The first thing l did was relabel the entire library as the barcodes were inside the back cover of the books, meaning each book had to be taken off the shelf and opened to scan, what a waste of time! I used relabeling as an opportunity to look at the collection, weed and recover those in need, so it took me over a year to complete.
Secondly I looked at the timing of stocktake. I felt that if I could get the scanning out of the way sooner, I’d be able to work on reports and trying to find “missing” books. I had heard of school’s who did theirs during break between terms 2 and 3, but my EO wouldn’t allow this as the timing would effect the stock value. So, I have slowly worked back from Week 9 and this week completed in Week 5, phew this really takes the pressure off making- me a much happier and less stressed library manager.
Now because I am not rushed or stressed I have time to actually look at all the statistics my library programme can produce. What a wonderful resource. I just looked at borrowing by year level and by sex, then I worked out the average borrowed and found that the girls borrow 62% of all issues. This is interesting and leaves me with questions and the possibility of setting targets/goals around the information. There are stats to support me in many ways now that I have time to analyze them properly and I can share with departments in a positive way. Used strategically the results could increase support from teachers and promote the value of the library and it’s contribution to student achievement.
Next I am starting on my annual report to the BOT, without the rush. I try to make my reports relevant, informative and readable. The key is to make it as short as possible but to jam pack all the information I want to share and celebrate. I use graphs, photos and try and relate to schools goals and strategic plan. I want the BOT to see how relevant and worthwhile my work is and I want them to know that the investment they make in the library is paying off in many useful ways.
This year I did research on NZ school library reporting and there were two notable things I learned. Firstly don’t write a book, no one will read it. Boards are bogged down enough with important bits to read, if you want to make an impact make it short and to the point. Secondly, no matter what your school expects do not write a short breezy letter, take the time to report properly, never complain and try to relate your information to the school’s goals.
Enough from me, I’m off to impress my BOT and make them happy to have me looking after their library and using it to improve student achievement as much as I can.
Te Tai Tokerau National Executive Representative
Ruawai College Library Manager