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It ain’t easy being green March 22, 2008

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, nonfiction, spring.
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El Mariachi

Here’s a cute idea courtesy The YA YA YAS, a trio of Young Adult librarians in Hawaii. For March, Gayle made a green-themed display, with books on money, veggies, the environment, and other subjects associated with the color green.

Does it work for other colors?

Blue: blues music, depression, the tropics, the moon

Yellow: the sun? cowardice? bananas? Ok, it doesn’t work for yellow.

Red: Communism, Chinese history, Russian history, the Red Baron, apples, various sports teams, anger, volcanoes, fire

Orange: Florida, citrus fruits… doesn’t really work for orange either.

Purple: royalty, grapes, wine, mountains


Keeping tabs on the scribblers March 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, great ideas, J is for Juvenile.
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Whenever an author speaks in our area, we notice an increase in queries about that person. Wouldn’t it be great to know ahead of time when someone like Michael Chabon or Lisa See was going to be in town? Then we could merchandize that author’s books, along with similar works by other authors.

Now you can, with the online database BookTour. Started by Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, BookTour magically ascertains your location and tells you which authors are planning a visit, as well as letting you browse the schedule of your favorite author or your favorite venue. You can get updates via email, on your calendar – you can even zoom around the world and through time to find your favorite authors, using BookTour’s GoogleEarth interface.

LibraryThing Local offers similar listings, though it is more venue-centric than author-centric. Between the two of these tools, it’s a lot easier nowadays to keep abreast of local literary happenings.

“Super” kids program idea February 20, 2008

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From American Libraries Direct:

CHICAGO – The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has awarded children’s librarian Lisa M. Shaia with the 2008 ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant for her program “Superhero Club” at the Bristol Public Library.

Shaia’s program, Superhero Club, encouraged children to use their imagination by creating a superhero alter-ego, complete with a costume, accessories, superpowers and a sidekick. Each club member then drew a comic book starring his superhero and at the end of the session, used their superhero powers to compete against supervillains in an obstacle course.

The program, which ran for five weeks in the spring and then eight weeks in the summer, introduced club members to the superhero genre and encouraged them to read from the library’s growing graphic novel collection. It is Shaia’s hope that introducing young readers to pleasure reading, such as comic books and graphic novels, will keep them interested in reading through their ‘tween and teen years and into adulthood.

“I believe this program is so successful because the superhero genre transcends age, race, sex and children’s interests,” said Shaia. “The club provides children with a way to use their imagination that they don’t get a chance to do any other way. Instead of watching a television show or playing a video game, they can create a persona and lose themselves in their own story.”

Book Group Buzz January 24, 2008

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Do you host or facilitate a book club or book discussion group? Do you belong to one? Book Group Buzz is a new blog full of reviews and resources for book groups. Launched by Booklist Online, the blog features categories such as Reading Guides, Good Books for Book Clubs, Books for Youth, Adult Books, etc. In addition there are lists of Best Author Websites and Best Reading Guides.


Photos for reports – new free resource January 24, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, great ideas, J non-fiction.
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Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, Calif. Shown checking electrical assemblies (LOC). Originally uploaded by The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has placed 3000 images from its renowned photo archive on Flickr, the photo sharing web site. These images come complete with attribution, title, date, medium and format, rights info, call number, and LC subject headings.

Wow. The collection currently features news archive photos, images of rural life from the Farm Security Administration, and photos of WWII mobilization such as the one featured above.

LC invites comment and tagging by Flickr users, making this an interesting experiment in folksonomies as well as a valuable educational resource.

Now, in addition to pointing kids to the non-fiction books they need for their history reports, we can show them how to find appropriate pictures on Flickr.

Thinking outside the (book drop) box January 7, 2008

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Gail Ross of Arbutus reports this terrific idea, recently put in use at her branch:

“We installed a clear plexiglass box with a lid outside, next to our book drop.  (It’s the kind of box realtors to hold flyers for outside a house that’s for sale.)  Diana Deskins, who handles our Public Pickup, has been keeping it filled with the Calendar of Events and special event flyers.  Refills have been needed, an indication that the public has been taking these promotional materials.”

