History of SCASL

The South Carolina Association of School Librarians began as a subdivision of the South Carolina Education Association. With money right out of their pockets, the first president Jackie Derrick, along with Mary Alice Carter Parker and Frances O'Neal planned and implemented our very first conference in the spring of 1976. The organization has grown from a few members to over 830 professional librarians.  Over the years, the South Carolina Association of School Librarians has supported and advocated for school librarians in addition to providing leadership and professional development opportunities.

The first South Carolina Association of School Librarians conference was held in1976.  Forty years later, the South Carolina Association of School Librarians annual conference has hosted award winning authors and speakers, provided professional development and continuing education opportunities and a space and place for professional librarians to network and learn from each other.  After each conference librarians take what they have learned:  new mindsets, ideas, practices and procedures and apply them for the academic advancement of all South Carolina students.  See the Past Presidents video from SCASL Virtual Conference 2021.  Also, see memories from conferences past in the Welcome Slideshow from 2021. 

The South Carolina Association of School Librarians serves all the students of South Carolina.  1976 was the year that the South Carolina Book Awards was created.  A standard in libraries today, the South Carolina Book Awards provides South Carolina students with vetted and diverse choices of books to read and enjoy. Unlike national book awards, South Carolina students have the final say as to which book is the “best” book.  Students are able to vote for their favorite book and the results are shared with all South Carolina libraries.

In 1985 the South Carolina Association of School Librarians recognized the best librarian in South Carolina. That tradition has continued each year as SCASL honors outstanding South Carolina librarian professionals, paraprofessionals, school library programs, as well as, administrators who support school library programs.

The SCASL Messenger (formerly the Media Center Messenger) is a quarterly publication that provides up to date information on trends in the library profession, news of activities, success stories of librarians across the state as well as timely articles of topic of interest to South Carolinian school librarians.  Originally printed on a mimeograph, the SCASL Messenger is easily accessible online.

South Carolina Association of School Librarians is “Making Schools Stronger” by insuring that professional librarians in South Carolina are prepared to be a contributing factor in the success of each and every South Carolina student. 

Past Presidents:

2019-2020 Pamela Williams

2018-2019 Heather Thore

2017-2018 Cathy Jo Nelson

2016-17 Cindy Symonds

2015-16 Jennifer Tazerouti

2014-15 Diana Carr

2013-14 Anne C. Lemieux

2012-13 Heather Loy

2011-12 Kathy Sutusky

2010-11 Joseph Myers

2009-10 Amanda LeBlanc

2008-09 Valerie Byrd Fort

2007-08 Kitt Lisenby

2006-07 Ida Thompson

2005-06 Lawren Hammond

2004-05 Martha Taylor

2004-05 Robbie Van Pelt

2003-04 Martha Taylor

2002-03 Janet Boltjes

2001-02 Claudia Myers

2000-01 Betsy Adams

1999-00 Penny Hayne

1998-99 Olivia Padgett

1997-98 Betty Anne Smith

1996-97 Jacqueline Ridings

1995-96 Anne Shaver

1994-95 Elisabeth Hall

1993-94 David Bell

1992-93 Judy Roumillat

1991-92 Laura Blanchard

1990-91 Linda Bartone

1989-90 Deborah Stone

1988-89 Cecile Dorr

1987-88 Ida Thompson

1986-87 Ann White

1985-86 Dr. Diane Ervin

1984-85 Peggy Reese

1983-84 A’La Perle Hickman

1982-83 Drucilla Gullion

1981-82 Juanita Brantley

1980-81 Aileene Holland

1979-80 Clara Cooper

1978-79 Edna Bedenbaugh

1977-78 Frances O’Neal

1976-77 Mary Alice Carter Parker

1975-76 Jackie Derrick