Category Archives: Displays

Spin the d-read-l Interactive Display

You can mix parts of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas/Yule into a single interactive display enabling library users to choose a book that they may not previously have considered prior to participating in the interactive part of the display.

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Using the Kwanzaa mkeka mat as the base upon which to spin the dreidel (or in this case the d-read-l) the library patron will then take the book that matches the symbol on the side of the dreidel that is facing up.

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You can also match one of the four letters to different genres instead of specific books as shown below.

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Once the patron has taken a book or respun the dreidel if they wanted to try something else, they can also take a Yule Reading Log to keep track of the books they will read over the holiday season.

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The dreidel can be downloaded here:

US Paper size:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

UK paper size dreidel:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

To create a mkeka mat you need strips of paper or cardstock in green, black and red. These are woven together as shown below.

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The Yule Reading Log can be downloaded here:

US paper size:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

UK paper size:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

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It’s NOT only Christmas! Downloadable Display Resources

There is a perennial discussion amongst library workers around the world at this time of year about the appropriateness of Christmas Trees in Public Libraries. I am not here to further this discourse, rather I would like to share some of the resources I have created to recognize the festivals of those patrons that do not hold Christmas traditions.

I put together an introductory ‘zine that can be read with the display. It contains basic information about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Ōmisoka & Sol Invictus. This can be downloaded here:

US paper size:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

UK paper size: 

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Hanukkah

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I have created a dreidel that can be printed out and used in a library as a way of selecting books – a d-read-l if you will. The idea is to match a genre with one of the four letters of the Hebrew alphabet on the sides of the dreidel – נ (nun), ג (gimel), ה (hei), ש (shin) then when a participant spins the dreidel they get to borrow a book from the genre that matches whichever letter comes up.

US paper size dreidel:

Download (PDF, Unknown)



UK paper size dreidel:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

I have also made a cardstock menorah, the image can be downloaded and cut out.

I glued three together to give it strength to stand without bending.

You can find out more about Hanakkah here: https://www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah/default_cdo/jewish/Hanukkah.htm

Kwanzaa

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I do not have templates for the Kwanzaa parts of the display but for the candles I used red, black and green card-stock that I rolled together to make candles and white card-stock that I folded into a triangular shape to make a candle-holder. I used strips of each of the three colours of card-stock woven together to make a small Mkeka mat.

You can find out more about Kwanzaa here: http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/

Yule

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Yule or Yuletide (“Yule time” or “Yule season”) is a festival historically observed by the Germanic peoples. Scholars have connected the original celebrations of Yule to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht.
Terms with an etymological equivalent to Yule are still used in Nordic countries and Estonia to describe Christmas and other festivals occurring during the winter holiday season. Today, Yule is celebrated in Heathenry and other forms of Neopaganism.

I created a Yule Reading Log, that, when rolled up resembles a log and has the dual purpose of being used to record one’s reading over the holiday season.

The log can be downloaded here:

US paper size:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

UK paper size:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

You can find out more about Yule and it’s traditions here: https://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/yule

These resources are very simple and can be supplemented by books held in most if not all public (& school) libraries. I hope to extend what I have done here in future years to make the displays more complete. This is just the beginning.

Interactive Program: Magnetic Poetry

I have just set up a Magnetic Poetry interactive display in the teen area of my library. I have gone for the imaginative title of Magnetic Po(l)etry as it is on one of the metal pillars holding up the ceiling in my branch.

It should be very easy to set up – all you need is a magnetic board or something similar (in my case it is a pillar) and some magnetic words. You can find a whole range of magnetic poetry kits online or in stores at reasonable prices. Some kits can contain <ahem> mature words so if you live or work in conservative area it may be worth knowing what you are purchasing before you buy it. On the other hand this program is aimed at teens, people who can make even the most innocent words into suggestive phrases so this sort of thing can be a risk no matter how much care you put into organising it.

Once teens start playing around with it I will update this post and possibly share whatever they create using it.

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Display: Back to School

In the run up to kids going back to school where I work, I set up a back to school display.

I created a classic chalkboard image that can be downloaded here:

To keep it interactive I added the interactive jokes in a mug that allows kids (or parents) to take a joke home (or to school) and share it.

