Today I bring you another post about the awesome things that my coworkers are doing.

My department is lucky to have a poet on staff. Erica is one of those human beings who can find the poetry in just about anything, and her love of poetry is infectious to the point where even people who don’t read poetry (*coughs* me *coughs*) develop an interest in it.

Many of Erica’s programs are centered around poetry, and during the month of April, Erica did several poetry-centric programs. One of my favorites was her Flooretry program.

Erica and a group of kids, teens, and adults gathered around the reading tower in our department and made themselves comfy on either the reading tower’s seats or on the floor. Then they read some poetry together and created some poetry together using a variety of colorful materials.

I think the fact that this program was held under the reading tower in the middle of the department and not in a room with tables and chairs is important. This was not a classroom setting where kids would be graded on their poems. This was a relaxed setting where kids could enjoy poetry and create.

Afterwards, Erica displayed their colorful poetry creations on or near the floor throughout the department. (She used painter’s tape to tape them to the floor.) It’s almost as if our department is now a museum featuring an exhibit on poetic art. I often see people, both young and old, stop in their tracks to read the poetry (flooretry). What a great way to introduce a little poetry into peoples’ lives!

If you want to host a flooretry program of your own, just bring your favorite (kid appropriate) poems, some colorful craft supplies, and gather in an open space where kids can stretch out and relax. Once the poem creations are done, grab some painter’s tape and display them on the floor (in areas where they won’t necessarily be walked on). Leave them there for people to enjoy.

[Photo credit goes to Erica. In addition to being a great poet and librarian, she’s also pretty wonderful at taking pictures.]

Book Display: Readbox

ReadboxNow that Valentine’s Day is over, it’s time for a new book display!  I was feeling particularly ambitious this time, so I decided to make a Readbox book display.  I saw a few of these displays on Pinterest, and figured that they’re eye-catching enough to draw kids to the display.

It took a little while to make this display, though none of it was particularly difficult. I made the Readbox sign first, a week prior to putting up the display.  I didn’t use a certain font for the letters.  I just modeled them after the other displays I saw and cut them out myself.

After the Readbox sign was done, I started on the Rent a Book/Return a Book sign that’s in the middle.  First I tried looking around to see if a library had posted their own version of this sign for others to download.  Since I didn’t find anything high quality (just pictures of the sign), I went into Publisher and made my own.  It’s pretty easy to make in Publisher, but if you’re thinking about doing this display and want to save some time, you can download my copy below:

Readbox Page

After that came the somewhat tricky part.  I took the shelves off of the display and wrapped it with red paper.  This would have been easier if I had had someone to help me, but I unfortunately decided to put this display up on a day when we were seriously short staffed.  Still, I managed on my own and had the display wrapped in red in about a half an hour.

I taped my signage on, and then it was time to put the shelves back.  I decided where I wanted them to go, then used a scissors to cut a little slit in the paper for the shelves.

And after that it was just a matter of stocking the display with books.  I decided to pick out a variety of genres and reading levels since this display doesn’t have a set theme.

I posted a picture of the new display on my library’s Facebook page, and it has generated a lot of positive response on there.  As for the display itself, the books aren’t going as quickly as I’d like (though it’s still early…it’s only been up 3 days at this point), but it does have a lot of people, both young and old, checking it out as they walk into the library, so that’s something at least.

Has anyone else done a Readbox book display?  If so, what kind of response did you get from it from your patrons?

Book Display: Valentines

Valentine's DisplayI know that blind date book displays are all the rage for Valentine’s day this year.  However, I did a blind date book display back in the summer, and while it was a big hit and very fun for me to see the kids snatch books off of it and check them out, it was also kind of a huge pain in the butt for me to wrap so many books to keep it stocked.

Now, I’m not saying that I’d never do a blind date book display again.  All I’m saying is that I need a break from it.  It may be another few months before I feel up to doing it again.

Also, I ran out of wrapping paper and don’t particularly feel like buying more just now.

So I did a more traditional Valentine’s Day book display for the past two weeks.  I picked out books that dealt with dating and first crushes and Valentine’s Day in general.  I even had a library assistant help me make bookmark hearts to go in them (the hearts say, “Fall in love with a good book”).  I honestly thought these books would fly off the display, but they really haven’t.  Strange.

