By: Dr. Jessica Dennison
OELMA Director of Regional Representation
I am always looking for creative ways to display books. I always find that when I put forth effort into the themes of my book displays students gravitate towards them and select titles they would not normally select from the shelves. Book displays allow me to market the great titles I have available for students and make sure that everyone sees themselves in the characters in the books that are offered to them.
Valentine’s day is around the corner and love is in the year. Each year at this time I lean on my love of books and getting books into the hands of students through a creative book display. Students look forward to my “Blind Date with a Book” book display. This is a display that takes a bit longer to set up but totally worth the time because these books get swooped up. Students usually comment on how cute this display is and grab a title or two because they are curious about which books are included. I have two rules with this display. The first rule is they can’t open it until they leave the library. The second rule is they have to at least give the book a try and if they don’t like it they certainly can return it but they still have to tell me why they didn’t like it.
This year our GSA club asked for a LGBTQ display and I’m combining the two. I did a simple search in the catalog for titles that have characters who identify with the LGBTQ community and love stories. In years past I have grabbed titles that feature characters going through a struggle and pulled out details about the characters to help pull students into checking these books out. I grab the barcode numbers off of each of them and then wrap the books in a Valentine themed paper (Usually red with some hearts drawn on it). On the front I write a few details about the main character but do not give away the title of the book. Students will then have to pick the title based off of the details I give them, similar to a blind date. I write the barcode number on the back of the book so I can check it out to the student. Usually curiosity gets the best of them and these get swooped up quickly!
Last year when we still had so many precautions we were following for Covid I had to be creative about how I did book displays. I relied heavily on our digital tools to ensure students still had access to great content. Linked is a sample of my digital blind date with a book. For this one I kept a list in the library of which title matched up with each slide. Students were able to access this presentation through my google classroom and through a collection on Destiny.
What are some great ideas you have for book displays?
Share your book display ideas on our OELMA list-serv!