I began my library career with a three-year stint as a student library aide at Emma Willard School, followed by a 16-year hiatus while I explored the varied worlds of college, Off-Broadway theater, investment banking and executive recruiting, among others. Since returning to independent school libraries in 1996, I have focused on the evaluating accreditation process, investigating the K-20 skills curriculum and developing my Personal Learning Network. My writings have appeared in such journals as Independent School and Knowledge Quest, as well as the Association of Teachers in Independent School quarterly. I am currently Head Librarian at the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York.
Independent schools are evaluated on a regular basis by one of a number of regional accrediting agencies. While at present there is no national accrediting agency, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), has approved Guidelines of Professional Practice for Libraries that we can use to guide our administration and our own practice as we face the accreditation process. “Evaluation for Accreditation” is a useful process that allows schools to see themselves as they are at that moment. Since all aspects of the school are examined, the recommendations and commendations of the accrediting agency are valuable guides to assessing current practice and pedagogy and to planning for future growth. The Independent School library benefits from this process in a number of ways.