I completed my annual report today and distributed it to my principal and assistant principal for curriculum and instruction. There are many reasons for creating an annual report. Personal reflection, library program evaluation and advocacy are my primary motivations. Personally this was an excellent way for me to reflect on the year and set goals for next year. I knew I was busy all year, but the numbers really show it. I can probably be declared a webinar junkie. I had a total of 90 hours of training and professional development, 16 presentations not including my tech tips at faculty meetings, and 18 mentions in the press or online. A few highlights that I am particularly proud of are the Skype author visits with my book club, successful reading programs, using Kindles, and being voted Teacher of the Year. Not everything was ideal, I see several areas that I can improve upon next year. There are subjects that I need to better serve and grades that I did not collaborate with as often. The survey I asked students and faculty to complete gave me several suggestions for next year including more soft chairs, scary books, and faster computers.
The annual report was a valuable tool for evaluating the library program. I was able to view statistics on visits, circulations, collaborations, standards addressed, TRAILS data, etc. Although I did not include a detailed collection analysis in the report, I did complete one using Follett Titlewise. I won't bore you with those details, but it was a great way for me to evaluate the collection and set a few target areas for ordering new books next year. I used our most recent state document for library evaluation "Achieving Exemplary School Libraries" as a standard for evaluating our strengths and weaknesses. Some of the weak areas for our program are staffing and advisory committees. The recommended staffing is one media specialists and two paraprofessionals. That is almost laughable in the current budget climate. Our district eliminated all library aides last year and the budget for next year left no room for them to be added. I don't know when they will return. I never had one so I have adapted, but I can definitely see the advantages and look forward to that possibility in the future. We currently do not have a library advisory committee at the school or district level. I am still researching and reading about the possibility of creating one.
I plan to use the annual report as an advocacy tool. Sharing with my school administration is the first step. I posted the report on my website and may share with some of the district administration when the last few days of school pass. I considered creating a video version, but we just shared our Library Snapshot Day with the board so I don't want to overload them with videos. I feel that this is a great tool for me to keep handy should the need arise to defend my job and show student impact. The recent interrogations of librarians in California made me take a cold, hard look at myself. Could I answer the questions they were asked? This report definitely shows collaborations, standards I addressed, classes I taught, student visits, and student achievement. Research skills are tested in our state assessment, PASS. Standard six covers research skills in English/Language Arts for grades 6-8. Our school tests ELA standards using Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) twice as year in addition to our state testing. I used results from both tests to evaluate our Kindle program. I will be sharing these results at the Upstate Technology Conference and I will post our presentation here soon. When our PASS results come in this summer I plan to compare scores on ELA with class library visits and find out if they are connected. I also plan to use these scores to target a group of struggling readers for a special book club. Another tool I utilized this year with our 6th grade is TRAILS. The results of this test allowed me to target the weakest areas in information literacy. I was pleased to see growth in all areas by the end of the school year.
I learned a few lessons when putting together the report. I looked at annual reports from many different places to determine what I would like to include in my own. I wish I could give credit to all of the reports I viewed, but I didn't make a note of all of the reports I viewed and borrowed ideas from. Several great examples can be found here. I created a template for both monthly and annual reports and added to them all year. I wish I had included a section for Grants from the beginning. I decided to add it at the last minute and had to rely on my memory to fill it in. I know there were other grants I applied for, but I just couldn't remember them all. Another change I will make next year is listing the state and AASL standard for collaborations as I go. I did not do it originally and spent quiet a while going back to fill it in. Again, I feel that I left out many, but simply grew tired of looking at the lists. I believe I will change my faculty survey next year. I will probably make it shorter and take out the questions about their personal beliefs regarding information literacy. What I want to focus on is asking if library services met their needs as educators and their students' needs. Judging from some of the suggestions I suspect that some of the teachers had not ventured into the library often. A few of the changes they requested have already been implemented. Nevertheless, there was value in reading their thoughts.
Please share a link to your annual report. I am always eager to continue improving and learning.