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Happy Year of the Pig! January 30, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, winter.
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New Year facts and trivia:

Chinese New Year festivities last for 15 days – this year, it’s February 18 through March 5.

Chinese New Year is the occasion of the largest yearly human migration, when Chinese people living around the world return home on the eve of Chinese New Year to have a reunion dinner with their families.

Traditional New Year decorations include red banners with the word for “happiness” written on them; peach blossoms; kumquat plants; geranium; and narcissus.

New Year superstitions (from Wikipedia):

  • Buying a pair of shoes is considered bad luck. The word “shoes” is a homonym to the word for “rough” in Cantonese.
  • A hair-cut is considered bad luck. The word “hair” sounds like the word for “prosperity”. Thus “cutting hair” could be perceived as “cutting your prosperity” in Cantonese.
  • Candy is eaten to ensure the eater a “sweet” year.
  • Sweeping the floor is considered bad luck, as it will sweep away the good fortune and luck for the new year; having a bath will wash away the good fortune.
  • Talking about death is inappropriate for the first few days of Chinese New Year, as it is considered inauspicious as well.
  • Buying books is bad luck, because it is a homonym to the word “lose”.

It’s a great time of year to offer up a tempting array of beautiful new books to borrow!

Click “more” for a list of bright new Chinese biographies, art books, poetry, cookbooks, history and fiction for an auspicious Chinese New Year display:



Happy birthday, Langston Hughes January 29, 2007

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(February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967)

Born in Joplin, Missouri, James Langston Hughes was a member of an abolitionist family. He was the great-great-grandson of Charles Henry Langston, brother of John Mercer Langston, who was the first Black American to be elected to public office, in 1855. Hughes attended Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio, but began writing poetry in the eighth grade, and was selected as Class Poet. His father didn’t think he would be able to make a living at writing, and encouraged him to pursue a more practical career. He paid his son’s tuition to Columbia University on the grounds he study engineering. After a short time, Langston dropped out of the program with a B+ average; all the while he continued writing poetry. His first published poem was also one of his most famous, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”, and it appeared in Brownie’s Book. Later, his poems, short plays, essays and short stories appeared in the NAACP publication Crisis Magazine and in Opportunity Magazine and other publications.


Put your records on January 29, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, CDs, winter.
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The Grammy Awards are coming up February 11: why not gather up the nominees and present them as a small display? Don’t forget biographies and movies featuring these artists…

Click “more” for the nominee highlights, or here for the entire list.


Cupid, draw back your bow January 26, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, DVDs, winter.
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For a grown-up Valentine’s Day display, pick your fiction by color – a table or rack full of pink, white, and red books is bound to deliver the message: romance starts here!

Or for something a little different, pull your dessert cookbooks and add in some “date movie” DVD’s.

Click “more” for lists of movies and nonfiction that will make for a super-romantic evening!


February is African American History Month January 23, 2007

Posted by sneaks in J is for Juvenile, winter.
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Here are some published resources for Black History Month.

ALA’s Notable Books for General Readers, 2007 January 22, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, winter.
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The Notable Books Council of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division American Library Association (ALA), has compiled its year 2007 list of outstanding books for the general reader. These titles have been selected for their significant contribution to the expansion of knowledge and for the pleasure they can provide to adult readers. This is “The List for America’s Readers:

Click “more” to read the list.

The 2007 ALA Award winners – Young Adult January 22, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, winter, YA.
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ALA’s Young Adult book awards were announced earlier today. These awards include the Alex Awards, for adult books that appeal to teens, the Michael L. Printz Award for literary excellence, and the Margaret A. Edwards Award, for lifetime contribution to young adult readers.


The 2007 ALA Award Winners – Juvenile January 22, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, Picture Books, winter.
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The 2007 ALA Award winners were announced this morning at the annual ALA Midwinter meeting. After a year’s worth of releases, these books were honored as the most engaging, thought-provoking, and noteworthy in their categories.

These awards include the Newbery Medal and Honors books, the Caldecott Medal and Honors books, the Coretta Scott King Awards, the Arbuthnot Honor Lecturer, Batchelder Award and Honors books, Carnegie Medal, Geisel Medal and Honors books, Sibert Medal and Honor book, and the Wilder Medal.

Click ‘more’ for the entire list of winners.


He’s mad, I tell you! January 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, props and drapes, signage.
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bulletin board

Click this photo – it’s worth looking at full-sized!

Is there someone at your branch who is just amazingly creative? Maybe it’s someone who is already doing your displays and signs, or maybe there’s someone just waiting to be asked.

The incredible bulletin boards at the St Agnes branch of the New York Public Library are done by Javier Horta, a Librarian Trainee. When I spoke to him, he was very enthusiastic about the dragon he’s creating for his next big display!

Don’t forget that merchandizing this good isn’t something a talented person throws together in his or her spare time. If you’re lucky enough to have someone like Javier, who can arrange artful displays, make good-looking signs, or sculpt dragons, that person will be happiest and most creative when given time on the schedule to do it.

Meet Molly January 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J is for Juvenile, props and drapes, series books.
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American Girl books and doll bookend

Doesn’t she make a great bookend? Ask around – maybe you have a friend whose daughters have outgrown their American Girl dolls.

You might not want to risk this if your series titles are shelved far out of view of the desk.

Pop-up problems: solved! January 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J is for Juvenile, pop-up books, shelf tops.
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pop-up books

It’s a dilemma – pop-up books are so appealing and cool, but so SO fragile! They beg to be touched, so we want to show them off, but too much love and they’re history.

At this branch of the New York Public Library, the librarians display all the newest (i.e. least damaged) pop-up books on a shelf at (about) adult shoulder level, open to a eye-popping page. This way, there’s usually a grownup handing the book to the child. That means there’s at least a chance that the adult will teach or show the child how to get at all the pop-up fabulosity without ripping the thing to shreds.

Besides, it’s not just kids who think pop-ups are cool. This placement subtly shows the adult that the public library is a great place to find the high-end stuff too!

The three-D castle above ties in with the pop-ups really nicely, but not all of us have paper engineers on staff!

“Try this” indeed! January 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, shelf tops.
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Try this

Wow, what could be easier or more arresting?

Seen at a New York Public Library branch – they cut letters out of construction paper and taped them to the bottom of a shelf-top fixture. The arrow really adds punch, don’t you think?