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  • 1.  End of year inventory

    Posted 4 days ago

    Hi Everyone! This is my first year working as a district librarian supporting 11 classified library staff and we are starting to think about end of year procedures. I recently learned that in the past the libraries have been closed for 19 days for end of year tasks including inventory. This seems wild to me! I want to be able to show the librarians evidence that inventory can be ongoing and also does not need to take that long but am struggling to find resources. How long does your school library close for at the end of the year? Do you have any documentation citing this I could reference? I know change is hard so I want to go about this as delicately as possible. Thanks so much!

    Beth Berlin-Stephens
    San Jose State University School of Library & Information Science

  • 2.  RE: End of year inventory

    Posted 4 days ago
    Dear  Beth Berlin-Stephens
    Thank you for posting this concern, since an accurate inventory is an essential in any library.
    When I was a high school librarian with an enrollment of 1,200 students grades 9-12, I felt the urgency to be open for our students (66% free and/or reduced lunch, 50% Hispanic, 35% Caucasian, 6% Asian, 6% African American, 3% mixed/other), until the last day of school (especially during finals week and other Teacher Appreciation/Reading is Fun Week/Summer Reading Promotion/events) to provide full services to students and staff.
    What did this require? Two part-time graduate interns started inventory the middle of May, while a library clerk and I completed inventory one week after school was dismissed.
    Although this may not be ideal for your situation, the educators and students in my school valued the library being accessible every day school was in session. The library remained one constant before, during, and after school for those who relied on our presence.

    Best wishes,
    Carmaine Ternes
    Librarian, Author, Editor, Presenter
    "A child who reads will be an adult who thinks!"

  • 3.  RE: End of year inventory

    Posted 2 days ago
    Edited by Elizabeth Kahn 2 days ago

     I worked in a middle/high school. I never closed for inventory. I would do some and have student workers do some, especially seniors who needed service hours. I usually started it in late February and would try to finish in 6 weeks. My collection was about 10,000 print volumes plus various equipment housed in the library. I wanted to finish early enough that I could print a list of all the lost books and have students and teachers look for those books at home and in the classrooms. When patrons saw the titles of the books missing, they very often found them and returned them to the library. If I was in an elementary school, I think that I could teach 5th graders to help or enlist parent volunteers. Books can definitely go in and out as inventory is conducted. When a book is checked in after inventory is started, the system counted the book for inventory. That being said, it was helpful to have two weeks at the end of school year to collect all the books, finish weeding, and organize to be ready for summer break. I do think that 19 days is excessive. I would keep the library open during those last weeks without book check out. 

    Elizabeth Kahn
    School Librarian

  • 4.  RE: End of year inventory

    Posted 2 days ago

    When I worked in high schools and middle schools I would stop circulation usually about 3 weeks before school was over. We never closed, but there was no book check out. I was often the only one doing inventory so it took a long time. Eventually, I stopped doing inventory every year.


    Juliann T. Moskowitz, MSEd, MLS

    she/her/hers (Why pronouns matter)
    Instruction & Information Literacy Librarian
    Wahlstrom Library


    University of Bridgeport

    126 Park Avenue
    Bridgeport, CT 06604
    p: 203-576-4528



  • 5.  RE: End of year inventory

    Posted 2 days ago
    What I used to do was take, say, 6 weeks, where my priority was to do inventory. (End of the year is just too hard/busy for me.) In between classes, meetings, everything, I had a cart that I would take around the library and would scan a section at a time, writing down where I've finished. It's pretty intense. I've done this at two different libraries.

    It opens up conversations about what you're doing, gives you valuable data. I wish I could have had the luxury to close the library to do this, but I found that if I prioritize this over cataloging, collection development, etc, I can do this in about a month or so. Oh, and if you have a parent volunteers/student volunteers, they can help out with this too!

    Good luck,
    Cherie Yanek
    Librarian, Social Current


  • 6.  RE: End of year inventory

    Posted 2 days ago

    My school library has adopted a need based policy for inventory in order to save staff time and energy for the end of year tasks. This is the spring break week so my school librarian made a decision to come in today to do the inventory for the horror/sci-fi section, create the weeding list, remove the books from the shelves and send to an offsite location for destruction. 

    Xiping Liu
    Resource Description Librarian
    University of Houston Libraries

  • 7.  RE: End of year inventory

    Posted 2 days ago

    Before changing anything, I'd see what actually happens during the 19 day closure. You said inventory but also other end of the year tasks. If your job is to support the staff I think it's best to make sure they are getting the time they need to do their jobs; do they think 19 days to too much time?

    I don't work in a school library but I do know about the predilection of managers to take away time that the library is closed to squeeze time from staff and make it look like more is being done. Our library moved from a 10 am open time to 9 am in the past year and it's made it very difficult to have staff meetings, update computers, and do a lot of work in the stacks that normally would have been done before we opened. I feel like the decision was made without thought to what would be lost and how it would affect staff.

    Rebecca Standal
    Youth Services Librarian
    Longview Public Library

  • 8.  RE: End of year inventory

    Posted yesterday
    My school has alway closed for the last two weeks for inventory. I don't teach lessons every week. My classes are only 20 minutes, so I don't have time ti teach  in-depth lessons. 
    We have approximately 18,000 items to inventory. Last year was my first year as a library associate. I am the only one in the library.  I had one program assistant that helped one day for about two hours. I did not need the full two weeks. It took 7 full days and part of the eighth.
    I hope this helps.

  • 9.  RE: End of year inventory

    Posted yesterday
    Edited by Dawn Treude yesterday

    I'm in my third year on my campus. I stop book checkout/ classes after the first week of May. Our last day of school is the Thursday before Memorial Day.  I am responsible for student devices and teacher curriculum materials, so End-of-Year is filled with many responsibilities,  including inventory. (Which I have yet to do because the time gets eaten up by other things- including all the EOY special events.) I cannot imagine having checkout or classes until the last day (hats off to those who do). Even with that lead time, I won't get all books returned. I am solo and have no volunteers on my small Title 1 campus. Our district warehouse sends all the upcoming year consumables in May, so I am unpacking those, getting teachers squared away and, if I'm lucky, doing an actual library project- like generifying my MG section. 

    Yes, I'm aware I can start inventory early in Destiny. We have a district meeting next week to discuss and share best EOY tips. I hope to start a big portion of the inventory early this year. We'll see.  I had the same hope last year and then  two teachers won  free Scholastic books  (two pallets!) and those all ended up in the library for a book giveaway which I was responsible for organizing, unpacking and distributing. So much for my plans. EOY is always a  wildcard. Keep in mind that the library being closed does not stop the constant stream of students who need IT support with their Chromebooks, which takes up about of a third of my day between, troubleshooting and creating work orders. Also Classified staff are frequently pulled for duty and "other tasks."

    Trust me, students and staff get lots of service and support up until the end. 

    Dawn Treude
    Library Resource Specialist
    Echo Canyon K-8
    Scottsdale Unified School District
    Scottsdale, Arizona