Library Handbook_OLD

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
Shelving library resource
Covering resources
Filing materials
Computer work
Assisting with book orders
Book displays
Assisting with special events 

Library Hours

All 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 will be open for limited hours during Summer holidays.



SSIS Libraries are accessible at all times during the school day for the circulation of materials and access to technology tools. Teachers and librarians collaborate to develop information literacy lessons that integrate with the taught 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

The SSIS library management system is based upon the following databases:

  • Follett School Solutions, Inc. (resource management system)
  • Destiny (managed by Library)
  • Textbook Manager (managed by Curriculum Office)
  • Asset Manager (managed by IT)



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 a 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.


Selection criteria
  • Support curriculum objectives
  • Knowledge of the current collection and trends
  • Current and/or award-winning titles
  • Faculty and student requests
  • Mother-tongue language and host-country resources 
  • Accurate and appropriate content, format and presentation
  • Historical or permanent value
  • Represent authority and reputation of an author or publisher
  • Appropriate for age level
  • Show quality, durability and value in price
  • Contribute to the breadth and diversity of different viewpoints
  • High degree of potential user appeal
  • Recommended on book lists, library listservs, library journals
  • Follett Titlewise analysis

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
  • other items as needed


Donations And Gifts

Donations will be handled using the same criteria and standards as those of any other resource. The acceptance of donations is discretionary and the responsibility of the divisional librarian. The acceptance of donations is no indication that they will be included in the Library collection. Donations that are not added to the collection will be:


  • Discarded
  • Resold
  • Gifted to other schools/organizations



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. 

At the same time, collections are often built with the expert advice of a wide range of individuals and organizations and it is physically impossible for the librarians to read or view every book, or resource in the SSIS collection. From time to time, students, teachers, parents, or SSIS staff may find materials within the collection which they believe contain objectionable content.



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 to fill out and submit. 

Divisional Principals will be advised of the request.

When the Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials form is received, a review committee will be formed to consider the material. The committee will consist of an appropriate subject-area teacher, the divisional principal, the divisional librarian, and an additional member of the school faculty. Possible student representation may be considered. The divisional librarian will serve as Chair of the review committee.

The chairperson will form the committee and convene an initial meeting within ten working days from the date the request form is received.

The committee will be asked to read the Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials 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 selection criteria should be considered during the evaluation of the material.

The committee will come to a decision, using a majority vote, regarding whether the item should be retained, removed, or moved to a different division. In the case of a tied vote, the Head of School will make the final decision. The results of the committee vote will be reported to the Head of School who will make the final decision regarding the resource.

The chairperson will prepare a report summarizing the committee’s recommendation regarding the challenged materials and submit the written report to the Head of School.
After a final decision has been made, the chairperson will meet with the complainant to provide a written response summarizing the decision of the school.

A copy of the Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials 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 child/children if requested.