Disability Awareness

April 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Our latest display focuses on Disability Awareness.

Inspiration: This display came to us from one of our alumni student workers.  Aubrey, who also happens to be the daughter of one of our librarians, is currently in grad school for working with children with disabilities.  For one of her classes she needed to promote disability awareness in the community, and asked if we had a display space she could use.  She wanted to highlight books we had in our collection that focused on this issue, especially children’s books that promote positive portrayals of individuals with disabilities.

Book Selection: Aubrey wanted to focus her display on books from our Juvenile and Young Adult sections.  She found some fiction and some nonfiction in our catalog including:

  • Apple is My Sign by Mary Riskind
  • The Handmade Alphabet by Laura Rankin
  • Helen Keller: Facing Her Challenges, Challenging the World by Janet and Geoff Benge
  • White Crane by Sandy Fussell
  • Owl Ninja by Sandy Fussell
  • Now is the Time for Running by Michael Williams
  • The Dagger Quick by Brian Eames
  • The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Cromer Byars
  • Jerrold Petrofsky: Biomedical Pioneer by Timothy Gaffney
  • Breaking Down Barriers: Youth with Physical Challenges by Joan Esherick
  • Finding My Voice: Youth with Speech Impairment by Joyce Libal
  • A Different Way of Seeing: Youth with Visual Impairments and Blindness by Patricia Souder
  • Chained: Youth with Chronic Illness by Autumn Libal
  • Stuck on Fast Forward: Youth with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder by Shirley Brinkerhoff
  • Why Can’t I Learn Like Everyone Else?: Youth With Learning Disabilities by Shirley Brinkerhoff
  • The Ocean Inside: Youth Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing by Autumn Libal
  • The Journey Toward Recovery: Youth with Brain Injury by Joan Esherick
  • Guaranteed Rights: The Legislation that Protects Youth With Special Needs by Joan Esherick
  • The Horse Boy: A Father’s Quest to Heal his Son by Rupert Isaacson
  • Making Peace with Autism: One Family’s Story of Struggle, Discovery, and Unexpected Giftsby Susan Senator

Creating the Actual Display:  This was the first display in our new display area.   When condensing our magazine section, we were able to empty off a whole side of a range, where we plan on how having a rotating multi-cultural display series.  The nice part about it is that the shelves are meant to display the covers of the books, and created a really colorful display.  Aubrey created her own handouts with information about disability awareness, as well as signs and graphics.

Cost for the Entire Display: The display cost nothing to create.  However, Aubrey also created a list for us of recommended purchases for children’s books that promote positive portrayals of individuals with disabilities.  We ordered a number of books on her list, since they fit in with our elementary education program, and multicultural focus.  Once they come in, they will be added to the display.  They are:

  • Views from Our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs by Donald Meyer
  • We’ll Paint the Octopus Red by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
  • Rolling Along: The Story of Taylor and His Wheelchair by Jamee Riggio Heelan
  • Rules by Cynthia Lord
  • Cory Stories: A Kid’s Book about Living with ADHD by Jeanne Kraus
  • Ian’s Walk: A Story about Autism by Laurie Lears

This is a great example of a time when creating a display helped us out with acquisitions.  Thanks, Aubrey!


March 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Our latest display highlights the books we have that deal with Easter, and the events that surrounded it.

Inspiration:  Not quite sure what I wanted to do, I asked one of our student workers, “Jenny, what should the topic for the next display be?”  She answered, “Easter!”  I thought that was a good idea, given the time of year, and the fact that we would have lots of books on that topic.  One thing that can either be good or bad, depending how you look at it – having a seasonal display kind of forces you to stay on top of your displays and create new ones after the season has passed.

Book Selection:  I searched our catalog with words like “crucifixion,” “resurrection,” and “Last Supper.”  That led me to plenty of books with attractive covers that I could use for the display.  Here are the books I used.

