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It's That Time Again: Please Share Your Annual Reports!

Updated: May 19

I started creating an annual report for my administrators way back in 2011. I was inspired by the work of Joyce Valenza (and others) whose annual reports were works of art. Additionally, one of the first (hard) lessons I learned about library work is that if we don't tell the story of what we do, someone else will. And often, their version won't be accurate. Put another way: we fail to share data about our value at our own peril. That said, I've written about annual reports many times, have offered advice for getting your report read and have been curating examples for a long time. The curation part of this work can't happen without you, though. So... I'm asking for your help.

If you create an annual report as a means of sharing the value of libraries with those who make decisions about funding, staffing, etc., please consider adding your report to my list! In addition to this list being a resource for other librarians, I also use it every semester with my students in the MLIS program at Rutgers. And, it turns out, so do many other MLIS instructors. It's rewarding to know that others find this resource useful.

That said, I can't think of a time when this work has felt more important. Librarianship has been a profession in peril for as long as I've been a librarian, but the last few years have been especially tough as politically fueled attacks have sparked many districts to eliminate these positions all together. Ultimately, this cowardice on the part of "leadership" ends up hurting kids. It's up to us to take every step possible to counter anti-library propaganda with real data about our work. An annual report is one way to do that.

You don't need to submit a report to access the list, but I really hope you will. Here's a link to the results if you'd rather just peruse the work of others - for now. But let me clear: I really, really hope you'll submit your annual report, y'all.

We need your stories now more than ever!


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