A Week in the Life…School Library Snapshot

You have been hearing the buzz about ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) and the inclusion of school libraries. We need your help. It is critical. It will take less than ten minutes from your day. Give us a snapshot of what happens in your library during an average week. Answer 8 simple questions about one week of activity in your library, send the completed infographic back to us, and you’ve done you’re part to help us communicate the school library story at a national level.

School librarians are infamous for their collaboration skills. AASL has put those skills to work during School Library Month (#slm16), partnering with the ALA Office of Library Advocacy and I Love Libraries, to develop a simple infographic for sharing your data with us in order to continue and extend our school library advocacy efforts on the national level.

Will you help? Will you do it? Doing your part is so easy and will help us help our young people. Fill out the School Library Snapshot infographic with your data and send it back to us. Four simple steps: download the form, fill in the numbers, submit the form, tell others to do the same.

There have been over 4,000 downloads of the infographic. Yes, you read that correctly–FOUR THOUSAND! Pretty sweet, right? But of those downloads, only a tiny fraction have remembered to send the completed form back. Sharing the data with us is an imperative step toward helping us tell the story of school libraries at a national level.

So, ten minutes of your time and complete four simple, yet critical, tasks:

  1. Download the form;
  2. Complete the form;
  3. Submit the form;
  4. Spread the message to every school library list and school library group and every school librarian you know.

Simple, step-by-step instructions to complete the School Library Snapshot:

1. Take the stats you can gather from your library automation systems and what happened last week in your school library (or if not last week, consider the average week in your school library) in order to prepare your answers to the eight questions. For the week, how many:

  • Class visits for Information Literacy Instruction.
  • Students connected online for Digital Literacy Instruction.
  • Books circulated.
  • Students received personalized instruction.
  • Professional consultations with faculty and staff.
  • Collaborations with teachers to identify resources, plan instruction, and integrate technology.
  • School library before/after school and lunch enrichment activities and programs.
  • Then, look up the size of your collection, including print and digital resources.
  • And finally, if you don’t know your school’s congressional district, look it up by zip code at http://congressional-district.insidegov.com/

2. Once you have your data ready, go to the online form and click “Download” to save the fillable PDF to your computer.

3. Open the saved form on your computer. You will see 8 fillable, blank screens within the graphic.

Screenshot 1

4. Click on the first box in the screen and type the number from the corresponding data you collected in order to answer the question.

Screenshot 2

5. Continue until all eight questions have been answered.

Screenshot 3

6. Once the data for a week in the life of your school library has been entered, enter your school name in the field on the back of the phone and click on the “Submit Form” button in the top right corner.

Screenshot 4

7. Enter your contact information into the pop-up box. A small visual of the completed graphic with your data will be visible on the left side of the pop-up box.

Screenshot 5

8. After entering your information, click SEND.

Screenshot 6

9. Take any extra steps required by your computer. If you receive a message like this one, be sure to go to your email to see if the email is in your sent mail folder. If not, check your drafts folder and complete the process to send the message and infographic.

Screenshot 7

10. After you have taken the critical step to send your completed infographic, go back to the document and click File and Save As to save a copy for yourself.


11. If you have time, be sure to use your social media accounts to share your infographic. Include the hashtag #SLM16, #librariestransform and share with @aasl, @ilovelibraries, and your state library association.


Author: Leslie Preddy, Leadership Development Committee Chair and 2016-2017 AASL Past President

Categories: Association News, Community, News, Presidential Musings

8 replies

  1. I filled it out, but do not get any dialogue box when I click submit. Maybe that is why so few are being returned, if others are having trouble.

  2. Hi Sharon,

    Are you saving the file to your computer? If you click the link and the PDF opens in a new browser window, the submit function doesn’t work correctly. If you download the form and then open it through Adobe, you should get the dialogue box when you click submit.

    If this doesn’t work, please let us know and we’ll be sure to investigate further.


  3. How do you count in the digital resources to the collection? I have 21,000 print items and then a few subscription databases. Do I count each database as one additional item? Or do they count for more since they contain countless other sources? Thanks!

  4. Sharon and Jen,

    Could pop-ups be blocked?

    Maybe, Sara

  5. I looked online and also downloaded the form and I don’t see a submit button at all.

  6. mm

    Michele, that’s a great question. You can count each database as an individual item (I know this is tricky, since they contain many resources); each e-book or audiotape or DVD would also count as an item.

  7. mm

    Deborah, once you’ve downloaded the form, save and open it with Acrobat Reader (free). There, you should see the “submit” button in the upper right corner.

  8. Michele-
    We don’t want this to be too difficult, so I think just count each subscription, like we would count a magazine subscription and not each issue.

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