Barbara Baltimore, a volunteer at the SLO library since 2005, recently passed away. Upon her death, she left generous donations to both the San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library and the Foundation for San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries.
Barbara was a very educated woman who had a great love of learning and doing. She graduated with honors from UCLA with a degree in Home Economics and Dietetics, earned a master’s degree in Nutritional Science from Cornell University, a master’s degree in comparative biochemistry from UC Berkeley, and did specialized training in hazardous materials and food preparation at UC Davis. She never stopped wanting to learn! Her working career involved biophysical lab research at UCSF as well as working in environmental health agencies such as the Sutter County Community Services program. In addition to her education and work, Barbara was also a prolific writer. She is the author of about 25 publications some of which were works of fiction.
Following Barbara’s retirement from state service in 1997, she relocated to the Central Coast and actively began her new “career” as a volunteer. In addition to libraries, she volunteered with environmentally connected agencies such as the Land Conservancy. She felt strongly about contributing her broad skills and vast knowledge to agencies and groups where she believed she could truly make a difference. She was an avid walker, and in nice weather, could be seen walking from her apartment to the library for her volunteer session.
Throughout her adult life, Barbara chose to live in a simple and frugal manner and minimize her effect on the environment. In doing so, she capably utilized her self-taught skills of sewing, knitting, gardening, landscaping, and even some carpentry. Over the years, Barbara demonstrated her creative and artistic abilities by painting pieces of abstract art, creating wall-hangings, and making colorful rugs. She was quite a well-rounded and accomplished person!
Barbara’s smile will be missed and her generous donations will provide much needed materials to both the SLO library and all the libraries in the county. We thank her for her generosity of both money and spirit. She was a role model par excellence and hoped that her bequest would inspire others to donate.