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.

Display Idea

November 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

I saw this picture over on 1001 Books To Read Before You Die and thought it would a great title for a display. 

You could pull a bunch of books that have been made into movies and encourage your students to check out the book rather than just the movie.  This could work in a public library for bestsellers.  In a smaller academic library that didn’t have much of a “bestseller fiction” section, you could use classic literature.  If I were to make this display, I’d probably look for titles like The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Great Expectations, The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc.

I have an Ideas folder in my Displays documentation that I use to store pictures or anything else that might inspire me.  That way I can go back the folder anytime I need a display idea.

Luke 2:52

November 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Our latest display is based off of an important part of our college’s mission statement.

Inspiration:  We are a Christian college and our college takes its core competencies from Luke 2:52 – “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”  The four competencies are:

  • Intellectual – Wisdom
  • Physical – Stature
  • Spiritual – Favor with God
  • Social – Favor with men

This was a good way for the library to help support the mission of the college, by highlighting books in the collection that deal with the particular skills we would like to instill in our students.

Book Selection:   I took keywords like “wisdom,” “leadership,” “fitness,” and plugged them into our catalog.  I pulled books in all of these categories (more than I needed) and picked the ones that looked the most recent, the most classic, or the ones that got the point across the best from their front covers.

Here is a list of the titles I’m using in the display:

  • Growing Slowly Wise: Building a Faith that Works by David Roper
  • Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling by James W. Sire
  • Be Wise: An Expository Study of 1 Corinthians by Warren Wiersbe
  • Wise Teaching: Biblical Wisdom and Educational Ministry by Charles F. Melchert
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God by John Piper
  • Walking the Walk: Getting Fit With Faith by Leslie Sansone
  • Good Eating by Stephen H. Webb
  • Healthy Foods: Fact Versus Fiction by Myrna Chandler Goldstein
  • Recreation and Sports Ministry: Impacting Postmodern Culture by John Garner
  • The Official Gold’s Gym Beginner’s Guide to Fitness by David Porter
  • Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen
  • Drawing Closer: A Step-By-Step Guide to Intimacy with God by Glen Martin and Dian Ginter
  • Be Holy by Warren Wiersbe
  • Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life by Henri J.M. Nouwen
  • Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster
  • The Power of Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • The Serving Leader: 5 Powerful Actions that Will Transform Your Team, Your Business, and Your Community by Ken Jennings and John Stahl-Wert
  • The Book on Leadership by John MacArthur
  • The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle: How to Become a Servant Leader by James C. Hunter

Creating the Actual Display:  This was an easy one.  I printed out the verse on a few different pages, highlighting the words I wanted the display to focus on.  I used clear acrylic sign holders, book stands, and a clear acrylic riser.  I was going to use more risers for the signs, but then I realized that some of the extra books would add more color and interest to the display.

Cost for the Entire Display:  This is debatable.  I didn’t buy anything for this display.  However, when I was planning for it, I found that our collection was lacking in (current) physical fitness books, and that our copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People was from the 1930s and in very used condition.  Our acquisitions librarian bought some updated books.  These were books that should have been bought regardless of if the display was going up or not.  In this case, doing this display helped with our weeding and acquisitions process.

Documenting Your Display

October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Speaking of Homecoming, over the weekend I went to my alma mater for Homecoming.  Of course I had to visit the library.  I got a chance to check out their displays and I was pretty impressed.  They had display areas spread throughout the library.  They used them to highlight their Special Collections, student activities, and library events to name a few.

The other cool thing about Musselman Library’s displays were that they are all archived on their website:  Not just current displays, but past ones as well.  I think this is a great idea, and it was fun for me to go back through a lot of past displays and see them in digital format as well.

Even if you don’t post your display pictures online, it’s a great idea to archive photographs of past displays for yourself.  I take pictures of all of the displays I put up, so that I have a record of what displays we’ve done.  That way I can go back and remind myself of past ideas.  If I have to put up similar displays annually (Constitution Day, Welcoming new students, etc.) I can see what I’ve done before and try to make them a little different from last year, so it doesn’t get too boring.  Photographs allow me to have a record of the books showcased in those displays, without writing all of the titles down.  We post pictures of our current displays on our Facebook page as a way to share with our campus community.  Another time I’ve used photographs of our displays is to share with other librarians what we’ve been doing.  I love seeing pictures of other libraries’ displays because it gives me ideas of displays to do in my own library.

Eastern Bible Institute

October 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Our library holds the college’s archival collection.  Today I put up a display on Eastern Bible Institute, which was the name of our college before it moved to its current campus.

Inspiration:  Since this weekend is Homecoming, I wanted to create a display that would be interesting to our returning alumni.

Item Selection:  I went through our small archival display and pulled out some photographs and documents that dealt with life on the EBI campus.  I based my choices on variety and interest. 

Creating the Actual Display:  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.  Usually I create captions for archival displays, but in this case, the documents and photographs were either pretty self-explanatory or we didn’t have any additional information to include.  This made the display very quick to create.

Cost for the Entire Display:  Although this is a new case, this display did not cost anything.  Everything I used we already had in our display supplies or in the archives.

Since the archival displays usually take longer to create and attract the interest of visitors, not just students, I usually leave archival displays up for quite a while.

Gothic Literature

October 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

In honor of Halloween, the newest display at our library is highlighting Gothic Literature.

Inspiration:  The idea came from Halloween decorations, commercials, and seeing vampires and monsters all over.  I am reading Dracula this month, and realized that I could highlight quite a few spooky tales in our collection.

Book Selection:  I made myself a list of all of the Gothic Literature I could think of – Dracula, Frankenstein, anything by Edgar Allen Poe, The Woman in White, etc.  I also Googled some lists of Gothic fiction, getting more titles, and realizing that the genre was quite broad and could encompass anything from Dracula to Jane Eyre.  I even decided to include some stories that have some gothic elements to them, like The Hound of the Baskervilles, without directly falling into the Gothic category.  While our library does not have a large fiction section (being that we are an academic library), we do have quite a bit of classic literature, and many of these titles fell into this category.  Some we had multiple copies of, so I tried to pull the most interesting covers, for interest and (since many were the Penguin classics) variety.  Here is a list of the titles I’m using in the display:

  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Castle of Otranto
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Dracula
  • Faust
  • Frankenstein
  • Hound of the Baskervilles
  • House of the Seven Gables
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Jane Eyre
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Northanger Abbey
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • Ten Great Mysteries by Edgar Allen Poe
  • Turn of the Screw
  • The Woman in White
  • Wuthering Heights
  • The Yellow Wallpaper

Creating the Actual Display:  I wanted to showcase as many of the books as I could.  I like to have some sort of title to the display so that people can see at a quick glance what it is about.  I also added in the castle and the moon for the gothic atmosphere.  The graduated steps the books are sitting on top of are actually created with a few stacks of withdrawn books from our free cart (we give the books away when we deaccession them from our collection).  When the display is over, I’ll just put them back on the cart.

Cost for the Entire Display:  Just the cost of the cloth for the table.  I didn’t get a typical “spooky” print fabric for the cloth since I want to be able to use it again, not necessarily around Halloween.  Plain fabrics rather than printed fabrics have greater re-use value.