#49 Reports


Whatever you do in your library, it’s important that you report back on your activities, both to justify your budget (if you’re lucky enough to have one) and to highlight the essential services that a school library offers.

Who to report back to? The most obvious candidates are your line manager and the head of the school. You should also consider disseminating information to your regional contacts, and anyone in your local authority who might be interested. This could be anyone interested in promoting libraries: a library regional officer, the local public library and anyone who has libraries and museums on their remit.

The prerequisites of a useful report are: information gathering, recording of staff and pupil comments, satisfaction surveys and good presentation. The link to the British Library Annual report below shows many of the qualities essential in a report: good, colourful layout, images to break up the text, and useful charts and diagrams to explain statistics and figures. Though this report is aimed at a professional adult audience, it is still heavy on text in some parts, and contains no summary.

Reporting is a way of charting your progress, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and raising the library’s profile. A weakness highlighted in a report with statistical or observational evidence, has a greater chance of being addressed by management, particularly if the issue is then formally raised at a school committee.

Gathering information and statistics is, without doubt, a time consuming process. However, if the information is used properly in a professionally presented report, it can have a very positive impact on your services and your status.

British Library Annual Report 2007.

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