What do I have to show for 2010-11?

Applausephoto © 2009 Peter Dutton | more info (via: Wylio)
In an earlier post (‘round about the time we were all making New Year’s resolutions as I recall) I challenged you all to think about compiling an annual report for your principal.  I have been doing monthly reports to share with my administrator for a number of years but I’d never done an annual report.  There are some great examples to look at here and I found them very inspiring.  (High school librarians—you rock!)  So I’ve been plugging away at mine, slowly collecting data and thinking about what to include.

It’s been a good exercise.  It has helped me to see just how much I have been able to accomplish and grow this year.  At the same time it is a reminder of what is lacking—greater collaboration with teachers, and more non-print resources for those online environments I keep talking about.

I also have come to realize that I need to take more photos to document what happens in the library during the year.  It would have been nice to jazz things up a bit with images for the report.

Doing this report was also an excuse to try out some web 2.0 tools for creating slick online documents (I’m trying to go paperless whenever I can). Richard Byrne was my inspiration here.  I love how he formatted so many of his resources for teachers using issuu.  Next year’s will be even better, but I’m reasonably pleased with my first attempt.  Please share any feedback or your own report with a link in the comments!

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Swap ’til you drop!

My library is all abuzz right now preparing for our annual Book Swap.  This is the week we’re collecting gently used books from home for kids to trade.  (Hence the mess in my back office!) For every book brought in to trade, students receive a “book buck” (fake money copied on green paper with In Books we Trust inscribed on it) to spend at the book swap.  They can bring in any number of books but we cap the “book bucks” at ten.  There are two reasons for this.  One, it gives us extra books, which allows us to give all children a book buck to spend regardless of whether they were able to bring in a book to trade. Two, there isn’t really enough time during class to shop thoughtfully for more than ten anyway.

Why do I opt for such craziness at an already crazy time of year?  Again, several reasons.  The first is of course that the kids love it and it’s fun!  I love the fact that every child goes home with something new to read over the summer without spending any “real” money.  We all know that not all of our students tap into the fabulous programs provided by our public library in the summer. This is at least a start.

Since we hold the Book Swap the week after we stop circulation,  it also helps us to fill the time ordinarily taken up with book exchange. Students shop after my readaloud and then are happy to sit and read their new “purchases” until it’s time to go.

For other ideas about how to run a book swap, check out Toni Buzzeo’s article in the December 2010 issue of Library Sparks.  (I’m quoted there, though not very eloquently!)

Winding down the year: Part 2

Hourglassphoto © 2010 John Morgan | more info (via: Wylio)
When the school year had just gotten underway I wrote a post about keeping a September folder with useful reminders and tips and forms to keep organized and get the year rolling with minimal stress. Today I must ask, “Do you have a June folder?”

I find it helpful to have a list of tasks and forms that are part of my end-of-the-year routine because in all of the craziness it’s easy to forget to do something. Over the years this list has changed somewhat (with the advent of SMART boards I no longer have to arrange for cleaning of the overhead projectors, for example), but in a nutshell these are my “closing tasks”:

Mid-May:
• Line up volunteers to shelf-read in preparation for inventory
• Tend to my repair pile so I don’t have to face it in September
• Take a look at my budget folder. Be sure I have current catalogs for vendors I deal with annually
• Finalize book order. (Read how this has become easier for me here.)

End of May:
• Send home notices about our annual book swap
• Be sure important library dates are on the master calendar
• Gather together materials for local summer reading promotions
• Finish shelf reading
• Put in writing any special custodial or I.T. requests for the summer

June:
• Accept donations for the book swap, and hold it the week before school is out
• Give teachers a list of outstanding books for their own account
• Give teachers a list of outstanding books for their students (Update every 2-3 days)
• Open inventory. Begin with sections that aren’t used quite as much.
• Create any forms I wish I had but don’t.
• Compile and collate material for annual report for principal.
• Archive all magazines. Clean plastic covers for them.
• Clean the plastic baskets that hold our leveled library and early reader collection
• Clean the microwave, coffee pot, and unplug the mini-fridge and clean when defrosted.
• Puppets and stuffed animals home to wash.
• Finalize and submit purchase orders for all line items.
• Inventory remaining sections.
• Send home bills for any outstanding items one week prior to last day.
• Take down bulletin boards.
• Turn off ink jet printers for summer to preserve cartridges.
• Evaluate, and set goals for/with assistant for next year.
• Thank you notes and gifts for volunteers and secretary.
• Prepare space for summer cleaning (chairs up, things away from windows, items up off floor)
• Change the message on answering machine.
• Be sure secretary has your home phone number.
• Plants and animals? Arrange summer care.

What am I forgetting? What tips do you have for year’s end?