  • Christ in the Passover by Ceil and Moishe Rosen
  • Last Supper and the Lord’s Supper by I. Howard Marshall
  • Passover Haggadah: A Messianic Celebration by Eric-Peter Lipson
  • No Wonder they Call Him the Savior: Chronicles of the Cross by Max Lucado
  • Fracture: The Cross as Irreconcilable in the Language and Thought of the Biblical Writers by Roy A.  Harrisville
  • Resurrection: The Origin and Future of a Biblical Doctrine by James H. Charlesworth
  • The Resurrection of the Son of God by N.T. Wright
  • Beyond Resurrection by A. J. M. Wedderburn
  • The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by Gary R. Habermas and Michael R. Licona
  • The Resurrection of Jesus: History, Experience, Theology by Gerd Ludemann
  • Witness the Passion: Discover the Hope, Embrace the Power, Experience the Grace Through Eyewitness Accounts of Those Who Were There by Richard Exley
  • Seven Words of Love by Herbert Lockyer
  • And the Angels Were Silent by Max Lucado
  • Six Hours One Friday: Anchoring To the Power of the Cross by Max Lucado
  • Crucifixion in Antiquity: An Inquiry into the Background of the New Testament Terminology of Crucifixion by Gunnar Samuelsson
  • The Passion of Our Lord by Erich H. Kiehl
  • On A Friday Noon: Meditations Under the Cross by Hans-Ruedi Weber
  • The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus’s Final Week in Jerusalem by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan
  • The Christian Holy Days: The Biblical Account of Christmas, Passion Week, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost by Larry D. Edwards
  • The Final Week of Jesus: Highlights from And the Angels Were Silent by Max Lucado
  • The Trials of Christ: The Moral Failures of Those Who Judged Jesus by John Gilmore
  • Crucify Him: A Lawyer Looks at the Trial of Jesus by Dale M. Foreman
  • The Trial of Jesus of Nazareth by S. G. F. Brandon
  • The Passion of Jesus Christ by John Piper
  • The Murder of Jesus by John MacArthur
  • Joy Comes in the Morning: The Glorious Victory of the Resurrection by Don Anderson
  • Jesus’ Resurrection: Fact or Figment?: A Debate Between William Lane Craig and Gerd Ludemann by Paul Copan
  • The Resurrection Report by William Proctor
  • Meditations on the Cross by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus by William A. Beardslee
  • The Splendor of Easter by Floyd Thatcher
  • The Case for Easter by Lee Strobel
  • Jesus and Easter: Did God Raise the Historical Jesus from the Dead? by Willi Marxsen
  • Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection: Our Response to the Empty Tomb by William Lane Craig

Creating the Actual Display:  This was a very basic display and didn’t take a lot of extra time or effort.  I had so many books that I didn’t bother with a large sign, just a normal 8½x11 with the words, “For God So Loved the World.”  I arranged the books on the different tiers, with rough categories grouped together – Holy Week, Last Supper, Jesus’ trial, the crucifixion, and the resurrection.

Cost for the Entire Display:  Nothing!  Easy, fast, and cheap.

Non-Medical Activites at Valley Forge General Hospital

February 18, 2012 § 3 Comments

Our campus is property that used to be the Valley Forge General Hospital, a military hospital that operated from 1943-1974.  It served veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and was groundbreaking in the areas of plastic surgery, orthopedics and treatment and rehabilitation of blinded soldiers.  This history of the Hospital is fascinating and is tied intimately to the history of our town.  We have frequently have people stopping by to visit the place where they spent months recovering, or where their parents worked.  A big part of our archival collection is materials from VFGH.  Since we often have people stopping by, we like to have a display area that is constantly dedicated to this part of our history.

Inspiration:  Over the thirty one years that Valley Forge General Hospital was in operation, it served about 200,000 soldiers wounded in action.  However, not everyone who worked at the hospital was a doctor or nurse.  VFGH was a complete community with its own police force, fire department, store, and recreational facilities.  I wanted to create a display that looked at some of the non-medical departments and activities that were important to the hospital.

Item Selection:  All of the items that I used for the display came from our archival collection.  Since we are located on the same property, some of these materials came from things that were left in the buildings when the college moved in.  Others came from people in the community who had ties to VFGH.  Some we’ve even found on Ebay.  All of the items in this display were items that created an overall picture of VFGH as a community.

