Library Handbook

Library Mission Statement

The Saigon South International School (SSIS) libraries are dedicated to developing the Core Values within the context of the library program. The libraries provide inviting, dynamic learning environments for students, staff, and school community members. Library services support and enhance teaching, information literacy and learning. School librarians facilitate personal and intellectual development through collaboration that encourages a love of reading and the effective use and production of ideas and information.

To achieve our mission, the school libraries:


  • provide all members of the learning community access to supportive, welcoming and learner-centered environments
  • work in collaboration with members of the SSIS community to provide learning experiences that promote student achievement
  • encourage lifelong learning through effective information literacy instruction
  • nurture a love of reading
  • promote critical thinking
  • provide information in a variety of forms
  • use technology to enhance learning
  • contain rich and abundant collections of materials—both print and electronic—to meet the teaching and learning needs of the community
  • reflect principles of diversity and intellectual freedom
  • design spaces for meeting, reading, creating, and studying

Curriculum And Instruction


In 2019, SSIS merged ISTE and AASL to create the SSIS Information Literacy Standards. 

Library Management


The SSIS Libraries are staffed by full-time qualified librarians at all divisions. Each location is

additionally staffed by one library assistant.


Library Volunteers


Volunteers include parents, students and community members who wish to assist with general library

duties. They provide valuable assistance in the library. All volunteers will be vetted according to the

procedures outlined in the school volunteers policy. 


Duties may include: 


Repairing resources

SShelving library resources

Covering resources

Filing materials

Computer work

Assisting with book orders

Book displays

Assisting with special events 


Library Hours


In general, SSIS libraries are open on instructional days from 07:45 to 16:00, and are closed on faculty

professional development days and during most school holidays. Libraries may be open for limited

hours during Summer holidays




SSIS Libraries are accessible during the school day for circulation of materials and access to

technology tools. Teachers and librarians collaborate to develop information literacy lessons that

integrate with the curriculum.

Students in EC through grade 5 visit the library for regularly scheduled checkout.

Middle School and High School Libraries and Librarian services are scheduled on a flexible basis in collaboration with subject-area teachers.

Library spaces may be reserved by school faculty using Google calendars. In the event of a scheduling conflict, the Divisional Librarian will coordinate with involved parties.

Library Management System

SSIS Uses the Follett suite of resource management systems.


Our library provides open access to resources for students and staff. We do not restrict access to

certain resources. Per the ALA Library Bill of Rights, we follow “Article III of the Code of Ethics of the

American Library Association states that confidentiality extends to “information sought or received

and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted,” including, but not limited to, reference

questions and interviews, circulation records, digital transactions and queries, as well as records

regarding the use of library resources, services, programs, or facilities.”

Destiny provides the circulation component for the Libraries and serves as the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC).

A barcode system is utilized for the circulation of all library items. School-issued ID cards are used to checkout library resources.

Library books are checked out to students and community members for two weeks and can be renewed as necessary. Faculty may borrow materials for the academic year. They are encouraged to return items as early as they are finished with them; all materials must be returned by the end of the academic year.

Overdue notices are generated and distributed to patrons throughout the year as needed. There are no fees for overdue books.

Patron Maximum Number of Books*
K- 5 3
6-12 5
Parent 5
Staff 10
Faculty  As needed


Lost/Damaged Items

If Library materials are lost or damaged, students and parents will be charged the replacement fee and a 30% surcharge to cover costs associated with overseas shipping and customs processing. All charges must be paid for before any further school records or reports will be issued.

We encourage the development of a reading community among faculty and staff. Faculty and staff are responsible for all materials checked out in their name. All items must be returned at the end of the academic year in order to clear their Library account.

Adherence to Fair Use Guidelines and WASC accrediting standards is mandatory to promote the ethical use of information.

Collection Development

The American Library Association Library Bill of Rights has informed the writing of the following

policies, with consideration given to the sensitivities and requirements of the host country.

Criterion For Resource Selection

Library resources are selected by Saigon South International School (SSIS) to implement, enrich, and support the educational program for all students. Materials must serve the breadth of the curriculum, meet the needs and interests of the students, and follow the guidelines of various organizations including the College Board (for the Advanced Placement (AP)), the International Baccalaureate Organization (for the IB Diploma Programme), and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Objectives of Selection

The primary objective of Library resources is to support, enrich, and help implement the

educational program and Core Values of SSIS as well as to promote literacy and reading

enjoyment. It is the duty of professional staff to provide students with a wide range of

resources at varying levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal, and the presentation of different

points of view

Resources will be selected to support and develop international-mindedness and intercultural

understanding. Different languages, cultures, religions and perspectives will be represented.

