This toolkit originates from the Health Sciences Information Consortium and is in the process of being adapted and updated by the CHLA/ABSC Standards Standing Committee.

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 mission and goals 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. What’s most important 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’.

Reporting is essential to being seen as part of the team in your larger organization. Be proactive when you can – if you’ve been asked to forego a formal annual report, consider an annual infographic instead to communicate your value. Make sure to tie your reporting back to your organization’s mission and values.


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. 

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 processes, presentations, evaluations etc. attached.


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. 

iPad apps

The Library is partnering with the Information Systems team to offer enhanced information resource apps access from mobile devices.  The Library will be working with their vendors re: license agreements tech. requirements and authentication of access to optimize these resources for use at the point-of-care.

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.
Resources have been specifically highlighted to the Chaplain’s office and Ethics program and will be emphasized in future resource training.

The package includes information by religion on 12 major religions:

Amish, Baha'i, Buddhism, Christian Science, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah's Witnesses, Judaism, Pagan, & Taoism
  As well as by 31 different ethnicities:

 African American, Arab, Asian Indian, Bosnian, Cambodian, Caribbean/West Indian, American, Chinese, Cuban, Ethiopian/Eritrean, Filipino, Ghanaian, Haitian, Hmong/Laotian, Japanese, Korean, Latino, Liberian, Mexican, Native American, Native HI/Pacific Islander, Nigerian, Polish, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Roma/Gypsy, Russian, Somali, Sudanese, Thai, Vietnamese
 The documents are quick and easy to read covering topics like:

An overview of religious beliefs, concepts of health, views towards death & dying, labour & birth, gender roles, disease prevention etc.
 Library Support Snapshot:

A selection of areas/topics the Library has supported with professional searching/training -   

Patient Falls –  programs, numbers etc.
Pathophysiology and parenteral nutrition with critically ill patients
Lowe-level laser therapy
Pregnancy and hypothyroidism
Multidisciplinary rounds – Best practices
Nursing models – active listening

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.