Happy birthday to all your favorite authors! December 6, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, great ideas, J fiction.
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Woodside pictures from Roald Dahl day

Here’s a super-quick way to draw attention to an author on his/her birthday – just plop a fancy birthday hat on the shelf or display! It will surely draw attention to the author’s books and throw a little unexpected fun into browsing the children’s section.

Or, heck – why not do it in adult fiction too?

A good, up-to-date list of kid author birthdays (it includes Kevin Henkes and J.K. Rowling)
And a list of adult author birthdays

Stick to reading! December 6, 2007

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J is for Juvenile, winter.
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Here’s a simple, low-cost idea that encourages kids to read for fun through the winter. The rules of “Winter Reading Club” are simple. Kids sign up, and then each time they visit the library, they get a sticker for each book read. They can then decorate a mural-sized poster with their stickers.

Your mural could be a snowy scene with snowflake stickers; a big Christmas tree and ornament stickers; fish stickers and an undersea scene; or bird stickers in a winter landscape. How much creativity you want to put into the mural is up to you!

Materials required:

  • a big sheet of roll paper
  • a couple rolls of stickers
  • sign-up sheet

The best source for roll stickers that we’ve found is our old friend the Oriental Trading Company, although we love the Hawaiian shirt stickers you can get from Toy Connection

To Read or Not to Read November 20, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, great ideas, J is for Juvenile.
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From To Read or Not To Read (Research Report #47), courtesy of the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts yesterday announced the release of To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence

“…a new and comprehensive analysis of reading patterns in the United States. To Read or Not To Read gathers statistics from more than 40 studies on the reading habits and skills of children, teenagers, and adults. The compendium reveals recent declines in voluntary reading and test scores alike, exposing trends that have severe consequences for American society.”

One way to respond to this news, and to draw attention to it, might be to print one or two of these graphs and post them alongside a display of family reading – books that appeal to broad age ranges that a family can read together.

Here are a few very good booklists for family reading:

Books Young Adults will Enjoy, by Marylaine Block
Rise Up Reading! A Bibliography for Children’s Book Week 2007 created by Becky Anderson, Anderson’s Bookshops
Children’s Classic Literature by Englewood Public Schools
MotherReader’s Best Books of 2007 (So Far) Megalist

Or, since the report finds that the amount of time a child spends reading is directly proportional to the number of books in the house, post news of the report that directs your customers to your Sale Books.

The PDF of this 98-page report is available here.

A PDF of the Executive Summary, 20 pages and loaded with graphics, is here.

And the graphs are available here. They are easy-access: downloadable, printable, and not PDF files. The graph at the head of this post is from this page.

What do you spy? October 13, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, great ideas, J is for Juvenile.
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I Spy Display

This display, at the Ada Community Library in Idaho, is one of the better “I Spy” – themed displays we’ve seen, with bits of text challenging children (and adults!) to find specific objects among many others.

This display takes advantage of a disused bookcase, but a glass-topped display case might work too. Or, if you had some time and a hot-glue gun, you might create seasonal or thematic I Spy dioramas that you could re-use year after year… the mind reels…

Family Films display September 22, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, DVDs, great ideas, problem solving.
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Family films shelved together

We like this idea, also spotted at the Miller Branch of the Howard County Public Library, for a bunch of reasons.

Shelving G and PG-rated films separate from the PG-13 and R-rated titles makes parents and caregivers more comfortable about perusing the shelf with their children: they don’t have to worry that a movie with a provocative or scary cover is going to leap out at the toddler and scare him or her.

Plus, movies that appear to be kid-oriented but which in fact are rather intense for younger viewers, such as Transformers and Spider-man, are rated PG-13, so they aren’t in this section. No more arguments about the superhero movies.

And lastly: the librarians at the Miller Branch say that they can’t keep this display stocked fast enough! Their DVD circs improved measurably after separating the Family Films from the, er, Adult Films.

