Its that time of year again! That’s right, its time for the “end of year reports” (EOY Report). EOY reports are a good advocacy strategy that librarians often use to present the many ways the library served its students during the school year. Its a way to show the efforts and the outcomes of those efforts. Basically its one way to wrap the year up and celebrate some of the ways a successful school library benefited its students that year.
**Just to be clear its important that one EOY report every 12 months not be your only advocacy effort each year. Advocacy is more of a continual and ongoing (and constant) thing we should be working on all year, because, sadly, many people still don’t really understand how modern school libraries benefit the students and therefore it is very important that we are doing our best to try to educate our communities on the benefits.
EOY reports are also a good tradition because it forces the librarian to take a pause and to reflect on the year. To take a moment to “use the science in Library Science” by compiling, analyzing, synthesizing, and presenting on the actual data. It is so important that we are making data driven decisions, that we are keeping our student’s actual needs as the driving force for our programs, policies, resource curation, etc. Things can get chaotic and fast paced in our profession, and it can be hard to make sure we are not getting swept along with the tide of trends and personal interests, so its critical that we pause to reflect on and analyze the data. That we take time to pull as many reports as we can and to explore as much of the info as we can so that we can try to keep a clear picture of what’s working, what we should try next, what isn’t working or might need to be shifted or tweaked, etc. Sitting down with your data and synthesizing it into an EOY report really helps to keep our priorities in order, to ensure we are keeping those actual demonstrated student needs and interests as our driving forces. And it helps give us a good sense of what we might want to focus on during the upcoming school year.
In this post I’ll share some info on which reports I run in Destiny each year to gather my EOY report data, and will try to provide some examples of how I use or interpret the data.
How Do I Pull the Data?
The following is a list of the Destiny Reports that I run and how I use them to collect and compile my EOY data.
Collection Statistics – Historical – Examine circulation statistics for a particular timeframe.
This is the report you use to run more comprehensive circ data. It allows you to limit or organize by time frame as well as copy category, resource list, call number prefix, or circulation type. It also lets you see results in PDF or excel.
I use this report to see how many circulations each genre gets. Because I use “copy category” to designate genre in my catalog, it allows me to run the circ data by genre via the copy category. This is why I highly recommend using not only sublocation but ALSO copy category to designate genre if you are generified.
I like to see which genres circulate the most as that helps me know what’s popular and that in turn helps inform my purchasing decisions in future.
Collection Statistics – Summary – Examine current circulation, age, and value statistics. Cannot be run between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri).
This is the really in depth stats report, usually used to help inform weeding decisions. I don’t tend to run this one for EOY report info but I do use it to help inform weeding.
Hold Statistics – Identify titles in high demand based on the holds placed.
This report shows you which titles received the most holds in a time period. This can help inform you of some titles that you may want to purchase additional copies of so that hold lists don’t need to be as long.
Library Statistics – View a snapshot of the state of the library plus statistics.
This is the report I use most often throughout the year, it provides a “quick glance” at your library statistics such as # of books checked out, # of items overdue, how many materials the library has, how many patrons, how many fines are due, etc.
I usually use this to run quick looks at total circulation in a given time period. For example if we have all of 9th grade into the library on a certain day for book buffets I might go to this report at the end of the day and click “see todays checkouts” so I could get a quick glance at how many books circulated during the day as a result of the book buffets!
I sometimes will then do a quick audit on the titles checked out that day to see if our circulations are inclusive of books with diverse voices and perspectives.
I also use this report to check the overall circulation for the year and comparing it to years previous.
Search Statistics – Examine how patrons are searching the library.
This report is really neat, you can check to see which books/authors/things patrons typed into the destiny search bar most frequently.
You can sort this in a few different ways: -Filter by “searches with results”: If you want to see which books you have in the collection that were searched for more often. This informs you on popularity of titles, its good additional info to circ data because it shows which books patrons are most often searching specifically, rather than finding spontaneously through browsing.
-filter by “searches without results”: this is a neat one to run because it will show you which things patrons typed into the search box to look for but which had no results. There are two different situations that crop up here:
–They spelled everything correctly but there were no results because your library does not have the item. This data can help indicate to you some items you might want to purchase. If a certain book or author is being searched for frequently but you don’t have it, perhaps that is a good indication there is enough demand for the book to buy it!
–They spelled something wrong or called it the wrong thing so that even though you do own the item they searched for it didnt show up in the results due to the misspelling: This is REALLY helpful, because you can use this info to add keywords to the item records so that the record WILL show up when they search the incorrect way. So, if you see a trend where a lot of people are searching for something one way, you may want to add that term to the book record.
