Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Share your Library's Annual Report!

We all know that the end of the school year is a crazy busy time, and it can be hard to find time to reflect on our own work. However, we also know the importance of sharing the impact our school libraries have with our community.  Creating an annual report is a vital part of communicating our value with our stakeholders, advocating for our students need for a school library, and for educating others about what our jobs really are.

Still not convinced?  Here are Library Girl's  reasons for creating an annual report. Jennifer LeGarde presented at the IASL Conference in 2015.

  1. Assuming others know what you do is stupid silly.  As librarians we constantly lament that we are the only ones who understand our jobs.  But, if we don't share the scope of that work and how it results in student outcomes, if other people don't get it, we kind of have no one to blame but ourselves.  An annual report represents an effective way to share what we do.
  2. Our work doesn't matter if it doesn't impact students.  The annual report is a great way to draw a line between what happens in the library and student outcomes.  Once students have worn their number 2 pencils down to their nubs, comparing testing data to library data is the only way for us to know if our work made a measurable difference.
  3. "We're in this together" is a message we cannot send too many time.  Using the annual report to reflect on student and library data shows teachers and administrators that we are just as invested in student growth as they are.  Instead of running around fretting about our inventories, the annual report gives us the opportunity to show that we are fretting about the same thing every other adult in the building is fretting about at the end of the year: student achievement.
  4. Reflection makes us better.  Period.  Think of it this way: would you rather your own child be taught by a teacher who reflects on his/her work and strives to make instruction better as a result of that reflection OR would you hope your child's teacher simply pulls out the same lessons year after year, regardless of their success?  Exactly.

On our Facebook page, several Iowa TLs shared links to their annual reports for this school year.  Take a look below, and share yours in the comments!