Thursday, February 26, 2015

Library Displays 101

One of the new additions I've been meaning to share on Sweet B's this year is focused on my work as a Youth Services Librarian. As I laid out earlier in this post, it's been something I've really wanted to bring to my readers. I get asked, and often, about things I do daily, and I felt maybe I should share more than a look-in to my day every few months. Therefore, my plans are to give a more detailed insight to my programs, displays, bulletins. school-visits, and any other adventures I may be up to. For now, I'd like to bring on these posts once a month and then eventually once a week.

But, of course, I must start from the beginning. (It's my OCD way.) Since that was almost three years ago, I have quite the catching up to do. Yet, before I delve into weekly programs and past Summer Reading plans, I'd like to kick off this series with a glance back at my first few displays at the library.

At my branch location, there is a small glass display case which sits by the front desk, but faces the children's department. Hence, it's the Youth Services (YS) staff's responsibility to make sure it's never bare. My department's assistant manager shares my office, and while she is more focused on the teen area, we share this display case responsibility. Sometimes we rotate. Sometimes we see if the other had plans for the next month or season. We try to change it up every two months, correlating with the weather, season, up-coming program, holiday, community, school assignment, or a popular form of entertainment going on in library world.

This was one of my first Halloween displays. Using our AccuCut Dies, I created the background title, "Lose Your Head In a Good Book." I then filled the case with books whose covers feature headless people, whether half missing, fading, or gone completely. Also, I added a few Halloween decor items, like the Frankenstein treat bag and some pumpkins (also using the AccuCut). Patrons could check out the books and we'd continue to fill in any empty spots daily. This display ran from the end of September through the week of Halloween. Something simple the tweens really enjoyed.

Below is my "Green Spring" display, perfect for, you guessed it, SPRING! Using various shades of green paper and animal AccuCuts, I was able to create my own decor which I taped to the sides of the case. I lined both shelves with different green-colored scrap book paper, and decorated the back by tacking up tissue paper at various angles. I added some colorful Easter eggs and a green pickup truck that had landed on my desk a few weeks ago, yet no child claimed. The final touches were picture books with predominately green covers. VOILA! SPRING. This was on display March through the end of April.

*A side note: at my library, whenever books are displayed in the case, on shelves, etc., I go into our catalog and change the title from "on shelf" to "DISPLAY." That way, in case a patron is looking for that particular book, we're not running around looking through the stacks because it's not on the shelf where it should be. We know where to look.

This last display ran during the month of August and was a back-to-school theme. (The first picture in this post is a side view look at this same display.) During the summer, I had a few puzzle picture books donated to the children's department. They were in great condition, probably brand new. Instead of putting them in the book sale, I decided to run a contest and used the books as the prize. Again, using the alphabet AccuCuts I created the "Back-to-School Jungle" title (since the puzzle book featured animals of the jungle habitat) and some jungle-themed bulletin board boarder to frame it. We have this really neat alligator visor AccuCut, so I cut out two and hung them from the first shelf, and taped a few animal AccuCuts to the shelves. I found a big parrot in the bulletin board jungle bag and taped it to the one side of the case (you can sort of see it in the first photo above). But for the bananas...I got creative. We have the regular visor AccuCut as well, so I just cut out a few pieces using yellow paper and stapled a few together, and there you have it. BANANAS.

For the contest, using Microsoft Publisher, I decorated a box (which I set on top of the display case), and I asked the kids "What is your favorite thing about going back to school?" I provided slips where the children could supply their information and answer. There were about two dozen entries and, of course, the most popular response was "seeing my friends again," along with a few "school clothes shopping," "recess," and one "English class because I like to read." (<--- that would have been my winner right there!) I asked one of the staff members to reach into the box and pull out a winner. That child received the displayed jungle puzzle book along with another surprise truck puzzle book.

There are many more display ideas to come, so stay on the look out.

For bulletin board inspiration, check out that crafty post over here.

**If this is of interest to you, or you work in a library, or you see something you like that may fit your library, classroom, party....feel free to borrow and use. It's why I love this profession. Why re-invent the wheel?! We're a friendly community with ideas to share galore. Feel free to adapt and/or share what you did or worked for you, and if you see something you really like. I welcome feedback.

With Love and God Bless,

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