Saturday, June 27, 2009

Importance of creating an annual report.

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!

News Break ! Updated article on the annual report April 2013 - Published in SCIS Connections, The annual report : Your ticket to greater advocacy

Our annual report is available here ;-

The 11th reason? - you can share your annual report with colleagues all over the world for inspiration. See to add yours! Thanks bookminder ;-)


MrsE said...

Great post! I would add, share your report online (as you did) as a source of ideas and inspiration for your colleagues around the world. Hmm, that's got me thinking that it might be a great idea to set up a google spreadsheet that other librarians could add links to their reports to. What do you think?

Georgia said...

Dianne, your report is great! If only every TL could produce such evidence of their contribution to teaching and learning in the school!!
I think we need a sort of proforma for them to easily keep track of all the TL and the library does and is involved with during the year.
Do you have such a form, or just a diary you go through at year's end?
How to make it easy for them?
Great blog too!!! Can I link it somewhere on our Hub site?
Georgia Phillips

Yvonne B. said...

I too believe that an annual report for the library is essential. I have always written a end of report for all my libraries.Although it includes all the relevant points, I have used a more traditional report format - I love your layout!
We are administrators and managers of a school facility and it is a record of accountability. As you mentioned it is a very important reflective tool of where we have been and where we are going. I like the points you made on the blog here.
Apart from my own reflections on my teaching and management practices, I do also diplomatically state suggestions and recommendations that the school administration needs to consider to improve library services.
I also write an abridged version (16 pages down to 2) that goes out to the school community with what has been achieved in the current school year.
I will try and post a copy of one of my library policies in the near future.
Yvonne B.

Mrs. C. said...

Fantastic Dianne,
love your solid reasoning. I've just done an annual report here but didn't get quite the same positive response that you did. Still, it was very important for me to see what has been achieved this year and to hand over to my successor when I finish up this week.

Seemed like not so many of the Librarians do annual reports here - there were a few comments like "no one will read it" or "I just do a short memo"

I do think it is very important to highlight the contribution of the Library, parent volunteers and Book Club credits, especially for me this year and that has formed the basis of my collection development this year. Have a great summer

Jeff said...


Thanks for your sharing. It's a great example of library report. As I work in a local secondary school, we normally write a 2 pages report. It fails to highlight the contribution of library. To encourage other teachers to co-operate with library and understand more of library functions, I will write a report according to yours this year. Thank you!

Amy said...

Such a timely and valuable post. I added mine to your site and mentioned you in my small blog entry. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Dianne, a great post about the importance of that Annual Report - have found it so informative - have been busy writing mine whilst on school holidays and hope to present it when our schools reopen here in Dubai. Also my first time doing this report as was not in charge of the Lib as now.We also upgraded our library system from Alice to Oliver SQL in April but have to admit it has been a bit of a nightmare - still have issues particularly the reservations. Used to live in Hong Kong, Discovery Bay - Headland Drive actually and guess your school is the new one now opposite the Greens right? Notice your school is also an ESF school. Used to do some ESL for Educational Services at Bradbury School. Amazing how small the world is with blogs now - so good to read of other's experiences this way so a big thank your input.