As school libraries are winding down at the end of the school year, collecting overdue books, weeding old equipment, and getting ready to shutter the doors for the summer, this is the perfect time for school librarians to think about drafting an annual report. Even though we are busy with end-of-year tasks, the time is ripe to reflect on the year as a whole and think strategically about next year.
First, let’s start with why…
Annual reports are a great reflection tool that help school librarians think critically on their practice, celebrate accomplishments, and plan ahead. They are also are an excellent way to advocate with stakeholders and advocate for more support or funding. Administrators like to see data, so take this opportunity to gather some figures, especially if you are asking for more funding.
What should be in an annual report?
There is no template per se, but you should tailor your annual report to meet your school’s needs. Be sure to include the good, the bad, and the ugly. Take this opportunity to blow your own horn, but also be honest about areas that need improving when setting goals for next year.
- Mission statement
- Vision statement
- Snapshot of your collection
- Circulation statistics
- Highlight successful initiatives or collaborations
- Include special programming
- Photos of students working, special events
- Usage statistics for digital resources
- Goals for next year
Try to make your annual report visually appealing and concise. Use pictures and graphics to convey information when possible. Start with the good and end with the needs, asks, or areas of improvement.
Share, share, share!
Print copies are okay, but create your report in a digital format that is easy to share via email, post on your website, or share on social media. Cast a bigger net you catch more fish, right? Share your report widely to garner more support from your stakeholders.
Do you have any thoughts to add or ideas to share? Please comment below.
Author: Sedley Abercrombie
Sedley Abercrombie is the current past president for the North Carolina School Library Media Association. She is also the lead library media coordinator for 32 school libraries in Davidson County, NC as well as an adjunct instructor at East Carolina University.