For those kids who did not want to read mush, gushy, lovey, dovey stuff, I had an Anti-Valentine’s Day Display on the back of the Valentine’s one.

Anti-Valentine's Day

Book Display: Mustaches!

Mustache book displayMy friend, Danielle, is awesome!  Not only does she read this blog from time to time (and she isn’t a librarian, so it’s not like she needs to brush up on her storytime planning), but she also offers me insightful comments and suggestions.  One of the things that she suggested ages ago is that I should post more book displays on my  blog.  So here you go, Danielle!  A book display post!

I (mustache) You to Read These Books!  There’s really no set theme for this display, except that I tried to pick out books that had a face of some sort on the cover so that I could tape a mustache on it.  I originally also wanted to tape some mustaches to popsicle sticks and place those by the display so that kids could walk around with their own mustaches; however, by the time I finished taping mustaches to the books, I was sick and tired of cutting out mustaches.

I wish I could take full credit for coming up with this book display idea, but I actually  found this idea on Pinterest for No Shave November.  Children don’t shave (or at least most of them don’t), so I figured I could get away with having this display up in January.  Mustaches are still in with the young folk, though some of my older coworkers didn’t quite get it at first.  Still, I see plenty of people (young and old) stop by the display, and the books have been going pretty steadily.

Book Display: Blind Date

After reading about the success of Mollie’s Blind Date Book Display, I knew I had to make one for my library!  I’ve actually wanted to do this type of display for a long time, but never had the guts until Mollie started tweeting about it.

The concept of blindly choosing a book goes along with the “Get a Clue at Your Library” theme we’ve got going this summer.  Since my display is for children in grades 2 through 6, I added the reading levels to the front of the books so that a 2nd grader wouldn’t pick a 6th grade book and vice versa.  And since the target age for this display is pretty young, I also didn’t mention the whole ‘blind date’ aspect because I didn’t want the idea of dating a book to put the kids off.  Instead, I called it “Reading the Unknown.  Are you Brave Enough?”

While “Reading the Unknown” is it’s official theme, I secretly like to call it, “The Display of Awesome That’s Also a Pain in My Patootie.”  I had to wrap a lot of books for this display, and wrapping isn’t one of my favorite things to do.  (Though my wrapping skills have gotten much better since starting this project.)  The display has proven to be pretty popular:  I set it up two hours before we closed on Friday.  By the end of my #SaturdayLibrarian shift, I had to use up all the wrapped books I had in reserve to keep it stocked.

…Which means that I have to wrap even more books.  It’s a pain in my patootie, but I’m also very, very happy that it’s so popular.  Anything that puts books into a kid’s hands makes me happy…even if it means that I have to wrestle with brown wrapping paper for another couple of weeks.

It’s That Time Again!

Banned Books Week is next week, and we like to start things a little early at my library (it only lasts a week, after all!).  I don’t think my Banned Books display is overly original, and I would have loved to use actual Do Not Cross or Caution tape (instead of just yellow paper that I cut myself), but I have to admit that the display still stands out:

Must be all the yellow.  🙂

I had the display up just in time for the after school crowd, and as soon as they walked into the youth department, some of the kids made a beeline towards the display.  I fielded questions about banned books (and I tried to explain that they’re not nationally banned; they’ve just been challenged at certain libraries).  We had one girl in particular who’s a regular at the library, but only to use the computers.  She has never expressed an interest in reading for fun, but as soon as she learned that these books were off limits in some places, she asked me if she could read one.  When I told her that she could, she picked up James and the Giant Peach and spent the rest of the evening reading at a table.  Success!

I anticipated that some kids (and concerned parents) would have questions about why these books are banned, so I created little cards that stated the book’s crime, and I stuck these cards into the books, with just a little bit of it peaking out of the top to entice the kids to pick the books up and find out why they’re banned.

My favorite reason for banning a book?  The wardrobe malfunction that appeared in the original edition of Where’s Waldo.  And, yes, I wrote ‘wardrobe malfunction’ as the reason why that book got banned — and then added in parenthesis that our edition has it edited out.