"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

27 February 2015

Interactive Displays

Our library's picture book room has a very long bulletin board. The board itself takes up the entire length of two walls, so it's probably 30-40 ft. long.  That being said, it's great to have that much space in which to create thematic displays or add information that parents might need. It's also kind of a pain in the neck, because it's a really long board, and even if you create a lot of things to put on the board, there will be a ton of space left over.

I decided that for this spring I would enlist the help of our patrons in decorating part of the bulletin board. Half the board is dedicated to information about Every Child Ready to Read, but the other half had only a paper tree in the middle and needed some assistance.  

I printed out some outlines of flowers, birds, bees, and other spring-like objects, then set them out on a table with instructions.  Patrons could choose an item to color and cut out, then they could give that item to the librarian to add to the board.  A lot of parents were grateful to have something pseudo-constructive for their children to do, and the children definitely enjoyed having their artwork added to our board. 

One thing I did learn from this experience, though: only set out a few sheets at a time. At one point I tried to set out about twenty pages, hoping not to have to refill the supply, and those of you more experienced than I am are already laughing, because you know what happened: a teacher, a parent, someone walked off with every last copy.  So now I set out two sheets of each shape and leave it at that.  The board still needs work, to be sure, but it looks much, much better than it did before, and it gives the patrons a good reason to visit our picture book room (besides checking out books, of course).

Have you ever had patrons help create a display? What kinds of things did you have them do?


Edith S. said...

World map where library users add their names or initials on a small shape... hearts, hand, triangles, rectangles, circles... then tape those around outside whie linking by ribbon to a point on the map-either birthplace or country of family heritage.

Cheryl M said...

The tree looks really interesting, what material is that?

Jenni Frencham said...

The back part is just brown craft paper, but one of our library assistants found this corrugated cardboard that had little slits in it to make it a "mesh" of sorts - I think she said it had been used as packing material in a box someone received - and when we spread it out it ended up looking a lot like tree bark, so we went with it. :)