The end of the school year can be a hectic and chaotic time. There is so much to do and not a lot of energy to do it! Between reminding students to return their library books, checking in and shelving the books, working on inventory and end of the year reports, planning fun but educational activities to keep the students’ attention and a thousand other things I don’t have time to mention, it can be exhausting.
My school always sends out an end of the year checklist to all staff. It’s usually three or four pages long but the section that applies to me could be written on a post-it note. Most years I never even turn mine in. So over the years, I have come up with my own end of the year checklist for school librarians that I use at the end of the school year. I thought I would share it with all of you. Of course every library is different, but hopefully, this list will help you to plan and get organized now so you can have a smooth start to the new school year.
You can download the checklist at the end of this post. Since everyone’s library is so different I made it an editable PowerPoint document.
Organize and Clean
This one probably takes me the longest to do. By the end of the year, my office usually looks like a tornado went through it. I am so busy throughout the school year that I tend to leave things piled up and say “I’ll get to that later”. Well later is usually the end of May and then I’m in a mad rush to get it all done.
I begin by going through all of the paper, recycling what I do not need and filing away the rest. I shred all of the student information forms teachers have given me throughout the year. I organize my cabinets and all my supplies. I’ll go through my school supplies like crayons and glue sticks. I make note of what I want to buy at the back to school sales. Remove bulletin boards and make sure my back to school materials are easy to find for next school year. Review any orders that may be outstanding or will come due over the summer. I also have a tub that I put in books and materials that I will need for back to school lessons. I don’t worry about having everything in there that I will use, but I like having some things ready because there is never enough time in the fall to get ready.
Library Specific Tasks
These tasks will vary from library to library.
- Run overdue notices for students and teachers
- Run end-of-the-year reports (circulation statistics for each month and the school year, lost book reports, cataloging reports and whatever else you need for your records.)
- Finish up your inventory if you did one. I usually do my inventory throughout the school year but that’s just my preference.
- Complete end-of-the-year reports if they’re required. If they’re not required you may want to create your own to help advocate for your library.
- Take down book displays, signage, book bins, and tubs – anything that is out on display.
- Teacher equipment – make sure it’s all accounted for and working.
- If you have a book fair in September you might want to make sure everything is in order (although you know the book fair people will be calling you incessantly!)
Make sure you clean up your school computer and save your files somewhere else. And clean out your email! You do not need an email announcing that there are donuts in the workroom from October. (Yes, I just deleted an email like this.) Store your document camera and put your SmartBaord markers and eraser someplace safe. I always cover my SmartBoard as well.
I always have a pile of things to take home so I have a specific tub that I use for this. Whether it’s personal items or materials I need to work on over the summer, they all go in this tub. And don’t forget to clean out the refrigerator. And if you don’t already have a password list somewhere, make a list of any passwords you might need over the summer.
Whew! I’m exhausted just reading this list! What would you add to the end of the year checklist for school librarians?