Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Power of Your Data

In Doug Johnson's article on 7 tips for making your principal your ally, tip #1 is:

1. Report regularly and formally. We should all be sending out a written (emailed) quarterly principal’s report and a monthly faculty bulletin. These should be upbeat, useful, and short. Every newsletter that goes to parents needs a library column. Including digital photos of happy library-using kids. Administrators HATE surprises - good and bad.

Doug, Johnson. "7 tops for making your principal your ally." The Blue Skunk Blog. Sept. 10, 2013. Web. 11 September, 2013



We all have access to data per Destiny (or other library management software) and our library schedule, so gather this information on a regular basis and be ready to share your successes.  Nothing speaks louder than data. Don't wait until the end of the school year when you can barely remember what happened last week.  Start gathering and sharing your data now!

Highlights of my last week:
  • 1,058 books checked out
  • 29 eBooks checked out
  • 10 audio eBooks checked out
  • 39 classes
  • 80 students on passes - tracked through our new process with Google form
  • 101 students subscribed to remind101
  • Started #pikelib with many tweets from teachers and students
  • Attend PLC with L.A., Electives, and Fine Arts
  • Wrote and posted parent newsletter
  • Attended 6th Grade level meeting
  • Organized Principal’s Book of the Month
  • Received Solid as a Rock badge in www.smore.com


 8th grade boys enjoying the new reading area that I have been working on this past summer.


With three 6th grade classes checking out books at the same time, the new Follett app came in handy.  Now my thoughts are about developing a self check-out system with the app.


After reading a post in my PLN my thoughts are all about a new display.  This is a literature footprint from our L.A. department chair.  I am going to have my student aides make word clouds for our administrative staff. What if we had a bulletin board where anyone could display their literature footprint?  Or, what if the footprints were displayed all around the library?  I think I have a new idea! 

Students were excited and eager to subscribe to Pike's remind101.


I laughed when my sister explained that during tax season she requires her accountants to itemize their time in 1 minute increments. How could I possibly account for every minute in the library?  The key is to come up with a system that works best for you.  Personally I have a Google spreadsheet with my entire schedule that I share with my staff.  The spreadsheet allows me to easily sort data at the end of the school year.   I prefer to print my spreadsheet off and manually write down events as they occurr and I transfer this to the spreadsheet as time allows.  I have trained my student aides to check the daily calendar in preparation for that class period.  I also keep classes on my website calendar.  I like the online calendar to share but I am not always in front of a computer to add or check events.    The bottom line is you need to come up with a system that works best for you in gathering and sharing your data.  An empty calendar or schedule may give others the wrong perception of our daily lives in the library.  As a one woman show I can promise everyone each day is as busy as the next.

 Suggestions may include:
  • Reflect and write items/events down first thing in the morning
  • Reflect and write items/events down just before you leave for the day
  • Reflect at a specific time each week (I may find time at lunch)
  • Write events and items down as they occur as I do on a daily schedule
  • Keep an ongoing Word or Google (this would allow home access) document

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