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And I won’t quit til I’m a star March 25, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, Fall, J is for Juvenile.
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Has William Steig’s gruesome ogre Shrek achieved enough? Three blockbuster movies, video games, his face on a box of breakfast cereal, Happy Meal toys that make parents want to scream, and Stanley Tucci reading his words on tape are apparently not enough for the big green farting machine.

This fall, Shrek and Fiona, Donkey and Dragon and all their pals will appear in a Broadway musical entitled, “The Outsider in Postwar Children’s Literature”. No, no. It’ll be called “Shrek the Musical“. Casting is just about complete.


Children’s Book Week coloring takeaways November 15, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, Fall, J is for Juvenile.
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Marisa Connor sends along this wonderful idea for Children’s Book Week and beyond:

The State Library of Louisiana‘s Early Childhood Resources Department has produced a series of 24 one-page Printable Nursery Rhyme Mini Books for children to color and keep.

Each mini book requires one sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper and just 2 folds. Please encourage staff to print them out and give them to children, parents, and teachers after programs, tours, presentations, as part of preschool outreach book delivery services, etc.

Mini books by individual title.

If you want to print out all 24 mini books, click here, but beware, it’s a giant (slow) PDF file.

The State Library of Louisiana has other nursery rhyme resources, including an index to nursery rhyme related activities in resource books, a nursery rhyme product directory and web sites with nursery rhyme activities.


Rose Anne St. Romain
Rose Anne St. Romain

Native American Heritage Month November 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, Fall, J is for Juvenile.
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To mark the 13th anniversary of Native American Heritage Month in November, the National Educational Association has released a recommended reading list that includes titles ranging from such pre-K classics as Mama, Do You Love Me to Tony Hillerman’s Joe Leaphorn Series that has been thrilling young (and older) adults for more than a decade. Titles are listed by grade level and include fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Rise up reading! November 8, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall.
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Celebrate Children’s Book Week November 12-18 by turning your library into a children’s book paradise!

Spread the children’s book love all through the branch: showcase your newest, best, brightest children’s books! Bring a New Easies display out from the children’s section and into the eye of everyone who walks into your branch! Merchandize your Non-fiction areas solely with J non-fiction titles!

Make up bookmarks with an award icon and “Favorite Book Award” – print them out and ask each kid who comes into J to bestow an award on his or her favorite book.

The Report Card October 11, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, Fall, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction.
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Now that the back-to-school frenzy has eased into mere school-year mayhem, think about supporting students and parents with a spotlight selection of skills materials.

Some schools have sent out their first trimester progress reports. You may see increased interest in books about the process of learning to read, math skills, and writing.

A display of books from the following call numbers might serve as a go-to resource for parents at their wits’ end.

Learning to read: 372.21

Dyslexia, speech problems, ADHD, etc: 618.9285

Math skills: J 513

Math games: 793.94

Writing skills: 428

Writing reports: 808.2

Shut up and eat your mystery meat October 11, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, Fall, nonfiction.
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The nation celebrates National School Lunch Week October 15-19. The site is worth a click perhaps for the terrifying characters alone. Yumi Rice Bowl is gonna appear in my nightmares, that’s for sure.

School lunch has been getting a lot of attention in recent years, due to bad news about childhood obesity and worse news about school budgets.

For example, a new study by the Center for Ecoliteracy emphasizes how good nutrition can affect children’s health and school performance. The Edible Schoolyard is a project out of Berkeley that promotes school gardens as sources of nutrition education, science education, and lunchroom veggies.

A new book by Jessica Seinfeld helps parents make it work. Click “more” to see others.


Doris Lessing, Nobel laureate October 11, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, Fall, fiction.
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Doris Lessing, “that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny,” was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature today.

Stop, drop, and roll! October 6, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, Fall, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction.
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Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13. “Practice Your Escape Plan” is this year’s theme – good advice no matter what topic.

