Thing 32: Annual Reports – Make Them Matter & Report More Often!

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(NOTE: These resources in these four lessons (29 to 32) are very library-centric. But the ideas and strategies will work in any teaching setting.)


mira costa annual reportIn the the lessons on Evidence Based Practice you considered what types of information will help you better demonstrate how the library supports student learning and other school-wide goals, and how to collect that information.

Then you considered new ways to reach out to the various stakeholders in your school and community in the lesson on Taking the Lead.

The next piece of the puzzle is taking all you’ve learned and put use it to create effective reports and presentations, ones that will get the attention of your administrators and convey your story.

Some of you may have been lucky enough to have attended Jennifer LaGarde’s “Being a Data Super Hero” workshops. During the one I attended, we spent part of the day looking at lots of reports from school libraries and identifying things that worked well, things that didn’t, what data had been collected and who the target audiences were. This was a great exercise to get the creative juices flowing and we’ll do that as part of the learning activity for this lesson.

Tips for Getting Your Report Viewed

  • Report Often: Don’t leave it all till the end of the year. How about doing short monthly or quarterly reports, but keeping them simple and easy to consume.
  • Report Less: Don’t write a 50 page annual report. No one will read it. If you’re required to do a lengthy report, how about adding an attractive 1 page executive summary. Something that might actually get looked at!
  • Share your big news and achievements on a bulletin board, on your web site, in a newsletter.
  • Use new tools: It’s easy to type and type and type. But text takes more time and effort to consume and comprehend. Photos, video clips, infographics, charts are more accessible and can tell your story more quickly and powerfully.
  • Make it relevant: Remember, report things that are important and have meaning. Your circulation may have increased over the previous year, but tell them why it did and most of all, why that’s important.



Before you complete the learning activity and blog post for this lesson, you might want to revisit some other Cool Tools topics. In particular:

Even if you’ve done those lessons before, feel free to dig in and repeat them. You can count them towards your PD credit for this year as long as you do something different than in previous years.


  • Look at a variety of reports to get some ideas for your own reports.
  • Consider what you want to include in your reports.
  • What data have you been collecting? What do you still need to collect?
  • How often do you want to share reports with your administrators and staff?
  • What tools might you use to present information so it’s easier to understand and more appealing?

Your Blog Post

As always, some ideas and choices for your blog post.

  • Write up your reflections on the questions in the learning activity above.
  • Start outlining and drafting an annual report and share it with us, along with your thoughts.
  • I know some of you have already covered those questions in other posts. So take this opportunity to reflect on how you’ll pull together the ideas in the lessons on Evidence Based Learning, Taking the Lead and Reports. How will incorporate these ideas in your work.


  • Write & publish your blog post.
  • Copy the URL (webpage address) for your post.
  • Return to the Google Classroom assignment page, find the assignment page for the lesson you just completed and follow the directions for turning in and sharing your work.

*Only for students participating in the workshop for PD credit hours through the Google Classroom.


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