Selection of Learning Resources

SSIS delegates the responsibility for the selection of Library resources to the Divisional Librarians in

coordination with staff, students and other community members and in consultation with the

knowledge of the current collection. Divisional librarians will consider Faculty and student requests

and recommended titles on book lists, library groups, library journals.


In selecting materials for purchase, school librarian (s) evaluates the existing collection and consults:

  • reputable, unbiased, professionally prepared selection aids
  • specialists from all departments and/or grade levels
  • students and other members of the school community

Selection criteria

  • Support curriculum objectives
  • Show quality, durability and value in price
  • Represent authority and reputation of an author or publisher
  • Accurate and appropriate content, format and presentation
  • High degree of potential user appeal
  • Contribute to the breadth and diversity of different viewpoints
  • Current and/or award-winning titles
  • Alignment with Students’ Needs and Interests
  • Timeliness or Permanence

Resources and Acquisitions 

Orders for the following items are placed annually or as necessary. 

  • books (print and electronic)
  • database subscriptions (managed by Curriculum Office/IT)
  • library management software and support (managed by IT)
  • magazine subscriptions (print and electronic)
  • guest authors/presenters
  • technology tools 
  • audiovisual materials
  • display materials
  • furnishings
  • stationery and other consumables
  • volunteer appreciation
  • reading incentives
  • Mother-tongue language and host-country resources
  • other items as needed

Donations And Gifts

Inventory is an important management process. It will be conducted during the summer by the library assistants to account for the library’s holdings, check for missing items, determine the loss rate, and maintain accurate management records.

Library staff will use the results to determine materials that need to be replaced, make decisions about the collection and areas that need to be reinforced or evaluated, and attempt to retrieve items that borrowers have not returned.

Removal Of Resources

Items in the library collection are removed when they are no longer useful or if they are found to be at odds with the selection criteria. It is an essential part of collection management to ensure that the collection holds items that are current, accurate and relevant to the curriculum. Materials may be removed for many reasons, including:

  • irrelevant to the instructional program or contain outdated, or inaccurate information
  • are found to be inappropriate for the audience to which they are available
  • a new edition is available
  • poor physical condition
  • circulation history
  • more suitable media formats
  • violation of copyright

Such materials are removed from the catalog, have identifying barcodes and labels removed, and are marked “withdrawn.” Withdrawn materials may be:

  • Discarded
  • Resold
  • Gifted to other schools/organizations

The evaluation of resources is conducted under the supervision of the division Librarian and is an ongoing process. If necessary, teaching staff may be asked to help make decisions with regard to content in their areas of expertise.

Policies On Challenged Materials

SSIS is committed to providing students with the resources necessary for the intellectual and personal development of each student to become lifelong learners and educated global citizens. This commitment favors a wide range of viewpoints and materials held in the SSIS collection. 

Despite the care taken to select valuable materials for student/teacher use and the qualifications of

persons who select the materials, objections regarding materials will occasionally be made./span>

If a directive is received from the Vietnamese government to remove a book from the library or a

classroom, the directive will be respected and followed.




In the event that a library resource is challenged, the following procedures will be implemented:

If a member of the community raises concerns about an item in the library collection, the divisional librarian will attempt to resolve it with the individual.

If the individual would like to request reconsideration of the item, they will be given a copy of the SSIS Procedures Regarding Challenged Materials and a Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials Form (Request Form)to fill out and submit.

When the completed Request Form is received, a divisional Principals will be advised of the request and a Review Committee (Committee) will be formed to consider the material.

The Committee will consist of:

  • the divisional librarian - Chairperson. 
  • the divisional principal. 
  • an appropriate subject-area teacher or grade level teacher. 
  • a member of our Belonging committee. 
  • possible student representation may be considered, where appropriate. 
  • A divisional PTA representative from the division in which the complaint was received. 

The complainant will be invited to attend the Committee meeting to present their concerns (their attendance is optional). The meeting will be closed to all others.

The divisional librarian, as Chairperson, will convene an initial meeting within 30 working days from the date the Request Form is received. Final decisions will be made within 40 working days from the date of receiving the Request Form.

The Committee will be asked to read the Request Form and read or view the challenged materials in their entirety. The committee will be asked to consider the material as a whole and in context. Published reviews of the work, and the Standards for Selecting School Libraries Materials, provided by the divisional librarian, should be considered during the evaluation of the material.

The purpose of the Committee meeting is to determine whether the item should be retained, removed, or relocated to a different division. The committee will use the following process to make that determination:

  • If consensus is reached, the Committee Chair will prepare the final report.  
  • If consensus is not reached, the majority vote will be used. In the event of a vote, the majority and minority opinions will be shared, without names, to the HOS, committee members. The results of the Committee recommendation will be reported to the Head of School who will make the final decision regarding the resource.  
  • In the event of a tied vote, the Head of School will make the final decision and the Committee Chair will prepare the final report.  