US:

UK:

The display featured books about going back to school or going to school for the first time for students of all ages.

I also included a guide on how to access the homework and research pages on the Library website as well as how to use your library membership to access the resources online resources that the library offers.

I have had to restock the books several times and have spoken to several parents who were keen on finding out more about the homework help resources that the library provides

Welcome to the Neighborhood Library: a Fred Rogers Display

In November, the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood starring Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers will be released.

Thinking about this sparked the idea for a Fred Rogers display in the library.

The idea itself is very simple, the backdrop could be an image of the set from Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood, props are optional but a folded red sweater and a pair of sneakers should suffice as well as DVDs and CDs of the show and a selection of books by and about Fred Rogers and his creations.

The sweater and sneakers can be borrowed from colleagues or sourced from a thrift store/charity shop and are not strictly speaking necessry but would be eye-catching and recognizable to fans of the show.

The set image can be downloaded here:

A list of books by Fred Rogers can be seen here: http://www.neighborhoodarchive.com/publications/

A list of current and forthcoming Daniel Tiger Books is available here: https://www.simonandschuster.net/series/Daniel-Tigers-Neighborhood

Other books by and about Fred Rogers:

  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood by Fred Rogers & Luke Flowers (Quirk Books)
  • The Good Neighbor: the Life and Words of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King (Harry N. Abrams Books)
  • Who Was Mister Rogers? by Diane Bailey (Penguin Workshop)
  • Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood: a Visual History by Fred Roges Productions (Clarkson Potter) published in October 2019

DVDs:

A list of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is available here

As with any lists these are not meant to be exhaustive and are merely examples fo what my exist in library collections.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a trilogy of books containing a mixture of urban myths and folklore that were compiled by author Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Caldecott-winning illustrator Stephen Gammell.

Scary Stories to tell in the Dark

The stories and artwork terrified a generation of readers from 1981 to 1991. The books also muscled their way to the front of the ALA’s 100 most frequently challenged books for 1990-1991 and hit seventh place in the 2000-2009 frequently challenged list. The challenges were often down to the violence of the stories as well as the ” surreal, nightmarish illustrations” in the original books.

On August 9th, a film adaptation produced by horror-maestro Guillermo del Toro will be released by Lionsgate and CBS Films.

Ahead of the movie’s release, Harper Collins is re-releasing the books with the original illustrations: https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062961280/scary-stories-to-tell-in-the-dark-movie-tie-in-edition/

The movie and books release in August will be a perfect centre for a display along the lines of Tales to Chill the Warmest Months… featuring urban myths and horror stories for younger readers.

If you have never heard of or read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark then now is the perfect time to change that. These books are phenomenal and the stories are sure to chill the blood of all who read them!

Interactive Display: Where Would YOU Like to Live in the FUTURE?

This interactive display has been more popular than I ever expected, a simple question: Where would YOU like to live in the FUTURE? and then four options of future residences with little laminated astronauts for participants to stick under their choices rapidly mushroomed.

I could not cut out astronauts fast enough to keep up with demand (I eventually dragooned two colleagues in to help me keep up with demand), currently close to two hundred library patrons of all ages have participated in voting as can be seen in the image above.

If anyone would like to make their own display they may download images below. For the first time I have made downloads available in US and UK paper sizes:

US Letter size

Download (PDF, 1.3MB)

UK A4 size:

Download (PDF, 1.19MB)

The astronaut template page can be photocopied to make extra astronauts

Passive Display Idea: Let fate decide!

A fairly simple idea using origami fortune-tellers (also known as cootie catchers, chatterboxes or whirlybirds) as a passive activity for library patrons to choose books or authors that may be diffrent from their usual tastes. I have included a craft element for patrons that wish to learn how to make their own fortune-tellers to take away. The instructions on how to make and use fortune-tellers can be found below.

Download (PDF, 321KB)

Download (PDF, 316KB)

Day of the Dead Display Idea

If you saw the title of this post and thought “Wait a minute… wasn’t the Day of the Dead over a week ago?” Yes you are right, it was! I had this idea too late for his year but wanted to write about it as a reminder for next year (and to share it with readers of TeenLibrarian).