I picked five areas that were highlighted by some of our interesting items.  These included:

  • Radio Station – We have records that are marked as belonging to the VFGH radio station.  In addition to the music, broadcasts involved special hospital announcements, rebroadcasts of radio programs, and daily news from the Associated Press.  The hospital’s 300 speaker PA system reached all wards and mess halls.

  • Motor Corps – We have a license plate that marked a vehicle owned by the hospital.  Wounded soldiers arrived on trains from convoy ships or at Philadelphia International Airport, where they were picked up by ambulances and taken to VFGH.  Besides ambulances, the hospital had cars and buses for shuttling patients in and out of town, as well as picking up patients’ relatives from the airport or train stations. 
  • Laundry – The hospital employed local civilians in many aread.  One of the necessary non-medical services was the laundry, which furnished clean linen daily for every hospital need.  We had a donation from a local civilian who worked in the laundry for over 30 years.  This donation included her VFGH ID cards. 
  • Fire Brigade – The installation had its own fire house, which boasted “the latest in Fire-fighting equipment.”  The need for the Fire Brigade was highlighted in 1952 when the Post Chapel was gutted by fire.  We have a badge from the Fire Brigade. 
  • POWs – The Army transferred 250 German prisoners of war to VFGH.  They were quartered behind barbed wire fences and assigned to work details throughout the installation.  For their work they were paid $0.80 in scrip, which could be spent in a camp store.  We have one of those scrips. 

Once I had the items I wanted to display, I also looked through photographs, newspapers and booklets to find pictures that displayed these areas.

Creating the Actual Display:    After doing research, I typed up captions for each area.  I mounted the captions and scanned pictures on foam board to keep them from curling up and to make the display look more professional.  I used a cloth from my display supplies to line the bottom of the display.  I also used some acrylic sign holders that I placed underneath the cloth to prop some of the items up.

Cost for the Entire Display:  Other than the foam board and photo paper, I didn’t have to buy any additional supplies.  I usually buy a little extra board so that I’ll have some for the next time I do a display with captions.

The Bible and Art

January 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Our latest display highlights some of our art books on the topic of Christianity and art.

Inspiration: We had a book come in from a donation called The Life of Christ In Art.  It was a good size with a colorful cover.  Art is such a good display topic because it is made to be displayed and to catch people’s attention.  I automatically told our acquisitions librarian that I wanted it for a display.  Also, it works great to support the Fine Arts class the college offers.

Book Selection:  I entered keywords and phrases like “art and the Bible,” “stained glass,” and “art and theology” into our catalog.  When similar call numbers came up, I searched in that section to find other books that would work.  I picked the ones with interesting and colorful covers, or full page color prints inside.  Here is a list of the titles I used:

  • The Life of Christ In Art by Nancy Grubb
  • Immanuel: The Coming of Jesus in Art and the Bible by Hans Ruedi Weber
  • Cathedrals by Robin S. Oggins
  • Windows of Hopewell Mennonite Church of Reading Pennsylvania by Harry E. Yocum, Jr.
  • Great Cathedrals by Plantagenet Somerset Fry
  • Stained Glass by Lawrence Lee
  • The Bible and Its Painters by Bruce Bernard
  • Painting the Word: Christian Pictures and Their Meanings by John Drury
  • It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God by Ned Bustard
  • The Visual Arts and Christianity in America by John Dillenberger
  • The Old Testament Through 100 Masterpieces of Art by Regis Debray
  • The Beauty of God: Theology and the Arts by the Wheaton Theology Conference
  • The Gift of Art: The Place of the Arts in Scripture by Gene Edward Veith
  • Theology and the Arts: Encountering God Through Music, Art, and Rhetoric by Richard Viladesau

Creating the Actual Display: I didn’t bother with a colorful tablecloth, since the books were all very colorful.  I also didn’t bother with a title sign, since I thought it was kind of self-explanatory.  I arranged the books on three tiers, with the books with the best covers standing up.  Those which didn’t have great covers, but good pictures inside were displayed open.  I used clear polyethylene book straps to hold the pages open.  You can get that through library suppliers like Gaylord.  It can be a little pricey (I think we paid around $25 or $30/roll, but that has lasted us quite a while.  I already had some from a previous display, so I didn’t have to buy any more.  The other thing I did was to create the “stained glass windows” using black poster board and colored tissue paper.  Our display table is in front of a big window, and gets the afternoon sun, so I thought this could create a visual point that might make people notice the display more.

