Media 21: Immersion into Issues of Africa Through Literature Circles and Research (The Unquiet Library) via kwout

The process of creating monthly reports is a yearly evolution for me; each year, I try to find ways to include more meaningful and relevant data while presenting that information in more interesting ways. Last year’s reports were a major step forward as they were packaged in attractive Word document (and converted to PDF format) with statistical and anecdotal data about happenings in the library each month.

One of my professional goals this year is to do a better job of assessment and data collection.  After an insanely busy first three months of school, I am finally beginning my first steps toward adding more dimension to my monthly reports.  In August, I used Animoto to create a “video” report; the response has been positive to this format.  Now I want to supplement my reports with additional layers of evidence as I try to be even more transparent about what is happening in my library program.  I will now be creating a page for each month (example:  September 2009 in its infancy).  On the home page for the month, I will include the statistical data and a video.  I will then add subpages to that month to represent each lesson or unit I create with a classroom teacher.  As you can imagine, this will take time, but I think the investment in collecting more anecdotal data will be worthwhile in terms of getting better assessment and reflection for me in regards to library programs and practices as well as better educating our learning community about what we  do with students and teachers.

This page represents a very rough draft of what I hope to be the template for this new mode of reporting.  Essential elements for each teacher page will include:

  • an attached PDF for a unit or lesson plan using the AASL Standards for 21st Century Learners template; having a copy of the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner is essential for identifying skills, benchmarks, dispositions, and responsibilities.
  • a link to the research pathfinder
  • a link to student learning artifacts and/or embedded student work on the actual page
  • Written and/or videotaped reflections from students and the teacher
  • Any other multimedia to support the collaborative lesson or unit

This example is my first effort, and it is rather rough, but hopefully, it will provide a model of what I hope to accomplish.  I will still need to refine my details on the template and do a better job of collecting formative assessment, but I think this page represents a decent start.  It is missing some of the additional assessment data I want to include (polls, surveys and the teacher video), but I feel this is a step in the right direction.  You can see additional videos featuring teachers and students that I will am collecting and preparing to incorporate into the collaborative lesson pages at our library’s YouTube Channel.

I love how Google Sites easily lets me embed this data; I also like the attachment option as well.  My goal is to go back and create pages for all the collaborative projects I have done since August 1; then I will be ready to move forward and document the projects as they are developed.  I hope to have all pages completed by December 1, so I will provide an update at that time on this project and hopefully be able to showcase a much broader range of data for you; I also hope to better show the “vision” of these pages that I have in mind to feature as many kinds of data as possible.

If you can think of additional data that would be helpful and meaningful to include, please share your thoughts here with me on the blog!

5 thoughts on “Advocating with More Dimension to Your Monthly Reports

  1. I am a student in a library media endorsement program and it is very informative to read about how you are striving to make your monthly reports as dynamic as possible. You provide some great ideas of what can be included in a monthly report. Your interest to continually improve your reports is admirable. This is an approach that should be made for many of life’s activities; especially those that we have the opportunity to reflect on and then do again. When I was teaching, I enjoyed the process of refining and tailoring lessons and curriculum to be more effective for student learning.
    You mention using “anecdotal data” in your reports. The use of anecdotes brings information to life. In a lecture format presentation, I always appreciate when stories are included. Stories enhance understanding of a given topic. Stories draw together conceptual connections of ideas that might otherwise remain more abstract. Including the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner is a great idea; this will make authoritative guidelines immediately available to those who read your reports. Readers will have a guiding framework for better understanding of how your library program fits into the bigger school library picture. Your idea of creating an archive of collaboration projects would be very helpful so administrators can better understand the value of what your work brings to the overall school curriculum.
    You asked what other data might be good to include in the reports. Circulation statistics and reference help statistics could be very helpful. Database subscription usage statistics may be available from the vendors and could be helpful more for an annual level report. This could help in decisions regarding budgeting and subscription choice.

    Wayne A.


    1. Hi Wayne!

      Thank you so much for your feedback—I really appreciate your taking time to share your thoughts and ideas!

      I have been including the stats you mentioned in case you want to see my reports from 2008-09—take a look at my monthly and annual report from the previous school year:

      Your affirmation of the value of the anecdotal data has renewed my determination to invest the time in expanding my monthly reports to tell the story of my library. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and to share your most articulate insights!



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