The school year has finally ended, and a long break invitingly stretches before me. Before I finished the year I ensured that I completed an annual report on the library to include the statistics, activities, achievements and goals for the coming year. This was given to the Principal and Deputy Principal. They were so impressed it has been forwarded to the parents, staff and the umbrella group who we are a subsidiary of.
This was my first annual report I have ever had to do, as I have never been in the position to do it before as the 2nd in charge, but I always new it was something that needs to be done.
I do believe there are a number of tangible benefits of doing such a report.
Here are 10 reasons to do an annual report for your library ....
1. It allows consolidation what you have been doing all year, reflect on the successes and not so successful events and occurrences.
2. The report gives opportunities to analyse the data of borrowing rates and usage rates of all the resources - what needs further promotion, what is the most popular, what classes borrow the most and reflect on the reasons behind the numbers.
3. It allows an assessment on the impact that volunteer help has on what you are able to accomplish, and, allows this figure to be seen in a tangible form by the executive. Many times the volunteers hours go uncounted, and unnoticed. Our library relies on the volunteers to get books on shelves and the report allows us to see just how reliant.
4. Staff professional development can be documented, this can be useful in working toward pay rises, promotions and responsibility allocations ensuring the executive know that all staff in the library are working toward improving themselves, and as a result, adding value to the school. It may also help in pursuing further professional development opportunities.
5. It gives a break down of where the money has been spent, making the process transparent, and, may lead to more funds being allocated in subsequent years due to this transparency.
6. The opportunity to specify the goals and plans for the following year is useful to read in relation to preparing the following years budget, and also for the budget holders to see where and why you need the amount you have asked for.
7. Stating goals before the year starts also allows everyone to stay on target through the year, and then at the end of the year, reflect with meaning on how much was achieved. Then, to look at those goals which were not achieved and reflect on the reasons.
8. Donations and book club points were a major part of our collection development, by recording this, it reinforces the importance of collection growth through these means and allows the community to reflect on how they can play a bigger part.
9. By doing a report each year, it allows for easy comparative analysis across the years.
10. It has given the library and its staff greater exposure and a higher profile. The Head of Library will now be included in the whole school curriculum planning team - through invitation rather than active lobbying. Plans are underway for creating promotion opportunities for the support staff due to the amount of work and skills they hold - none of which would have been noticed if not for the annual report. Information Literacy has become a priority across the school with the library taking the lead, as this was one of goals stated in the report.
Cannot afford time to write an annual report? My feeling is that you can't afford not to!
Our annual report is available here ;- http://librarygrits.pbworks.com/Annual-reports
The 11th reason? - you can share your annual report with colleagues all over the world for inspiration. See http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=rzw8hacvB7jFRUNB6L2S29Q to add yours! Thanks bookminder ;-)