Manga manga manga! September 18, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, BCPL best practices, graphic novels, great ideas, manga, paperbacks, problem solving, science fiction, series books.
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Graphic novels at Towson

Here’s one way to display paperback series in an eye-catching way:

Stack each issue of the same series horizontally, with the least shelf-worn issue face-out on top.

If there are more than 4 or 5 issues of the same titles, space permitting, you might want to put the face-out issue to the immediate left of the stack.

Summer Reading Central September 17, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, dump, fiction, great ideas, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, summer, wire shelving.
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Reading list titles shelved together

Here’s a time-saver (not to mention a shelf-space saver), spotted at Howard County’s Miller branch.

Take those tried-and-true perennial reading list titles (Animal Farm comes to mind, also A Lesson Before Dying, Things Fall Apart, Night, A Tale of Two Cities) that we keep multiple copies of just for summer, and give them their own little fixture. Here they’ve used paperback carousels, but a batch of dumps might work well too.

You can save a bunch of shelf space by keeping your multiples of Watership Down and 1984 off the regular fiction shelves.

During the summer, it’s one-stop shopping for the folks who come in clutching their lists, and you could even wheel the whole unit to some inconspicuous place once the summer reading season is over.

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

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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.

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!

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?

Head out on the highway! June 29, 2007

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, summer, Summer Reading Club 2007.
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Thanks to Dave Lapenotiere of White Marsh for sending this picture of their SRC display table covered with maps. It’s an inspired display idea that’s also inexpensive and quick – what’s not to love?! You might also use road maps as backdrops on standing shelf units.

Turn storytimes into circ times! June 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books.
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Here’s a cute idea from North Point:

In an attempt to increase circulation after storytimes, we are offering handstamps as incentives to children who check out material. The Program team checked stats and saw a slight increase over the previous month. They are recommending that we try it again during June. Stats will be compared to June 06 to see if circ increased.

When a storytimer hands a book to a child at the end of storytime, it has enormous cachet. There’s a lot to do when setting up for storytime, but assembling a stack of books that relate the the theme of the storytime almost guarantees that those books are going to be checked out.

See your building as your customers do June 7, 2007

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Information Today offers a system for evaluating your library’s physical environment. Called “How to Evaluate Your Library’s Physical Environment” (uh, yes), it’s worth carrying on a thought-provoking stroll through the branch.

What’s YOUR favorite book? June 7, 2007

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Residents of Moline, Illinois answered that question and were photographed with their book for a special exhibition celebrating the opening of the new Moline Public Library. Check out the pictures – they’re just lovely. And with the advent of easy digital photography, why not try something like this at your branch?

Which book? This book! June 1, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, fiction, fun, great ideas, problem solving.
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From the UK we get a wacky new way to help adults find a book that suits their mood or taste. Whichbook is a web site that helps the user identify books in terms of setting, protagonist gender, plot shape, or… and this is the really mind-blowing part… by using a set of descriptors like funny, happy, sad, serious, disturbing, sexy, etc.

It’s hard to describe. Here’s a screenshot:


Each of those scales on the left has a slider – so you can ask for a medium-short book that is very funny and sort of disturbing, and has just a little sex. So far, I’ve tried lots of combinations and never stumped it. And, being British, Whichbook offers choices that might not be the first books that we would reach for.

Whichbook apparently also interfaces with the British library system, so when you find a book that suits you, you can hit a button marked “Borrow it.” Wow. This might qualify as a MD 23 Things technology post… that is some high-powered stuff.

Pimp my Book Cart May 18, 2007

Posted by sneaks in fun, great ideas.
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… and speaking of stuff there’s no time for (*weep*), check out the winning entry in the Pimp my Book Cart competition sponsored by Unshelved, the library comic strip.

Grand Prize: Pink Cadillac by Katie George and the teens of the Miller Branch of Howard County Public Library in Ellicott City, MD.

Click through on Pimp My Book Cart and scroll down. Wonderful work! The other entries were just as impressive – the hippie-style cart Support Glitteracy by Amanda, Emily, Garrett, Kelsey, and Linda at the Olympia Timberland Library almost won for the name alone.

