Thursday, July 30, 2015

It's Not Too Late To Send That Annual Report!

Last year, I wrote an article about the importance of annual library reporting to school administrators. I have tried to send some form of an annual report each of the seven years I have served as a school library media specialist. Remember that your bosses are viewing data constantly. Principals and superintendents see value in budgets, test scores, student enrollment numbers, and even faculty absence statistics. When you send a report to them, it gives a snapshot of what you are doing in the library. Many people tend to think this is a waste of their time, but I disagree. Many times over the past seven years, I have had both superintendents and principals talk about our statistics. They remember these numbers because the statistics reflect usage of many different services. This gives a return on their investment! If you don't share these numbers with them, how will they know?

I converted our annual report to a .JPG file, so I could easily display it here on the blog page. (If it is hard to read, go here for the .PDF document.) We like to share our circulation statistics from both facilities in the high school complex. We also include textbooks since that is a substantial part of our services. In addition, we show technology work orders that we submit (tracked in our SysAid work order system). There is an entry to show how many days our libraries were reserved and how many students signed in/ out of the library during the school day. We also added our social media outreach this year since it is one of our many services.

The numbers reflect that both library facilities are very active. The West End Library didn't have as many reservations this year due to our PARCC testing support for roughly 9-10 weeks. I decided to share this in the report by adding a PARCC support statistic. This was still a library service! We simply redirected our services based on the needs of the school learning community.

There are many ways to share reports to administrators. We try to keep ours to one page each year. Remember that administrators are very busy with numerous responsibilities and their time is precious. We feel that if we keep it to one brief page, they might actually have time to read it! This format has worked well for us at Lakeside High School. I hope that you will consider sharing your statistics with school administrators, teachers, students, and parents. It will change the way they view what you do!

How I used Microsoft Sway to create our 2016 annual report.

Go here for the 2014 article on library annual reporting. (It has a link to Joyce Valenza's awesome 2013 library annual report!)

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