Recommendation 1: Reporting is essential to being seen as 'part of the team'. You're not just a Library Island but rather a working cog in the larger wheel of your organization.
Recommendation 2: Be proactive when you can! If you've been asked to forego a formal Annual Report, maybe make a one-page Annual Infographic instead. It's additional work but helps communicate your value!
Recommendation 3: Make sure to tie your reporting back to your organization's Mission, Vision or Values!
Reporting can take on many different forms but it really is essential in the business world. In health libraries, we may not always see ourselves as a business, but we are in fact, like any other department in our larger organization. We should be reporting our activities, finances, goals, successes and failures all of which should be framed always by the MVV of our parent institutions. This section offers a few resources and tools covering formal reporting, informal reporting and fiscal reporting. There are many additional forms of reporting that aren't covered here (e.g. you could have an annual report in an infographic format) as well but this is hopefully a start. What's most important on this page is that Libraries need to be accountable and partake in whatever standard reporting is happening at their organizations but also perhaps be proactive about their reporting, where it might be considered a 'value add'.
A formal report can be many different things including a more common, annual report, a quality report, a fiscal report. It usually comes complete with an executive summary, various standardized headings or sections, often the same format followed by other departments in your organization and can come complete with tables, diagrams, charts and various appendices. It is usually a report of the previous year's activities or goals, that have been , in one form or another, measured.
Below is an example of a spreadsheet that can be used to outline what goals and activities are being highlighted by your department, how they will be measured and a brief analysis of these results. Once this is completed a more formal and lengthy report will easily follow. You can even plug in the following year's goals that may continue or stem from the one's originally defined in the current year's report. For a blank worksheet template see Top Documents.
Informal reporting can take many forms, from a simple regularly scheduled meeting, email, document submission to one's direct supervisor to an section in the corporate newsletter, or even an infographic! Below is an example of a brief, monthly department update to the hospitals' Board of Directors. It's considered informal because it's just a simple update (a departmental FYI), with additional proccesses, presentations, evaluations etc. attached.
It's up to the idividual Library manager or staff to decide what might be fall into 'forma'l or 'informal' reporting at their own institution.
EXAMPLE OF INFORMAL REPORTING: BRIEF DEPARTMENT UPDATE
We’re r’E’modelling the virtual Library:
We’re not your traditional Library, for starters we’re mostly electronic! And while going ‘e’ is more expensive & more complicated than a simple print collection it allows us to serve all staff at all sites staff to support quality at the front line and for immediate patient care. We now have a Library-specific Content Management System to help us do what we need better and faster so we can make sure staff get what they need easier and more efficiently.
Library: Helping to “Support our Diverse Population” *one of the MVV’s*:
In March, the Library marketed access to “RESOURCE NAME” available through the online Library.
As well as by 31 different ethnicities:
The documents are quick and easy to read covering topics like:
Library Support Snapshot:
A budget report can be a simple excel spreadsheet or could include more in-depth explanations as well as some cost breakdowns. In this example you'll see a quick spreadsheet calculating Usage & Cost Per Use. Not only do these reports help you assess what you should be purchasing, renewing etc. but they often reflect the sort of hard calculations our administrators are looking for from any of their departments. Use our blank budget report found on the left under Top Documents!
Usage & Cost per Use (CPU) report