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What would SpongeBob read? August 30, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, great ideas, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, Picture Books.
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Madeline’s Favorites, Seattle PL

We love this idea, spotted in Seattle:

Librarians in the children’s section select books that they think would be favored by well-known characters from children’s literature, and display them along with an oversized representation of the character and a little sign.

Babar might promote Alexander McCall Smith‘s Akimbo series; Miss Spider would read books on etiquette; and Curious George would read practically anything – he’s a curious little monkey, after all!


New book labels, Seattle PL August 30, 2007

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, problem solving.
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New books spine labels, Seattle PL

Apologies for the super blurry photo… while we were in Seattle, we noticed this removable spine label for New books. It has a space for noting the month and year that the book came in, which must make weeding the new books shelves SOOO much easier! Also easier to I.D. new books in the return room.

Go get ’em, tiger! August 30, 2007

Posted by sneaks in Fall, graphic novels, manga, YA.
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Bust out your graphic novels, manga and comic booksall your favorite authors and artists will be at Baltimore Comic-Con! The convention runs September 8-9 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Read a rainbow! August 26, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, great ideas, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books, props and drapes, shelf tops.
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Read a rainbow, Seattle PL

We just returned from a visit to the Pacific Northwest, and what trip to Seattle would be complete without a stop at the new, space-age, incredibly-well-funded central branch of the Seattle Public Library!

The librarians there were very welcoming and fun to talk to (lots of tattoos). We took lots of pictures (camera was out of commission, so, sorry, they’re cellphone pictures) and snatched up most of their brochures and reading lists. Lots to share, so let’s get started.

First up was this sweet and pretty display in the children’s area. “Read a Rainbow!” was printed out on colored paper and inserted into acrylic stands. Small gauzy drapes (maybe they were cheap chiffon scarves) were hung along the top shelf edge, and the picture books below were arranged in rainbow color order.

They had this right out front, and it really caught the eye. And there’s got to be some kind of transgressive thrill to arranging books in color order instead of by call # or alpha by author – for once!

A gathering of tribes August 25, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, Fall, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, summer.
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Photo of the National Powwow by Walter Larrimore

The Baltimore American Indian Center held its 33rd annual Powwow this weekend in Patterson Park.

Search “powwow” in CARL for a small selection of books about powwows to headline a display about Native Americans, J 970.0049. Don’t forget the fiction: Joseph Bruchac, Louise Erdrich, and Marlene Carvell; the biographies: Sacagawea, Chief Joseph, Jim Thorpe, etc.; and the folklore: look in J 398 for Bruchac (again), Gerald Hausman, and Anita Delal.

Coloring pages here. Plus a word search!

At the fair August 25, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, summer.
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Celebrate the State Fair with a display of books like E.B. White‘s Charlotte’s Web, in which the fair plays a central part.

Easy books:

Angelina at the fair by Katharine Holabird, illus. by Helen Craig
Oh, look! by Patricia Polacco
Brave potatoes by Toby Speed ; illustrated by Barry Root.
Knitting Nell by Julie Jersild Roth
County Fair : adapted from the Little house books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Jody Wheeler.
Emma at the fair by Margriet Ruurs ; illustrated by Barbara Spurll
Minerva Louise at the fair by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Time for the fair by Mary Train; illus. by Karel Hayes

First Chapter Books

Cookie crazy; illustrated by Steve Haefele; based on the Scholastic book series “Clifford the big red dog” by Norman Bridwell
Pig pickin’ by Stephanie Greene ; illustrated by Joe Mathieu
It’s a fair day, Amber Brown / Paula Danziger ; illustrated by Tony Ross

Juvenile fiction

Danger at the Fair by Peg Kehret
Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park
Fair Weather by Richard Peck
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Spacewalk today! August 11, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, summer.
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Talk about a road trip! As work continues on the International Space Station, members of the space shuttle and Expedition 15 crews will be out and about, bolting an important piece in place and making power and data connections.

Books on space flight (629.45), plus astronaut biographies would make an inspiring display. Click “more” for a list of astronauts whose biographies BCPL has on hand.

Coloring pages here.


Commemorate India’s Independence August 8, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, DVDs, E, fiction, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, nonfiction, summer, YA.
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Celebrate the 60th anniversary of India’s independence next Thursday, August 15. DVDs! Cookbooks! Kids’ books! We’ve got it all: click “more” to see lists of books and authors.

And click here or here for coloring pages!

