Presented by Amanda Steinvall
Objectives: Following the consolidation of 9 hospital libraries into a single unified department, library leadership identified the need to create an annual report that successfully described the work of this new integrated library service. The library aimed to reconstruct the traditional annual reports into more visual format that better depicted the impact of the library by displaying usage statistics and promoting services in a pleasing and unique way.
Methods: In year one, the library transitioned from a traditional written report or one-sheet, to an infographic poster created using Photoshop. The infographic described the current state of the new integrated department and highlighted quantitative information that demonstrated the library’s scope, scale, and impact. The infographic was distributed to key leadership within the organization by email and physical copies of the posters were printed and displayed on bulletin boards within library locations. A digital copy of the infographic was uploaded to the library intranet page. The same approach was taken the following year, and in year 3 a 2-page written component was added to complement the visual.
Results: A visual representation of the annual report allowed the library to tell its story in a more compelling way than a traditional written one. Infographics allow for a quick breakdown of key statistics in a way that is easily digestible meaning the library was able to reach stakeholders who may not have taken the time to read a written report. . The ability to post the infographic both physically in the libraries as well as on the intranet site and to keep it up over a long period of time meant a greater number of individuals had the opportunity to see the report thus having a greater promotional impact than the traditional written version. This also opened the door for insightful follow-up questions from leadership and patrons of our library services.
The accompanying brief written report produced in year 3, and emailed to a limited number of individuals is leadership, allowed the library to include more a descriptive analysis of its work, impact, and special projects thus bridging the gap between quantitative and qualitative and creating an overall richer picture.
Conclusion: When presented in an attention-grabbing and creative way infographic annual reports provide an effective and engaging glimpse into the productivity and workload libraries produce in a given timeframe. Additionally, they are an asset to inviting leadership and patrons into the discussion of what libraries “do.”
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/heather-j-martin/17/