A little display of books on firefighters (363.37 and 628.925), fire engines and fire equipment will help to bring attention to this important safety issue. 

Here’s a PDF coloring sheet from Sparky the Firedog.

Into the Wild September 24, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, DVDs, Fall, fiction, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, YA.
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Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer‘s engrossing nonfiction book about the life and mysterious death of Christopher McCandless in the Alaskan wilderness, has been made into a movie, in theaters now.

Support your copies of Into the Wild with other books by Jon Krakauer, and other tales of wilderness survival (or not), such as the following (click “more” for a list).


“Home-work” display September 22, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall, props and drapes.
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“Home-work” display

Cooler weather brings out the do-it-yourself-er in some people. A display of books on landscape design, home repair, deck building, etc. can be accessorized with bricks, paint cans, hand tools, and other easily-obtained items. This display in Howard County uses a length of Astroturf as a drape.

The War by Ken Burns September 17, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, Fall, nonfiction.
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“Peleliu Island…Marines move through the trenches on the beach during the battle.” September 15, 1944. Fitzgerald. 127-N-9527. Photo from the National Archives collection Pictures of African Americans in WWII.

Premiering on September 23, it’s The War, a seven-part documentary series that tells the story of World War II through the stories of the war’s veterans. Letters are read, grainy footage is aired, hearts are broken.

Expect increased demand for WWII histories and historical fiction. Satisfy your patrons with lots of books, and with supplementary information from such online sources as the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project and the National Archives center for Veterans and their families. In addition, each of the U.S. Armed Services have extensive archive sites for unearthing the history of individuals, companies, battalions, ships, etc.


Naval Historical Center

Coast Guard

Marine Corps Research Center

National Museum of the US Air Force

The War display at Howard County's Miller branch

“The War” display at Howard County’s Miller branch.

It’s a Big Big Read September 7, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, Fall, fiction, programming tie-ins, props and drapes, science fiction.
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October’s Big Read puts us in the unusual position of having tons of new copies of one book to merchandize – let’s make the most of it! Posters, bookmarks, CDs and Reader’s Guides are on their way to your branch, but it’s not too early to start thinking up display ideas.

You might:

  • Line copies up on all the aisle ends
  • Stack them on tables and counters
  • Lay them flat on shelf tops

And don’t forget props and signage! Fahrenheit 451 is about censorship and book burning, so you might display lists of banned books, toy firefighter helmets or fire trucks to make your display stand out.

As the books disappear, back up this selection with other books by Ray Bradbury, books from the frequently-challenged lists, and other books on dystopian societies.

Who is this “Master Chief” fellow?* September 6, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall, games.
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Halo 3 is hitting the streets September 25, and it’s going to be pretty big. “Pretty big” like one million have already been ordered.

Backing up a little: Halo 3 (and its precursors, Halo and Halo 2) is a game, described as “a team-based third-person 3D shooter, set in an exceptionally complex futuristic setting.” Halo and Halo 2 were available as games that you played on PC or Microsoft’s Xbox, but Halo 3 will be available only on the Xbox 360.

Sony’s Playstation platform has long been the most popular of the game platforms, with Nintendo’s Wii coming in second since its introduction last holiday season. Microsoft hopes to surge ahead with Halo 3. It may happen, or it may not, but Halo 3 definitely represents a big event on the video game shelves, and your other Xbox games may be in higher demand for users who can’t get their mitts on a copy.

* According to the game’s website: “The Master Chief was the sole Spartan to leave the Reach system aboard the Pillar of Autumn (with the exception of Linda-058 in cryo). For all he knew, he was the last Spartan alive. All of humanity depended on him, for even after their defeat at Halo 04 the Covenant were still strong, and there were new enemies and variables to contend with that Earth knew nothing about: the Flood, the Forerunner, and their creations, such as 343 Guilty Spark.”

Does that clear things up?

