I have to be the least artsy-craftsy person on the planet. This is why I tended to take the easy way out back when I was a high school librarian. I would go all out for Freedom to Read Week. Yet when it came to the rest of the year, I dutifully displayed new books on the circulation desk and I had a cart with six blue plastic tubs that I used to display books relating to current research projects. I had one easel for which I put up posters relating to holidays or monthly themes. No, I didn’t score big points for imagination. I was intimidated by anything visual – words have always been my thing.
Now I know that there are librarians out there who do have superior display skills and do it without great financial outlay. For example to the left is a very attractive display on myths from one of our high school libraries, Alexander Galt Regional High School. Judith Munger and Dale Davidson use sheets of coloured plastic to cover their small platforms that create levels in the display. They often feature student artwork too. The use of the monitor above the table to display a graphic web site related to the theme is very effective.
If you’re like me and have real difficulty seeing yourself creating eye-catching displays, remember that librarians love to share their good ideas on their blogs and Pinterest sites. I wish that I’d know about them a few years back.
First of all, there’s a great list of library display sites at the blog, Infomania, at http://informania.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/three-for-awesome-ideas-for-library-displays/#comment-1262 It lists some great Pinterest sites. I had a look at a few and if you want to go further than apples for September, this is the place to go. Since I’ve become a fan of Pinterest, I’ve found it a very good way to recommend books and library posters. The graphic nature of Pinterest makes it perfect for finding library display ideas.
I spent quite a bit of time looking at Fran Bullington’s Pinterest site, Library Displays and BB, which I take to mean Bulletin Board, http://pinterest.com/fran_bullington/library-displays-and-bb/
Another great site is Library Displays for Inspiration, Creativity and Ideas, http://csusap.csu.edu.au/~kowen03/displaytips.html. While there is a gallery of pictures, this site provides tips for planning your year of displays and general tips for what makes a good display, such as using only 2-3 colours, using repetition, and knowing when to stop.
One of my favourite ideas that seems to be going around library sites on Pinterest is displays of “Books From The Bottom of the Shelves”, for example, the post from Tommy Kovac’s wonderful library blog, “smells like library”, http://smellslikelibrary.blogspot.ca/search/label/bulletin%20board%20display I always love ideas to get kids to take out books that become hidden on the shelves.
So if imaginative displays aren’t your forté, as it surely isn’t mine, have a look at these sites or search Library Displays on Google or Pinterest. These displays are great ways to get kids to pick up a book, thumb through it, and sign it out.
Please leave a comment and let me know if you have other good links.