"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

14 November 2014

Library Displays

This is a display I did for Dinovember, minus the plastic dinos I later added.

When I worked at the school library, I was responsible for any displays I wanted to put up in the library.  I didn't have very much space to work with, though, so I put up posters where I could and had one small spot that I would change monthly for various displays.

Now that I am at a public library, I have much more display space at my disposal. However, this also means more people are looking at the displays that I make and that I need to change them frequently to reflect the needs and desires of my patrons.

So, how does one go about choosing what to put on a display, you might wonder.  There are two main considerations I have when creating displays - 1) currency and 2) collection.  First, the display should be current.  I want displays to relate to something going on in the community, or a holiday event, or a project the kids are doing at school.  A display of Halloween books in March, for example, is not current and wouldn't make much sense. I like my displays to fit what the community is thinking about at that time.

The other important consideration is the library's collection. Do I have enough books to support the display I want to make?  Say, for example, that I want to make a display about books with the word "snow" in the title.  If I only have three books that fit this description, my display will be empty for most of the month.  If, however, the topic I've chosen matches a sizable portion of my collection, then I can continue to refill the display as needed.

This month being November, my three displays in the children's department are as follows:

1.  A display of books by Lois Ehlrich - her birthday is November 9, and our library has over thirty copies of her books in our picture book collection. It was easy to create a display of her books, and easy enough for the pages to refill that display as books are checked out.

2.  A display of dinosaur books to celebrate Dinovember.  Some parents created the holiday of "dinovember" where they set up their children's plastic dinosaur toys every night as if they had done something - like breaking into the cereal cupboard, watching a movie, playing with the toilet paper, etc. They post pictures of the dino adventures every day, and it was easy to create a display with links to their website as well as some dinosaur books from our collection, and that also is an easy display to refill as needed.

3.  I also created a display of kids' cookbooks in preparation for Thanksgiving. We don't actually have very many kids' cookbooks in our collection, so this is an instance where my display has informed our collection development and made us aware of a gap that needs to be filled.

I definitely plan to expand our display repertoire as I have time, but for now these are the displays that I have created for November.  I use the internet to look for upcoming holidays or sample displays from other libraries to come up with ideas.

What kinds of displays have you created? How do you decide what to display each month?

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