hours a week from home on HR projects for them as well as leading the occasional site tour. Prior to that she owned her own personalized stationery business, starting it in Marblehead and bringing it with her to Bainbridge Island. She enjoyed over 20 years working in office management with various organizations, one of which was the consulting firm that raised funds to build and endow the Orange Country Performing Arts Center in CA. She's very active with her church, volunteers on several committees throughout the community, and looks forward to re-joining the BPL board.

Mary Hall, Director

Mary has lived on Bainbridge Island most of her life.  She graduated from Bainbridge High School and then the University of Washington with a B.A. in English.  Her working career started in the transportation industry and then in 1994 she and her husband purchased Winslow Hardware.  They owned and operated the store until it closed in 2005.  They opened Winslow Paint Company and owned and operated it until retirement in 2012.  Mary has served on the Boards of the Island Volunteer Caregivers and the Bainbridge Island Historical Society.  She likes to read, walk, garden, play bridge, music and Sudoku, not necessarily in that order.  First would be to play with her kitty, Emmy.

Stephanie Hillier, Director

I’ve lived on Bainbridge Island for nearly forty years.  My husband I raised two daughters here and were very active in their school and extracurricular activities, as well as our own interests.  I believe that the vibrant library community on the island has greatly added to the quality of life our family enjoys here.  A Bainbridge Island School Teacher for nineteen years, I also served as Title I/Learning Assistance Program Director, BISD; Bainbridge Island Park District Coordinator of Volunteers; and Founder/Director of the Bainbridge Big Kids Program.  I’ve also enjoyed many other volunteer activities including Park District Foundation Board, Historical Museum docent, Housing Resources Board volunteer, BCC Board member and numerous others.

Chris Hoag, Director

Chris Hoag is a new Board member and also relatively new to Bainbridge Island. Chris moved here in the spring of 2013 from Las Vegas with his wife Abby Marshall, who was born and raised on Bainbridge and is now a teacher at Blakely Elementary. Chris graduated from the University of Idaho and currently works for Point It, a digital marketing agency in Seattle, as a Senior Client Manager. In his spare time Chris enjoys cooking, pickling, reading, gardening, and spending time with his wife and two cats – Ron and Frank. Chris and Abby recently purchased a house in Wing Point and look forward to many happy years on Bainbridge.

Carol Schuyler, Director

I am thrilled after a lifetime professionally working in libraries to be able to give again in volunteer position.  I got my Master's Degree in Librarianship from the University of Washington.  My husband and I with our two young children moved to the Island in 1976.  I began my career as a part-time children's librarian with Kitsap Regional Library at BainbridgeIsland two years later.  I retired from the library two years ago as Director of Support Services.  It was wonderful to work and grow with the system and it even allowed me to actively volunteer for the Washington Library Association, culminating as its President.  I am currently the President of the Friends of the Library and facilitate one of the library's book groups.  I am an active reader, gardener and quilter.  My husband and I are travelers.  When not on adventures, we are surrounded by six grandchildren (all readers or read to) and two personable Ocicats, Joshua and Jericho.

Judith Tingley, Director

Judith Tingley graduated from the University of Michigan with a BSN in Nursing and then pursued her MSN at the University of Washington. Her formal education ended with a Ph.D. in Psychology from Arizona State University.  She has worked as a therapist, executive coach, and consultant to corporations on topics of organizational development and communication.  Judy is a published author of four books as well as many magazine articles, who spends many "writing hours” at the library; her home away from home. She has served as Treasurer of the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center, a coordinator of The Salon series at the library, a new member of the COBI Ethics Board, and an active member of Zero Waste.

Hilda Wiens, Director

Hilda is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a Master’s degree in Information Science from San Jose State University.  After a career teaching high school English and French, Hilda began a second career as a librarian and served in that capacity at all levels of education including the State Center Community College system.  In 1996 Hilda was named California’s School Library Media Teacher of the Year. Hilda came to Bainbridge four years ago and has embraced her new community with passion. She is an active member of the Unitarian Church, an avid beginning knitter, and a library volunteer. She looks forward to working with the Bainbridge Library Board.   She and her husband John live in a multi-generational home with her daughter, her son in law and two grandsons. You might see her at a soccer or basketball game on the island!

Mission

The mission of the Bainbridge Public Library is to ensure a vibrant public library on Bainbridge Island.

All Volunteer

The Board of the Bainbridge Public Library is an all-volunteer group. There are no paid staff. This form of organization has managed the island's community library for more than 100 years. The Bainbridge Public Library was built "by the island people for the community".

Since 1961, the Bainbridge Public Library has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a 501(c)3 public charity.