If your library runs on a fiscal year, June through July, have you prepared your annual report? What library metrics should you provide the Board? Read on for tips to create an informative report full of the most impactful information.
With the pandemic, digital checkouts have surged in libraries across the country. Provide your stakeholders statistics on eBook, DVD and music downloads. These items along with magazines are the four most popular circulating digital items. Don’t forget to add the new vendors from 2020 or other anomalies to explain large data swings.
The number of people coming through the doors has decreased due to the public health situation. Including this number is totally up to you, but it might not be pretty. You could include new partnerships or other outreach metrics in place of the door count. Safe to say, physical visits to the library might never recover if we need to live with Covid long term.
As a leader, you need to begin to get creative about bringing folks back in. Will large public events or annual festivals drive library traffic post pandemic? Each community is different and finding the sweet spot for public engagement is your job as library director.
What new vendors did the library add or delete? Please include all the collections to provide an accurate overview of your library’s offerings and impact on the community. I’ve worked in library where DVDs were the number one circulating item. Other libraries had a large children’s picture book collection that drove the checkouts due to higher family populations. Tailor the report and metrics to highlight the collections’ strengths while acknowledging possible gaps.
Programming will be your library’s time to shine. Despite closures, virtual programming has taken off at most libraries nationwide and globally. Edit a bit from a virtual storytime to present during the Board meeting and share how the library was successful.
Be sure to collect data regarding re-shares along with audience size in the initial posting. Keep a digital archive of the library programs to improve next year. Consider regular promotions of library programs on social media platforms to reach your potential audience. This will drive customers to the building too.
If you have a choice of format, I’d recommend a simple infographic. Keeping the library information to one page will keep it simple, easy to read, and easy to explain. Finally, a variety of pictures and statistics also keeps the eye interested and readers engaged.
However, whatever format you choose, keep the report relatable to the average person by avoiding library jargon (like “circs.”) Be sure to have fun reviewing your year. You are the best person to tell the library’s story and advocate in the community. Best of luck!
For more leadership tips check out: KathyHusserTempe.com