Happy New Year 5768! September 6, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, Fall.
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Augment your displays of seasonal books on Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot with coloring pages and activities from the following sites:

Torah Tots

PBSKids (Ramadan)

Eduplace (Ramadan)

And don’t forget the “Let’s talk about it” bookmarks!

Baltimore Book Festival, Sept 28-29 September 6, 2007

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The annual Baltimore Book Festival will be held in Mount Vernon Place, on the 600 block of North Charles Street, Sept 28-29. Have a look through the festival’s stage schedules – there are sure to be some authors participating in the Literary Salon, cookbook authors on the Food for Thought stage, or kids’ authors on the Children’s Bookstore Stage that you’d like to spotlight. Local authors will be showcased on the CityLit Stage. Full alphabetical list of participating authors here.

Lake Wobegon on Cathedral Street September 6, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall.
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The Enoch Pratt Free Library presents an evening with Garrison Keillor reading from his new Lake Wobegon novel, Pontoon. If you wish to attend, the event is Sunday, October 14, 6pm at the Central Library, 400 Cathedral Street. There is limited seating, doors open at 5:30pm.

You might take this opportunity to showcase Garrison Keillor’s previous efforts, along with the Prairie Home Companion movie and audio books.

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.

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!

Teen Read Week nominations April 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall, spring, YA.
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Support Teen Literature by encouraging YA readers to read the books nominated for Teens’ Top Ten, to be announced during Teen Read Week, October 14-20.

Have a look at the list of nominated books: there are a few surprises and some seemingly notable omissions. These books were picked by members of teen book groups in school and public libraries across the country.

Native American Heritage Month November 2, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall, winter.
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Books about Native American culture and history are threaded throughout BCPL’s collections. It should be no trouble to put together a display that touches on religion, social issues, folk tales, science, crafts, art, music, fiction, and history.

Biographies, both collective and individual, are in BCPL’s collection too. Look for:

  • Jim Thorpe
  • Geronimo
  • Pocahontas
  • Leonard Peltier
  • Sequoyah
  • Tecumseh
  • Crazy Horse
  • Sitting Bull

NASCAR Nextel Cup November 2, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall, winter.
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The NASCAR series championship is scheduled for November 19 — and NASCAR mania is at its peak. Now is the time to show off those auto racing titles!

Look for biographies of

  • Danica Patrick
  • Tony Stewart
  • Tim Richmond
  • Dale Earnhardt
  • Jeff Gordon
  • Bill Elliott
  • Curtis Turner

as well as everything you’ve got in 796.72.

This NASCAR display comes to us from Cockeysville.

Getting adults engaged in Children’s Book Week October 26, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall, J is for Juvenile, winter, YA.
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One way to encourage family reading is to welcome parents and caregivers into the rich world of children’s fiction. As we know, children’s fiction can be just as gripping as the best adult fiction – in fact, it’s usually faster-paced and threaded with more humor.

Plenty of adults read Harry Potter – you might suggest A Series of Unfortunate Events for those readers. Also, adult authors such as Gregory MacGuire, Neil Gaiman, Meg Cabot, and Carl Hiaasen write books for kids and young adults too.

Other read-with-your-kid author and book suggestions might include:

  • Tamora Pearce for an adult who enjoys Anne McCaffrey
  • Philip Pullman for Gregory MacGuire readers
  • Gary Paulsen for Clive Cussler fans

Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz

  • Anthony Horowitz for an adult who enjoys spy novels
  • Roald Dahl for the adult who reads unconventional humorous fiction like Christopher Moore or Neil Gaiman
  • Tony DiTerlizzi for fans of magic realism
  • Eoin Colfer for SF fans
  • Libba Bray for adults who enjoyed The DaVinci Code
  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

  • Linda Sue Park for Amy Tan readers
  • L.M. Montgomery for readers of Jennifer Chiaverini
  • Karen Hesse for personal historical fiction a la E.L. Doctorow or John Steinbeck
  • Dana Davidson for urban fiction readers
  • Pam Munoz Ryan for Sandra Cisneros readers

Other J authors whose books appeal to adults include: Christopher Paul Curtis, E.L. Konigsberg, Suzanne Collins, Susan Cooper, Jane Yolen, Kathe Koja, Patricia Reilly Giff

Programming tie-ins October 26, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall, programming tie-ins.
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Jazz by Matisse

Milk those special programs for all the circs they’re worth!

