The Old Way
I’ve completed my fourth year as a media specialist and love the job even more today than the day I started. To keep track of what happens in our library, I used my mentor’s monthly statistic report and added activities that the library sponsored each month. At the end of each semester, I compiled a chart of the monthly statistics to notice trends. These two reports were combined into a yearly chart at the end of each year and provided a means to gauge improvements from year to year.
The Annual Report: Getting Started
Two years ago, I noticed that several of the school librarians in my Google Reader were doing much more than compiling statistics; they were creating detailed reports including collection development and analysis, budgetary spending, collaboration efforts with teachers, reading promotion programs, and goals for the upcoming year. The reflective aspect of this kind of report immediately caught my eye. As a Nationally Board Certified Teacher, I learned to use reflection to help me grow and become a better teacher.
This year as I began work on our first annual report, I studied reports other school librarians have shared on the Internet. The organization of these reports is as varied as the programs they reveal. Using ideas culled from these, I created an outline for our annual report. Currently at 17 pages, the report is an attempt to provide a complete picture of our library media program.
In case you have toyed with the idea of creating an annual report but gave up because you found it too time consuming, you might want to look at the reports and blog posts that inspired me to get started.
- Creekview High School Media Center Annual Report 2008-2009 – created by Buffy Hamilton
- Creekview High School Media Center Annual Report 2009-2010 – created by Buffy Hamilton
- Wagener Salley High School Media Center Annual Report 2008-2009 – created by Heather Loy
- Wagener Salley High School Media Center Annual Report 2009-2010 - created by Heather Loy (scroll down to the link on the left)
- Springfield Township High School Library Annual Report June 2009 – created by Joyce Valenza
- Tamarac Secondary School Library Media Center 2007-2008 Annual Report – created by Ms. Furlong
- Rossville Middle/High School Library 2009-2010 Annual Report – create by Sherry Gick
- In “The Importance of Creating an Annual Report,” Dianne McKenzie shares ten reasons why you should do an annual report for your school library.
- In “Annual Report as an Advocacy Tool,” you’ll find suggestions on how to start working on your annual report from the first day of the school year so that it doesn’t seem like such an overwhelming task.
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?
Need another reason to consider creating a detailed annual report?
In his post “13 Point Checklist 2009,” Doug Johnson provides administrators with a list to assist them in evaluating their school library program. The final checkpoint , #13 Evaluation, includes
“Does the SLMS determine and report ways that show the goals and objectives of the program are being met and are helping meet the building and district goals? Does the SLMS create an annual library report for administrators, staff and parents that include qualitative and quantitative measurements?” ~ Doug Johnson
Your annual report will not only provide your administration with an overview of your library media program’s accomplishments, but also provide you an opportunity to see where you’ve been and provide you with information for next year’s goals.
Spread the Wealth Using This Google Spreadsheet
Last year, Lesley Edwards (teacher librarian at Seycove Secondary Library) created a spreadsheet for school librarians to share the link to their annual reports. When my report is finally completed, I’ll post it to Slideshare and add the url to the spreadsheet. Why not add yours?
Image Attribution: Year End Inventory by The Truth About…