For those of you who do not know what the Day of the Dead is, here is an introduction:

…Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is not a Mexican version of Halloween. Though related, the two annual events differ greatly in traditions and tone. Whereas Halloween is a dark night of terror and mischief, Day of the Dead festivities unfold over two days in an explosion of color and life-affirming joy. Sure, the theme is death, but the point is to demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members. In towns and cities throughout Mexico, revelers don funky makeup and costumes, hold parades and parties, sing and dance, and make offerings to lost loved ones.
[source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/north-america/mexico/top-ten-day-of-dead-mexico/]

Basically if you have seen The Book of Life


or Coco

you will have a basic understanding of what it is all about.

If you have not seen one or both of these films then take some time and watch them, they are beautiful and highly educational and thoroughly enjoyable for viewers of all ages.

For a deeper understanding of the Day of the Dead you can visit this resource page

My idea is rather than creating a display to educate passers-by (although this is not a bad idea to foster cultural awareness) you create an ofrenda celebrating favoured authors that have passed away.

Ofrenda: An ofrenda (Spanish: “offering”) is a collection of objects placed on a ritual display during the annual and traditionally Mexican Día de Muertos celebration.

My author display next year will feature Terry Pratchett, Ray Bradbury, Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, Robert Heinlein, Herge, Vita Sackville-West, Jane Austen, Jules Verne, Emily Brontë anda number of other writers I have loved.

For a great guide on how to set up an ofrenda, follow this link:

How To: La Ofrenda

The Librarians’ Bookshelf

Suzanne Bhargava shared a photo of her brilliant “bookshelf” idea on twitter the other week, and we loved it so much that Matt asked her to write a bit about it for the blog:

When my school built its new library, it was designed with no walls or ceiling. Just shelves forming the perimeter, lots of tables and chairs for sixth form study, two giant trees and an extremely expensive sculpture in the centre. It is stunning. A showpiece. The bit of the school that is always shown to visitors. It’s a powerful message about our values. I mean, I was still annoyed of course, about the lack of display space. But oh well. It’s an awesome space anyway.

Ages ago, I came across a book display idea on Pinterest, but never knew how to riff on it or where to put it. Last summer the lightbulb moment finally arrived: I would create a sort of “What we’re reading” display to go with the little “Your librarian is reading…” chalkboard which was already on my desk.

I had the perfect space for it – the flat, blank front of my desk, which sits at the entrance to the library. The idea was that every time my colleague or I finished a book, we would update the display so it would be full of a wide range of book titles by the end of the year.

I started the year by making a little, unobtrusive sign saying “The Librarians’ Bookshelf (what we’ve been reading)”. Then I cut a stack of different coloured paper and card to roughly the size of a bookmark. When I finished reading a book, I wrote the title and author on one of the strips of paper and fixed it with blutac to the front of my desk. As the year went on, the “shelf” filled up and I started a new row beneath.

[First Day of School]
[Last Day of School]
I received lots of positive responses from staff and students. Staff would point to one of the titles and ask what I thought of it, or share their own opinions if they’d read any of them. In this way, I managed to get a lot of teachers to read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and My Name is Leon (my two favourite grownup reads this year). It became a sort of unofficial bookclub that never meets.

Students interacted with it in a very different way. They didn’t use it for choosing their next read (except maybe with Ms Marvel – there’s a strong little Kamala Khan fan base amongst the Oratory boys now), but took a keen interest in my reading habits: “How long does it take you to read a book, Miss?” “Why do you read kids’ books, Miss?” “What are you reading right now, Miss?” “Have you read __________ yet Miss? Well you have to.” “What’s your favourite book ever, Miss?” That one always stumps me.

I will definitely do this again next year, as it has been one of my most successful efforts to date. Next academic year I’ll be in a primary setting, so I will definitely be including picture books this time. Other than that, there are only a few practical changes I’d make:
1. Use only card. It won’t tear or roll up so much when students inevitably pick at it! Also, paint pens are better on card.
2. Take time with the design of each bookmark. I scrawled some out when I was pushed for time, and they just don’t look as good.
3. Get student library assistants to create their own shelf too! Peer recommendations can be a very powerful thing.