For example, many of my students search for “Steven King” instead of “Stephen King.” When they search it with the incorrect spelling our catalog comes back with “no results” because the catalog does not know they mean “stephen king.” So I went into the stephen king records and added “steven king” into the marc records as an alternate name. Now when they search “steven king” the books by “stephen king” will show up! Its all about removing barriers of access where we find them. Another example is if they search for something like “the turn away study” it won’t show up because the book is actually called “the turnaway study.” So it can be really helpful to check the search statistics each year to keep up to date on some of the common mis-typed searches and add those terms to the marc records as “varying form” so when people use the mis-typed search it will still bring them to the item they are trying to find.
Top Homerooms/Grades – View a list of the homerooms or grade levels with the most circulations.
This report allows you to sort circulation data by grade level of homeroom. I use this one to see which grade level checked out the most books in a year.
Top Patrons – View a list of the patrons with the most circulations.
This report lets you see which specific students had the most circulations in a given time period. I don’t publish that information because of student privacy, of course, but I do check and I’ll include something in my EOY report to indicate how many books our top patron checked out (but I do not mention the top patrons name or any identifying info).
Top/Bottom Titles – View a list of the titles with the most or least circulations
This search lets you see which titles circulated the most or the least during a certain time period. I like to run this near the end of the year and I like to run it multiple times for different areas of the collection as this report allows you to run it by “total collection” OR to filter it by sublocation. So if you have your genres or sections set as sublocations you’ll be able to quickly see which books in each section were most popular!
So I’ll check the top 25 circulated Fiction titles, then limit it to nonfiction to see which 25 nonfiction circulated the most, then I’ll also do the same for memoirs, graphic novel, manga, and each genre section.
I then like to create little displays (physical and digital via tiktok) to show off our “Top 10 most circulated X books for the year!”
Title & Copy List – List your collection with optional copy detail.
This is another report I run a lot. I often use this report to help inform weeding but in particular, at the end of the year, I run this report after I’ve completed inventory so I can see which books are “lost.” I like to run this report near the end of the year so I can go through it and make note of which of the lost books I’d like to purchase replacements for in the upcoming school year. I also use this report more generally to assist with weeding because it allows me to run the report as an excel sheet and to include both circ stats AND copy category info. Since I use copy category to identify the book’s genre, it is helpful for me to have a report like this that lets me filter and sort by copy category for weeding.
How Do I Present the Data?
Using a multi-pronged approach, because I know that if I only sent this out via email newsletter not that many people would see it. If we librarians are honest with ourselves we must admit that not that many people open and read our email blasts. It is understandable, as everyone in education is so profoundly overworked and overwhelmed, I can’t blame many for ignoring one more email. Nevertheless I do want people to see our incredible data and advocacy, so it takes a multi-pronged approach to get the info out there as widely as possible. Here are a few things I do:
Create an infographic
Share infographic via email blast to all staff
Share infographic via Canvas (our LMS) blast to all students
Ask Admin to share infographic in their EOY newsletter to families
Create a physical poster
I like to make my infographic into a large physical poster (using rasterbator.net) & place it outside the library’s entrance so anyone passing by can see it
Create instagram-able versions of the infographic
for sharing on our library socials. You can see the social media campaign posts in the slideshow and instagram screenshot below
Create Physical and Digital Book Displays for top circulated titles
Choosing What To Present?
When deciding which information to include in your EOY report, there is not “one size fits all” suggestion. And it doesn’t need to be the same stuff each year, you can have fun with this and play around. For example, I don’t usually make my EOY reports so heavily book focused. Usually I include more info on instructional collaborations, programming, grants, and other things. But this year our circulation was so outrageously high, truly so SO impressive that I decided to make this year’s EOY report all about the books and reading. You can see my previous EOY reports below if you’d like more ideas on the kind of info you might choose to include on an EOY report. As you can see, there really is no limit to what kind of info you might present! I tend to change mine up each year to keep it fresh!
Hi! I noticed you had statistics about the percent of books that were by Diverse authors. I wondered how you track that. Do you have them tagged a certain way in the catalog and then you can run the stats that way?
Hello! I completed a diversity audit on the collection which enables me to get her done data, I also do a manual quick count of the books that circulated during the year to check for this info! https://dontyoushushme.com/2020/06/15/diversity-audit-a-practical-guide/