Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Where Did the 8th Grade Boys Go?

Help! I've lost my 8th grade ferocious boy readers and I can't seem to find them. They were right here as 6th and 7th graders but for some reason they disappeared in 8th grade. Do you know where they have gone?

Many believe the Annual Library Report is a means for advocating one's accomplishments during the school year. When I began as a librarian in 1989, we were required to generate monthly reports that were compiled into a district-wide annual report. It was early in my career that I discovered the power of data. But what I didn't realize was sometimes the data is more beneficial to me as the librarian than to anyone outside the program. It was during this year's annual report when reviewing the data that I discover my missing 8th grade boys.

Although our school district is experiencing growth, most of our 8th grade students attended our middle school for the past three years. With a steady student population, I found the three year analysis on our out-going 8th graders surprising but accurate.

It all began with generating our Top 10 Patrons report in Destiny for our 8th graders. Since this was my first year at this middle school the results were predictable - I had contact with many of these students throughout the year. The data indicated the top 10 students for my 8th graders were predominately female - not a surprise to me. I ran another report curious to see how these students ranked as 7th graders and I was surprised to see names of boys in the top 10 that I had barely seen in the library over the past year. When I ran a three year analysis of the Top 10 Patrons report for 8th graders incredibly 90% of them were boys. Where did the ferocious male readers go from 6th to 8th grade?

8th Grade 3 Year Top 10 Student Data
I have my hunches that include:
  • The discovery of girls
  • We are just way too cool
  • My extra-curricular activities are getting in the way
  • I've read all the good books in the library
So, can someone tell me where have my 8th grade boys have gone and how do I get them back? What did your data from this year's Annual Library Report tell you?

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