Annual Reports – It’s That Time of Year

by Kathryn Roots Lewis

As a library supervisor, I love school library program annual reports. They are succinct, providing thoughtful refection and glimpses of the future. For site librarians, annual reports provide a wonderful opportunity to advocate and lay the groundwork for the future. A way to tell your library story!

Annual reports can be used with many audiences. I strongly suggest beginning with your principal and library supervisor. Determine with your principal which portions work well for other audiences: emails to teachers, a newsletter, your school’s social media, or website.

Using a visual format is appealing and lets the audience get a look at your program in a quick, inviting way. There are a number of free infographic programs available online.

Consider a blend of the following:

  • Pictures
  • Statistics
  • Quotes
  • Program highlights
  • Anecdotal accounts
  • Graphics

Information to include:

  • Reflections or pictures of guided inquiry unit(s)
  • Reflections or quotes about co-taught units
  • Information gathered through assessments about the process and products of learning
  • Pictures, quotes or statistics about reading endeavors
  • Highlights of maker activities
  • Anecdotal evidence from PD opportunities you designed
  • Samples of products created using technology tools you helped students or teachers learn

While statistics are important, consider them carefully. Use positive statistics in charts or graphs within your annual report. Use your less positive statistics to help you articulate your goals for next year. Remember it is not circulation numbers themselves that are important; it is what they tell you. For example, consider the percentage of students that checked out less than eight books this year and determine future actions based on those numbers. Thus, if half of the 4th graders checked out less than eight books this year, a goal might be for all 4th graders to check out one book a month next year. Be sure your goal supports a broader school goal, perhaps the reading goal. You might analyze which teachers you co-taught with and determine which teachers you want to focus on next. Armed with this information, your data might suggest that you should expand co-teaching to include the world history team, supporting the site’s teaching goal. These goals could become a part of your report. Administrators appreciate thoughtful goals based on hard data that complement their objectives.

Make an appointment with your principal to discuss your report. Ask your administrator if there are other ways you can support student learning. Remember annual reports are a way to tell your story, celebrate successes, and plan for new beginnings. Look at this meeting as an opportunity!

There are literally dozens of ways to collect evidence to help you analyze your program and plan goals. Some of the resources below will be useful.

  • Valenza, Joyce Kasman. Evolving with Evidence. Knowledge Quest. Jan/Feb 2015, Vol. 43 Issue 3, p36-43.
  • Loertscher David L. Collaboration and Coteaching. Teacher Librarian.Dec 2014, 42 Issue 2, p8-19.
  • The Adventures of Library Girl blog. School Library Annual Reports: Connecting the Dots Between Your Library And Student Learning. Accessed April 17, 2016.




Categories: Advocacy/Leadership, Blog Topics, Community/Teacher Collaboration, Supervisor's Corner

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