After a final decision has been made by the Head of School, the Chairperson will provide a written response summarizing the decision of the school to the complainant.

A copy of the Request Form and the Committee report will be kept on file in the library.

Challenged materials will remain in use until the review process is complete. Access to challenged materials may be denied to the complainant’s child/children if requested during the review process. 

This version of the SSIS Library Handbook was updated and approved by the Senior Leadership Team on February 4, 2023. 

Appendix A


Saigon South International School Libraries have a clear selection policy for materials available in the library handbook.  If you wish to request a reconsideration of a particular resource complete this form.

Contact Information:





Resource being requested for reconsideration:

Format (Book, magazine, digital resource, other):



Publisher (if known):  

Reasons for Reconsideration:

  1. Have you examined the entire resource?  If not, what sections did you review?​​​

  2. To what in the work do you object?  Please be specific, cite exact parts and explain why you object.

  3. What do you believe is the theme or purpose of this work?
  4. What do you feel might be the result of reading, viewing, or listening to this work?
  5. For what age group would you recommend this work?
  6. Have you considered the evaluation of this work by professional review sources? 
  7. Have you considered the school’s purpose in using this work? 
  8. What action are you requesting regarding this work? (circle one)
    • Do not assign or recommend it to my child.
    • Withdraw it from use by all students. 
    • Relocate to another libraries (MS to HS for example)
    • Other:

  9. In its place, what work would you recommend that would fulfill the purpose this material is being used for in an equivalent manner consistent with the SISS school libraries’ collection development policy?

1.  Adapted from New York Department of Education’s Collection Development Policy and the American Library Association's School Library Request for Reconsideration of Material form.


Appendix B

Reconsideration of Materials - Committee Report Form 

(Attach extra pages if needed to complete statements) 

Description of challenged material:  (type of material, author, title, publisher)

Teacher’s justification for inclusion of material (include theme and purpose)

Professional reviews of the material:  (if possible include copies of reviews indicating the source)

Committee’s decision and comments

Appendix C

Standards for Selecting School Libraries Materials

Selection Criteria

Questions to Consider

Support curriculum objectives

●  Does the title align with specific content?

●  Is there alignment with current SSIS teaching standards?

Show quality, durability and value in price

●  Is the price sustainable for maintaining the collection?

●  For digital content, does the license provide cost-effective accessibility?

●  Are multiple formats available to meet diverse learning and reading styles including audio, large print, and digital formats?

Represent authority and reputation of an author or publisher


●  Does the author have authority and expertise on the subject matter presented?

●  Is credible and age-appropriate content 

available on the topic?

●  Have content specialists reviewed titles for accuracy, authority, and validity?

●  If the author has current or past issues, alleged or proven misconduct, (i.e. acts of racism, sexism, insensitivity to different groups, etc.), would you want students to read materials from them? Are there alternative sources and titles?

●  Does the conduct of an author/artist/illustrator/composer/creator impact the validity of the work?

Accurate and appropriate content, format and presentation

●  Have content specialists reviewed titles for accuracy, authority, and validity?

●  Does the author have authority and expertise on the subject matter presented?

●  Is credible and age-appropriate content available on the topic?

● Is the writing well-edited? 

● Are there spelling, grammar, and mechanical errors? 

● Does the writing serve a purpose?

● Is the information organized and presented in a clear and concise manner? 

● For factual information, are sources cited? Do the sources support, extend, and inform the content presented?

High degree of potential user appeal

●  Will the book promote a love of reading? 

●  Will students find the content interesting?

●  Does the content have popular appeal to a wide audience?

Contribute to the breadth and diversity of different viewpoints

●  Why is the subject of this title appropriate and important for students?

●  Does the title help reframe the ethnocentric framework that privileges the historically advantaged at the expense of disadvantaged and minority groups?

●  Is the title from the point of view and/or experience of a diverse group?

Current and/or award-winning titles

●  Is the title the most current on the topic or superseded by other information or editions?

●  What is the shelf life of the title? Will the information become out-of-date quickly?

●  Is the information available elsewhere in an appropriate format (i.e. research database)?

●  Is the information foundational to the topic?

Alignment with Students’ Needs and Interests

●  Does the title support student interest and choice?

●  Are students' ethnicities, social classes, genders, languages, sexual orientations, nationalities, religions, and abilities represented? If they are representative, is the inclusion appropriate and respectful?

●  Does the title help engage students in development of SSIS core values?

Timeliness or Permanence

●  Is the title the most current on the topic or superseded by other information or editions?

●  What is the shelf life of the title? Will the information become out-of-date quickly?

●  Is the information available elsewhere in an appropriate format (i.e. research database)?

●  Is the information foundational to the topic?

Adapted from NYC DOE Department of Library Services