Bookstore paradise May 16, 2007

Posted by sneaks in fun, great ideas, J is for Juvenile.
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Every now and then you come across something that is just plain amazing. Children’s book author Esme Raji Codell (author of Sahara Special and Vive la Paris, just to name two) recently visited Reading Reptile, a Kansas bookstore specializing in “books and tapes for young mammals,” and took many many photos of that store’s inspired, outrageously creative displays. She posted her photos and wrote about the experience on her excellent book review blog, The Planet Esme Plan.

Maybe none of us have the time, or the budget, or the expertise, or the willingness to go elbow-deep in the paper mache, but these photos were just so inspiring we had to share.

Mayday! Mayday! April 26, 2007

Posted by sneaks in BCPL best practices, display topics, great ideas, spring.
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Flood at Mt. Holyoke College library. Photo: Fred LeBlanc

This year, cultural institutions such as libraries, archives and museums are using May Day, May 1, to promote emergency preparedness.

Much attention has been paid to the devastation suffered by museums and libraries in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the damage and theft that occurred during and immediately after U.S. forces entered Baghdad. 

The Heritage Emergency National Task Force urges cultural institutions across the country to observe MayDay by taking at least one step to prepare to respond to a disaster.

Here are some useful links:

The Heritage Emergency Task Force

ALA’s Field Guide to Emergency Response

National Trust for Historic Preservation – Preservation Month

Program bookmarks March 29, 2007

Posted by sneaks in BCPL best practices, great ideas, programming tie-ins.
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Do you bookmark upcoming programs? Here’s a great idea we’ve seen at a number of branches – we wondered if everyone was in on it.

When you promote a program in advance with a display of on-topic books, slip a flyer (fold it in half lengthways if necessary) into each book. That way, every interested customer walks away with a reminder of an event they’ll surely be interested in.

Towson recently pulled a batch of Star Wars books and displayed them with flyers for their upcoming author program (Star Wars from the Inside Out, with best-selling author James Luceno, April 1) folded into each.

V is for visual harmony March 25, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, great ideas, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, Picture Books, shelf tops.
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Spotted at the Hampden Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library – the good-looking alphabet books from Sleeping Bear Press displayed in alphabetical order. It was so satisfying to see them all lined up together: since they’re cataloged as non-fiction, they’re usually never in the same place at the same time.

Search CARL on “Sleeping Bear Press” or see our list below.


What’s that eerie green glow? March 10, 2007

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, science fiction.
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If you’re at the Arbutus branch, it’s the science fiction section! Check out this space-age idea submitted to the CCD blog by Karen Hoffman… 

We added a green glow to our science fiction shelving lights by using flourescent light sleeves from an aquarium store. It certainly sets the section apart.

Karen adds that Arbutus began seeing better circulation of their science ficiton collection when they beefed up complete sets of popular science fiction series.

PS: If anyone has any pictures of this out-of-this-world phenomenon, please send them to pwilley-at-bcpl.net. Thanks!

Ye olde separation sheet March 1, 2007

Posted by sneaks in BCPL best practices, display topics, great ideas, winter.
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Another good idea executed cleverly in Towson – to commemorate Dr. Seuss’s birthday and the 50th anniversary of The Cat in The Hat, Tyler Wolfe pulled all the Dr. Seuss books from their accustomed places and displayed them prominently.

To prevent confusion when patrons went looking for Horton, Thidwick, Gerald McGrew, the Lorax, and their buddies, Tyler made a quickie sign. In bright colors and illustrated with Dr. Seuss characters, it read:

They’ve all disappeared

Every Sneetch, Who and Zuk.

They’ve moved to our Fireplace

Go and look! Go and look!

It’s impractical to do this with every item pulled for display, but when a section of shelf is suspiciously empty, it helps patrons feel less frustrated when we leave a clue to help them find what they are looking for.

The happy ending to this story is that nearly all the Seuss books had been snapped up three days later.

