Thing 32: Annual Reports – Make Them Matter (17/18)

Our amazing middle school librarian, Rebecca Ekstrom, does quarterly and annual reports for her library.  This is my third year in our district and she recently approached our elementary team about joining her in this annual reports initiative.  I’ve seen a few annual reports and worked on my own for coursework or internships, but I have yet to do one in my current district.  I like the clear message in several of the articles included for Thing 32, keep annual reports brief and visually stimulating and relevant to student impact.

The Blue Skunk Blog by Doug Johnson had a couple articles to this point.  I started with 7 Tips for Making Your Principal Your Ally.  His list of tips are great.  Most importantly, I think creating an annual report for my principal and staff will help inform those I work with and create an ally out of not only my principal but my staff as well.  I found a comment on the Teen Services Underground blog by Sereena Hamm about a monthly newspaper called “The Toilet Paper,” which is installed on bathroom doors for light and easy bathroom reading.  While entertaining people and being humorous doesn’t come naturally to me, I think something like this could be enormously valuable.

Library Girl’s School Library Annual Reports: Connecting the Dots Between Your Library and Student Learning, started out by saying, “Assuming others know what you do is silly,” which is true, but I guess I’ve been doing a lot of assuming.  When I started in my position, teachers were required to accompany their class to media lit.  This was a sore issue for teachers and a practice put in place before I arrived and I’m afraid resulted in some bad blood between teachers and the library.  Now, teachers are not required to be there during media lit. and there really is no reason they would know what is happening in the library.  So… it would be a great time to start newsletters!

The most important message I read while reading through the articles is to make sure newsletters and reports focus on students.  Doug Johnson wrote, “the alignment of our “it” to their “it,”” referring to the goals of librarians and administrators in terms of student success as the most important focus.  And Jennifer LaGarde, aka Library Girl, wrote that “Our work doesn’t matter if it doesn’t impact students.”  It’s clear what my focus will be!

I remembered Tony Vincent’s infographic in iPad as the Teacher’s Pet and want to try using pages to create the initial workings of a newsletter.  I will consult with my media lit. team because I think we will try to create unity and work together on this to keep our libraries and schools on the same page.

Here is a start to a newsletter.  I’ll need to meet with my MLS team before continuing on, but Thing 32 was the boost I needed to get started.  Averill Park Elementary Library newsletter.



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