How do you keep your program front and center in the eyes of your school community? Many school librarians create and share monthly statistics reports with their principals. But should we stop there? Why not post these reports for the entire school community?
Example Monthly Reports
Excellent examples of monthly reports are posted online each month. Each report is different in not only what it contains, but how it is presented. The common factor? Transparency. We must let our communities see how our programs impact student achievement.
Buffy Hamilton’s Unquiet Library report (see link above) provides program highlights, photographs, and statistics.
Lorena Swetnam’s Blythewood Middle School report is a quarterly, rather than monthly report, on her library website. The slideshows help bring her program to life! She also includes program highlights, collaborative work, and statistics.
Pam Harland’s Plymouth Regional High School report is a pdf file linked to the library home page. This colorful report includes library highlights, statistics, and collaboration highlights, as well as levels of collaboration attained (from 1-5 with a key explaining each level).
Laura Collins’ Clovis High School report can also be found through a link on her library’s website. She not only includes program and instructional highlights, library statistics, and collaboration information, but also includes standards met through collaborative lessons.
Reassessing My Monthly Report
Mrs. Hinmighty, English teacher extraordinaire, has consented to read and grade the latest set of school library monthly reports. Uh-oh. Can I say the dog ate mine? Compared to the examples I have shared here, my monthly report isn’t worthy to even warm the bench.
Up until last spring, my monthly report consisted of statistics and a listing of special events held in the media center. Can you say drab and uninspiring? (Mrs. Hinmighty is “tsk-tsking” and shaking her head sorrowfully as she considers my report.)
When we moved into our new facility, I began adding photographs of students and student work to the monthly report, but I still felt that I wasn’t doing our program justice. (Tsk-tsk. Sigh…..)
How can I find the time to create the report my program deserves while maintaining that program? Fellow South Carolina school librarians provided help this week.
The Advocacy Committee of the South Carolina Association of School Librarians recently requested that example monthly reports be shared on our listserv. Several have been posted and inspired me to revamp our report.
My October report is taking shape. Statistics appear in tables and some will be represented visually with pie charts and bar graphs. The one page report is now a thing of the past! That page limitation (self-imposed) limited the number of photographs I could include and stifled my desire to be creative. (Mrs. Hinmighty will probably still bleed across my report, but perhaps she may occasionally smile rather than tsk.)
Creating the first revamped report is time-consuming, but will provide the template for future reports, thereby eventually saving me time.
Now to create a page on our library’s website to begin posting our monthly reports…..
What do you include in your monthly reports?