Balloons on your birthday February 23, 2007

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J fiction, J is for Juvenile.
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Author birthday balloons

… if you’re a J author in Towson, that is.

Tyler Wolfe, Towson’s merchandizing coordinator, came up with this scavenger-hunt-esque idea for pepping up the J fiction shelves. Tyler writes: 

You might see some little balloon tags around the JArea. I’ve stuck up very small “Happy Birthday” signs next to childrens authors (Easies and J Fiction) who have birthdays this month (with the author and date). It seemed like a fun and simple way to put a little more color around and maybe highlight some good authors. If the signs don’t all get destroyed in the first week, I’ll probably try to keep it up each month.

Feel free to give a bit of a merchandising preference to anyone you see with a tag. After all, it is their birthday.

He uses the list of authors and their birthdays compiled by Kidsreads.com. Kidsreads.com is a nice place to visit if you’d like to keep abreast of upcoming books, especially series titles. They have links to tons of author websites, games, and reviews as well.

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?

Winter Reading Club December 14, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, great ideas, J is for Juvenile, winter.
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Here’s a simple, low-cost idea that encourages kids to read for fun through the winter. The rules of “Winter Reading Club” are simple. Kids sign up, and then each time they visit the library, they get a sticker for each book read. They can then decorate a mural-sized poster with their stickers.

Parkville uses a sheet of blue roll paper painted with a simple snow scene, and provides snowflake stickers for the kids.

A big Christmas tree and ornament stickers might work too; fish stickers and an undersea scene; or bird stickers in a winter landscape. How much creativity you want to put into the mural is up to you!

Materials required:

  • a big sheet of roll paper
  • a couple rolls of stickers
  • sign-up sheet

The best source for roll stickers that we’ve found is our old friend the Oriental Trading Company. Search on “roll stickers”. They’re typically $2.50 to $3.00 per roll of 100 stickers. By the way, if you’re hoping to find stickers that are strictly identical, your choices will be limited to American flags, “I Voted,” or smiley faces.

Emphasis on anime November 18, 2006

Posted by sneaks in DVDs, great ideas, manga, YA.
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EPFL anime shelving

It’s hard to tell from this blurry picture, but this is EPFL’s Anime collection.

Not many people realize that BCPL owns copies of Fullmetal Alchemist, Nausicaa, flcl, Princess Mononoke, and other popular anime DVDs. Why not highlight these titles by shelving them together – close to the manga if space and supervision permits.

Rolling display unit November 18, 2006

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books.
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EPFL cart display

This painted book truck was spotted on a recent tour of Enoch Pratt. This is a wooden cart, but a metal one would probably work just as well.

Painted in bright primary colors, Pratt uses it as a portable display unit. For storytimes, they load it with themed picture books and wheel it into their storytime area. At other times, it nestles against any free unit end or slice of wall space.

Making awards lists more accessible November 2, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, great ideas, J is for Juvenile, spring, summer.
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Here’s a great idea for always being able to put your hands on your lists of Juvenile award-winning books.

Perry Hall prints the lists on bordered paper and sets them out in an easel stand – easy for you to find and easy to point out to a parent if you’re busy.

Parenting books where parents sit October 26, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, great ideas, J is for Juvenile, tables.
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This tabletop display of parenting books sits on a table just outside the baby area in Towson. It is stocked not only with books, but with flyers and other pickup items as available.

This great idea comes from Mercedes Mendoza in Towson. Thanks!

Special labels for series fiction September 13, 2006

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J is for Juvenile, series books, signage.
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ES- 030

The human brain processes images something like nine times faster than it does words. A series logo such as “American Girl” or “Animal Ark” is instantly recognizable by adult and child alike.

It takes a little extra trouble to make these specialized shelf labels (here, at Essex), but to a beginning reader, it’s probably worth it.

Three ways:

  1. Find the series logo on the Internet, copy it into Microsoft Word (or a graphics program), print on a color printer, and trim.
  2. Scan the logo from a book, import it into Word (or a graphics program), print, and trim.
  3. Color copy the logo from a book or other promotional materials, print and trim.