Using reports to support library management

Statistical reports should inform and improve every aspect of library operations. They can be based on library borrowers and resources.

Library staff should be confident running reports and be familiar with a range of useful reports that can be used:

  • As a tool to share the library’s activities with principals, administrators, teaching staff and students.
  • To support library management and justify spending.

Library management systems with reporting modules enable library staff to run reports to:

  • List loans and overdue items.
  • Analyse borrowing patterns and numbers by borrower type or collection.
  • Support and manage circulation functions such as holds and billing.
  • Identify user or item records that need action or modification.
  • Analyse and list newly added or deleted resources.
  • Analyse existing collections.
  • List items in particular collections.
  • Analyse items by age and usage to support a weeding program or budget bid.
  • Document the results of an inventory.

Annual reporting tips from Tasmanian school library staff

Tasmanian school library staff compiled the following list of stats and information that could be included in your yearly library snapshot:

  • The number of items in the library collection, and its average age.
  • The value of the whole collection.
  • The value of missing and damaged items, and the cost of repairs.
  • The number and value of overdue items.
  • The most popular items, genres and collections.
  • The number of items added to, and deleted from, specific collections.
  • Borrowing numbers of the whole school and specific grades, and a comparision with previous years.
  • Information about who is not borrowing from the library.
  • This year’s highlights and issues, plus next year’s goals.
  • Graphs and percentages are good ways to present information.
  • A comparison to previous years is always helpful to highlight trends and areas for future development.
  • Information about interactions with other school staff eg answering questions/queries, researching topics and developing book/reading promotions.
  • Create an infographic or visual representation of some statistics. Free online software, such as Canva, is used by some schools.

TALIS Network Libraries: Information about running reports is located on the TALIS Support Website.

School Library Guidelines – home page

Give feedback about the School Library Guidelines

Page updated 15/10/2021

Was this helpful?