Position your displays of materials pertinent to the program in high-traffic areas so that people leaving the program can quickly pick up a book or DVD related to the presentation or activity they just participated in on their way out the door.

For fall it’s Impressionist art and criminal forensics, Native Americans, insects, and Klezmer music. Don’t forget biographies and fiction when filling in these displays!

Pink ribbons everywhere October 5, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall.
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If you’re planning a display for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, round out your selections from 616.9944 and 362.1969 with some biographies of cancer survivors such as Jerri Nielsen, Lynn RedgraveErnestine Bradley, Geralyn Lucas.

And keep Cancer vixen: a true story by Maris Acocella Marchetto on that display; also, Celebrity scarves 2, by Abra Edelman, published by the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade. A graphic novel and a celebrity crafts book, both about breast cancer… and why not?

Notable new books in October September 28, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall.
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Is this the end? It is for Lemony Snicket fans – The End, the 13th and final volume in A Series of Unfortunate Events, drops on October 13.

A new novel from Mitch Albom, For One More Day should be here any minute. Take this opportunity to recommend Albom’s other books.

The arrival of Mommy, Maurice Sendak’s first pop-up book, might inspire a mini-display of some Wild Things and some Little Bears.

My Secret: A PostSecret book is the third publication from Frank Warren’s compelling web site. Use his previous books and the Found books by Davy Rothbart to do a display on these glimpses into unknown lives.

Also, there are new books from Stephen King, Janet Evanovich, Michael Connelly, Hiaasen, Cussler, Grisham… seems like you could showcase any bestselling author this month and have a new book to hook ’em in!

Local hero named Teen Chair of Teen Read Week September 28, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall, YA.
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KimmieUnited States Olympic Figure Skater Kimmie Meissner has been named Teen Chair of Teen Read Week™, the only national literacy initiative aimed at teens, their parents, librarians and educators.

Teen Read Week™ is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest growing division of the American Library Association. 

The theme for Teen Read WeekTM 2006 is Get Active @ your library®, which encourages teens to use the resources at their library to lead an active life.  Teen Read Week will be held October 15-21, 2006.

Crafts are cool! September 28, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall, winter.
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pirate change purse

Recent books such as Stitch and Bitch Nation and The crafty diva’s D.I.Y. stylebook highlight the surprising renaissance in crafts such as knitting, crocheting, and decoupage among young people.

Events like this weekend’s Crafty Bastards exhibition and sale in Washington, D.C. celebrate these new-fashioned creative crafters, showcasing such items as a lamp made of cocktail umbrellas, knitted pirate-themed change purses, and plush toys made to resemble things like telephones.

Borrow some of this buzz with a hip display of craft books at your library. You could even accessorize with a basket of arts and craft supplies.

Banned Books Week 2006 September 12, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall.
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Banned Books Week 2006

Originally uploaded by hypatia atoz.
September 23-30

It’s Perfectly Normal was the most challenged book of 2005
See the top ten challenged books here
More info on ALA’s website
Try The Forbidden Library for another look at banned books

Borrow display topics from school curriculum September 12, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, Fall, J is for Juvenile.
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Many schools use school-wide themes to inspire integrated projects. Themes may be

  • Continents or cultures, like Asia, or the Arab world
  • Behavioral concepts, like teamwork
  • Historical concepts, e.g. “Movements”

We help a lot of teachers find books on topics they’re teaching – why not ask if their school will use themes this school year?

Add those themes to your merchandizing idea list – your displays will appear to be mind-readers!