Cost for the Entire Display: I got the black poster board and colored tissue paper from AC Moore for under $5.00.  Stores like AC Moore, Michael’s, and JoAnn’s Fabric always have 40 or 50% off coupons in the weekend papers, you can print coupons off their website, or they often have circulars at the front door.  I rarely pay full price for items at those stores.

Other Book Trees

December 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

I saw this picture of another book tree on the Shrinking Librarian:

Here’s one that I saw via Mental Floss:

Their site shows pictures and videos of the construction, too!

Book Christmas Tree

November 23, 2011 § 3 Comments

I am so excited about this display!  It turned out better than I was expecting.

VFCC 2011 Book Christmas Tree

Inspiration: I forget how I originally came across the idea of a book Christmas tree, but I know the first picture I saw of one was from the University of San Francisco. If you Google “book Christmas tree” you’ll find some more examples.  My other favorite is this one from Media Tinker.

USF Book Christmas Tree

Book Tree from Media Tinker

Our library has a section right by the main doors with floor to ceiling windows.  It would be a perfect spot to display our tree to people in the library and those just walking by.

Book Selection:   I decided that I wanted to make the tree way back in the summer.  Since we don’t have a big enough set with green covers, we started saving any books with green spines that would have otherwise gone on the free cart – any books that were too gone to be repaired, or donations that we weren’t going to add to the collection.  As the time got closer and we needed more books, I took a cart upstairs and did some weeding.  Old biology textbooks were perfect.  Another idea would be to spray paint the spines of other color books if you wouldn’t get enough green ones, or intersperse in some red ones.  We also used other books on the free cart to fill out the middle and support the books on top.  The idea was that we wouldn’t make any of our resources unavailable to student who may need them.

Snowflakes were made from pages of old books.

Creating the Actual Display:  Because I’d never done this before, I started building the tree in one of our back rooms.  I wanted to make sure that we had enough books set aside to finish the tree.  I didn’t build the whole tree – just enough to make sure I had enough books.  Then we moved everything out to the lobby.  It took about 4 or 5 hours to set up the tree.  One thing to make sure is that each circle of books that you put down are the same thickness, or else your tree will be lopsided and unsteady.  The snowflakes and the star on top are cut out of pages from old books.  I got the instructions on making the star here.

Cost for the Entire Display:  Absolutely nothing!  It was much more time consuming than any of our other displays, but we didn’t have to buy anything for it.  With all of the positive feedback we’ve gotten from it, I’d say that we’ll save the books and put it up again next year.  Knowing that, when I take it down, I’ll number the books so it can go up again much faster.

Merry Christmas from the SRC!

Display Supplies

November 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

I thought I’d talk a little about the materials that you should get to make some basic displays.  We’ll start with what I would consider to be the most indispensible:

  1. Books Easels – To display your books.  They come in wire or acrylic.  I like the wire ones since they fold up and are easier to store.  Either way, just make sure that the size you get fits the size of the books you’ll be displaying.  You can get these from any major library supply store.
  2. Sign Holders – While you could create displays without them, I use these all the time.  If your display area is on a flat surface, rather than in a case, it allows you to create easy signs that stand up on the table top.  They can come in horizontal or vertical.  Again, you can get them from any major library supply store.
  3. Cloths – I often use cloths on the table for displays.  It doesn’t have to be a tablecloth.  You can just go to a fabric store and get a yard or two of fabric.  It’s best to stick with basic, solid colors.  That way, you can reuse the cloths for all different kinds of displays.

There are quite a few more things that you can gather and use, but you can create quite a variety of displays with just these items.


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