Monday, May 20, 2013

End of the School Year Tips

Yes, it's that time of year that librarians embrace with anticipation but dread with the knowledge of what needs to be completed.  Here's a few tips that have helped me over the past years.

  1. Start working diligently in getting student overdue items returned at the end of April or the beginning of May. Think about incentives for returning books. Ask your teachers for help in getting the books returned. I usually do a daily countdown and will break it down by grade level and money lost if not returned. The gathering of student overdue library items needs to be a collaborative school effort not just a library process. 
  2. Use social media to help get overdue books returned.  
  3. Email friendly reminders to teachers in early May to return items that are no longer being used.
  4. Begin inventory after Spring Break and try and have it complete before the last two weeks of school. Inventory can be seamless while your library is open and still checking out books.  Inventory the heavily used collections such as fiction or graphic novels last.
  5. Embed lessons on eBook usage and host BYOD Days. This will encourage  and help with summer usage of eBooks.  
  6. Decrease the number of hardback books students may check out and increase the number of eBooks allowed in early May.  
  7. Inventory and weeding are two separate processes so don't try and do both simultaneously. Do weed those musty books that jump out at you while you inventory.
  8. Plan your final programs and have them ready to implement prior to the last month.  
  9. Continually gather data during the school year so you are only adding final touches to the Annual Report.
  10. Prioritize daily and complete the "must get done" projects first.
  11. Set a shelf or section aside for "next year" tasks. 
  12. Begin a list of books to purchase for next year's budget.  I always easily start a new list in Titlewave from books not received from my last order.  
  13. Ask students to email you pictures of themselves reading while on vacation.  It makes for an awesome presentation at the beginning of the next school year.  
  14. Design and give out bookmarks that will help students with checking out eBooks over the summer.  
  15. Understand that you are human and have limited time so don't stress over what doesn't get done.


  1. I wonder how many librarians allow eBooks to circulate during the summer? A genius idea particularly in districts with limited public library services. Also a genius idea for students who get bored with tv and video games during the summer.

  2. It's my first time to try the eBooks over the summer. I hope our students take advantage of the opportunity. I will definitely let everyone know our progress.


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