BALIS: Bay Area Library
Information System


What is BALIS? - Programs & Services - Organization

What is the Bay Area Library Information System?

BALIS is an organization of public libraries created to enhance local library and information services through cooperative resource sharing. It is one of fifteen such cooperatives in California which are helping their members share the resources to better serve library users. The BALIS service area covers three counties: Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco, with a combined population of approximately three million.


Programs & Services

The Reference Center provides reference services to libraries, as well as directories, location tools and reference sources for member libraries.

BALIS helps coordinate an interlibrary loan (ILL) network by which members can share books and materials, greatly expanding the resources available to local library users. BALIS also provides delivery for materials exchanged through the ILL network.

BALIS offers continuing education and staff development activities for library staff.

BALIS is the vehicle for member libraries to identify and address issues of common concern. BALIS seeks funds and coordinates collaborative processes which maintain each member library's ability to design programs that best serve local needs. Examples of successful projects include long-range planning for member libraries, internet-search training for library personnel, youth-at-risk service planning for member libraries, purchasing services for ethnic materials collection development. BALIS libraries are currently involved in an Automated Catalog Linking project.



Established under authority of the California Library Services Act (CLSA), BALIS is a public entity. It is governed by an Administrative Council made up of the nine member library directors.

Lay representatives from each member jurisdiction serve on BALIS's System Advisory Board. The SAB assists the Administrative Council in developing the system annual plan of service; advises the Council on the need for services and programs; and assists in evaluating the system's services.

BALIS has four committees and four forums, composed of representatives from the member libraries. The standing committees are Children's Services, Public Information, Reference, and Staff Development. The forums meet quarterly to discuss issues relation to Collection Development, Interlibrary Loan, Senior Services, and Teen Services.


red rule


What is the Bay Area Library Information System?

red rule

email webmaster