Smart TV August 7, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, DVDs, J is for Juvenile, nonfiction, summer.
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On a hot day, it’s very tempting to keep the kids inside and park them in front of the TV. Give parents and caregivers an alternative to cartoons by putting out some of your more exciting non-fiction DVD’s. Click “more” for some suggestions.


Hot titles for hot days August 7, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, E, J is for Juvenile, summer.
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In addition to Neal Layton‘s Hot Hot Hot, a late-summer hot-weather picture book display might include the following:

Hot Day on Abbott Avenue by Karen English ; illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
Earth to Audrey / written by Susan Hughes ; illustrated by Stéphane Poulin.
Block Party Today! by Marilyn Singer ; illustrated by Stephanie Roth.
Cool Time Song by Carole Lexa Schaefer ; illustrated by Pierr Morgan
Hot air : the (mostly) true story of the first hot-air balloon ride / Marjorie Priceman
Root beer and banana / Sarah Sullivan ; illustrated by Greg Shed.
Katie’s Sunday afternoon / James Mayhew
One hot summer day / by Nina Crews.
The Pigeon finds a hot dog! / words and pictures by Mo Willems.
Think cool thoughts / by Elizabeth Perry ; illustrated by Linda Bronson.
Heat wave / written by Eileen Spinelli ; illustrated by Betsy Lewin.

Do parents and caregivers a favor with a few books on crafts and activities kids can do indoors. This time of year, most folks are fresh out of ideas!

Coloring pages here and here and here. (Sorry about all the pop-ups!)

Rev up your Reader Advisory August 5, 2007

Posted by sneaks in BCPL best practices, display topics, great ideas, recommended by.
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How do you decide what to read? We may follow certain authors, take clues from book covers, or even read reviews… but personal recommendation is still one of the strongest factors in selecting a book. Outside the library, people get recommendations from friends and colleagues, and from Amazon’s extensive web of cross-references, like the “Other people who bought this book also bought…” feature. Inside the library, we get to recommend books face-to-face.

If you maintain a Staff Recommends display, with the staff member’s name attached to each book, you are in effect creating brands specific to your library. Ruth Brown in Pikesville is a brand – there are people who will read books she recommends, no questions asked. This is priceless added value, something that most bookstores cannot match, and it’s in our best interest to promote this service with staff and the public alike.

Here’s how they do it in Hereford, according to Jo Blankenburg:

Melissa Gotsch started this up here. It’s very simple: everyone on the staff–volunteers, teen CAs, part-time, full-time– EAGERLY writes their name on the Staff Recommends bookmarks and sticks them in a handful of their choices. We have devoted a full section of shelving at the end of our New Fiction area to these staff selections (in ALL formats). It has become so popular with customers and staff alike (and so congested with recommendations) that in July we also devoted our portable round unit on wheels to an auxilliary display at the entrance of the branch. I’ve been astounded at the turnover of these materials!

When the “Picks” are checked out, the bookmarks are (aggressively) collected and tallied at the end of each month on a spreadsheet at one of the computers at our combined desk. The full list of staff members and their monthly totals are posted in the office. Just last month, I started rewarding the top three “producers” with cheezy cheap prizes.

Many branches do a variation of this, but I’ve never been in a place where the staff enthusiasm was so great that it is an constant feature in the branch, and the materials on view was so varied. Many staff members have developed their own groupies; “Sam” is always #1– one of our customers was shocked to hear that Sam was the woman who had just helped her at the Information Desk….

What do you do to show off this service?

LII discovers BCPL August 2, 2007

Posted by sneaks in BCPL best practices, fun.
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Do you get Librarians’ Internet Index: New This Week emailed to your inbox? Every Thursday, it delivers up-to-the-minute topical Internet content… in their words: “between thirty to sixty websites representing the best of the Web, selected and described by the LII Team.”

And what website made their weekly “best of the Web” for August 2? Why, the Harry Potter page on the Baltimore County Public Library web site. Woo-hoo!

PS: Good news for you MD 23 Thing-ers who have discovered the beauty and convenience of RSS feeds – LII is available as an RSS feed too!

Reading Road Trip display at Parkville August 2, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, summer, Summer Reading Club 2007.
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Reading Road Trip display at Parkville

Click on this picture and check out the details – this is Parkville’s SRC display, and isn’t it great?

Sneaks is on a road trip from California to Baltimore. His progress marks Parkville’s progress meeting their SRC signup goal!

The postcards around the edges are from SRC participants who took library address labels with them on vacation and mailed back a card.

Many thanks to Margaret MacLeod for sharing this fantastic display!