Insights from the Field
May/June Guest Blogger : Melissa Kane
End of the Year Report
by Melissa Kane, Anamosa High and Middle School
Melissa is the Teacher-Librarian at Anamosa High and Middle School. Her roots in library studies date back to helping create card catalog cards in high school to spending a semester cataloging an early childhood library in Grad School. The best part of her job is connecting kids to books they come back and tell her how much they enjoyed. She also loves to try out new technology and challenge teachers to do the same in their classrooms. She was recently appointed as the IASL Publications Chair and looks forward to sharing school libraries stories!
How many of you still put together an end of the year report for your stakeholders? I learned the importance of this as part of my graduate studies at the University of Northern Iowa and have continued the practice each year I finish up a school year. When I first started this I did a simple report format in Appleworks to print and turn in at my end of the year checkout with my principal.
Since Web 2.0 took over I have become more creative in how to share this information and hope it does not end up in the back of a busy administrators file cabinet. I do try to make it a point to share what is happening in the library at a school board meeting at least every other year so this could be something I could share at the end of each year as well. I also plan to feature this on my school library website to share with students as I meet with them the first time the next year. It could be fun to set a goal to have even more books checked out each month and keep a chart in the library to see how we are doing to reach our goal.
Three years ago when I came back to the library after a switch in districts and a short hiatus as a reading teacher, I decided the best way to share this information would be with an infographic. And being the tech geek I am I decided each year I would try a new tool for making the infographic so I was current on different sites and the features they have.
The three sites I have tried for the end of the year reports are
Visme was easy to use and had nice templates to choose from. It also had some good graph and chart tools to create in the program and share the numbers. I was able to bring in my own images but it had many choices for free icons I could use as well. I could also put links in to share information outside of the report as well. It also let me download the final product to share or I can share publicly on the web with a link or I could embed to a website to keep changes current, but you need the paid version to share privately.
Venage took a little more playing around with to use but was pretty similar to Visme. I really liked all the options for the charts and graphs I could make and had fun trying out the different types available including the dot chart and percentage of an image colored in. It also lets you create the graph right in the program or bring information in from a Google Sheet.
Snappa had some great icons for free icons to use for visuals on the infographic and they were easy to search and find. I also liked the template options and ease of use of the toolbar. The one thing I felt Snappa lacked was the option for graphs and charts. I ended up making the charts I needed on a Google Sheet and taking a screen shot to bring them in as an image. It worked out okay, but was an extra step.
I have also used the following sites with students to make infographics as well
As I was working this year I decided I should start a place to keep them all together and reflect on what I have leaned each year. (Mostly so I don't have to endlessly search my Google Drive or mail each year and try to remember where I saved it last year.) So I have decided to add in the use of one of my new favorite tools Wakelet to keep the links and do some reflection in the descriptions. I can also share the Wakelet link with others to be able to see what is happening in the libraries as well.
The information I have included on my year end report are as follows
- Number of books checked out [including a chart to show circulation per month]
- Number of books purchased [including total budget and other supplies or software purchased]
- Fundraisers and items purchased
- Reading Promotions
- Collaboration with teachers
- Standards taught
- Projects to share
- Enrichment and Makerspace activities
- Groups worked with in addition to library lessons
- Additional technology work and promotion
- Goals for the next year
I wish I could say I have these reports ready to discuss with my administrators at check out each year but usually I am pulling all of the information together as it becomes available the last week of school and finish it when I have time to slow down and think the week after school is out. Then I share via email as I finish. Maybe that should be one of my goals for next year - finish report before I leave the building! Unfortunately the end of the year tasks of getting books back and doing inventory of technology seem to consume my last days of school and this is something I know I can do in the comfort of my living room so it gets pushed aside. It just seems easier to gather the reports and information I need as I wind down after the year than when I am caught up in getting the library shut down for the year - which includes stuffing items in my backroom to deal with later and winding around the maze of computer carts and Promethean boards that are kept in the library for safe keeping over the summer.
Does anyone else do an end of the year report? How do you create it? Who do you give it to? Feel free to share with the firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add to this post. Or share on our Facebook or Twitter account under the post with the link to this blog.
Have a great idea you've implemented? Concerned about a current issue in librarianship? Want to share a great library programming or technology implementation idea? Collaborated with teachers or other professionals with great results? Consider being a guest blogger for IASL. Contact the Publications Chair to find out how to get started.