bay area

Our mission

The Bay Area Independent School Librarians (BAISL) is an association of professional school librarians who believe that the library is a central and indispensable academic force within the independent school. BAISL is dedicated to furthering the professional growth of its member librarians and to improving independent school libraries in facilities, staffing, and resources.

To achieve these aims BAISL holds two meetings annually:

  • to share information, conduct in-service workshops and visit other libraries,
  • to evaluate and upgrade professional services, i.e. discuss ways to teach research strategies to students and to provide curricular support to faculty,
  • to initiate networking and other cooperative projects,
  • to explore the integration of the new technologies into the library program
  • to share recommendations on new resources and equipment.
Our goals
The following BAISL goals were developed and approved with the input of all members attending the April 29, 2004 meeting:
1. Establish and promote the Library as the intellectual hub of the school.
2. Collaborate with administrators and teachers to achieve a library program that is fully integrated into the school’s curriculum.
3. Promote an appreciation of reading.
4. Teach and model information literacy.
5. Advocate the ethical and thoughtful use of information by the entire school community.
6. Advocacy of intellectual honesty encompasses issues of free speech, censorship, plagiarism, and social responsibility.
7. Promote diversity and inclusiveness through multi-cultural library services, programs, and resources. “Multiculturalism is a way of embracing & celebrating diversity.” – Gene Battiste
8. Create a Library whose physical and virtual spaces are welcoming and where students show respect for others and for the library resources.

Our accomplishments

Among our accomplishments as a professional organization:

  • Member surveys on budgets, facilities, and resources, on-line catalogs, staffing, and employee benefits have supported member requests for additional clerical help, improved budgets and benefits, and full faculty status.
  • BAISL has developed a library selection policy for use by its members who have not developed their own policy.
  • Members have shared written position statements on such topics as: resource selection, gift policy, challenge policy, the use of library as a study hall.
  • Members have shared methods of supplementing library budgets through graduation, memorial, and birthday gift programs, and through book fairs and used book donations.
  • Experts in the field have presented in-service programs in facilities improvement: designing/redesigning libraries, purchasing library furniture, making creative space allocation. Rotating meetings have given members the opportunity to study the layout and design of other libraries.
  • In-service workshops have been held in designing Internet home pages, in cataloging non-print materials, in teaching the non-plagiarized research paper, in determining library skills for each grade level.
  • BAISL members have shared their experiences with new programs and have encouraged others to initiate them in such areas as library orientation, author series, and book weeks.
  • Besides sharing new resources at their meetings, BAISL members have developed and published a multicultural resources guide and have developed a bibliography of materials for gay and lesbian youth.
  • BAISL has facilitated networking so that library resources such as videotapes, magazines, and books can be shared among member libraries.
  • Information is shared on a variety of subjects: professional meetings and conferences, book distributors for speedier delivery and better discounts, security systems, computer software, job openings, foundation grants, book and DVD titles.
  • California Association of Independent Schools Liaison (CAIS). Through BAISL's visibility as a strong organization, CAIS librarians have their own representative on the Academic Services Committee.


BAISL endorses the School Library Bill of Rights as affirmed by the American Association of School Librarians and the Students' Right to Read statement as issued by the National Council of Teachers of English.

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