Book displays: or, how to trick kids into picking up books

Okay, librarians. You’ve got a stellar collection and a devastatingly great catalog; your books are labeled and lined up on their shelves like little Dewey Decimaled soldiers. Now comes (yet another) fun part–how do you get those books into kids’ hands?

One of the most fun methods of book promotion for the crafty librarian is a book display! (Though it’s far from the only way–book talks, book clubs, movie tie-in nights and themed crafternoons are also heaps of fun, and super effective.) Any regular library user will be familiar: book displays are usually situated near the entrance of the library, the circulation desk, or near reading spaces, and are used to celebrate any theme or season–or just to get eyes on some little-loved titles–of the librarian’s choosing. Christmas? Book display! Superheroes? Book display! The color blue? ….BOOK DISPLAY!

"These books BLUE us away!" Image credit: pinterest.com

“These books BLUE us away!” Image credit: pinterest.com

Displays are a great way to make your space attractive, to help your collection seem exciting (and relevant, if your displays tie in to a popular movie release or current event) and to draw user attention to showcased items. Librarians should strive to change displays frequently. If you’re feeling daunted or creatively challenged, never fear: there are boatloads of exciting display ideas from your fellows-in-cardigans. Check out just a few here:

http://librarydisplays.org/
https://www.ebscohost.com/novelist/novelist-special/twenty-rules-for-better-book-displays
https://www.pinterest.com/jyhslibrary/library-display-ideas/
https://www.pinterest.com/awnali/library-display-ideas/

At Skybridge, we don’t have a ton of space, so my first display in the fiction library showcased one book each for ten different fiction genres. In theory, this allows for appeal to a wide range of students.

The genres: realistic fiction, mystery, fantasy, suspense, historical fiction, science fiction, humor, romance, dystopia and LGBTQ.

The genres: realistic fiction, mystery, fantasy, suspense, historical fiction, science fiction, humor, romance, dystopia and LGBTQ.

But oh, if we had the space, what wonders we could wreak! *Unnecessary side note: in writing this post, I learned that there is no present tense of the word wrought (it is an orphan of linguistic evolution, the past tense of a now archaic present tense word meaning work). Libraries! You never quit learning. Dazzle yourself with these beauties:

There are so many great display ideas that my wishlist file for this post costs more memory than my family's first computer had. (Image credit: Winter Park Public Library.)

There are so many great display ideas that my wishlist file for this post costs more memory than my family’s first computer had. (Image credit: Winter Park Public Library.)

Fabulous Banned Books Week display. (Image credit: yaketyaks.com)

Fabulous Banned Books Week display. (Image credit: yaketyaks.com)

Lots of libraries will do these "blind date" displays with books, especially around Valentine's Day. (Image credit: snippetsofsheila.wordpress.com)

Lots of libraries will do “blind date” displays with books, especially around Valentine’s Day. (Image credit: snippetsofsheila.wordpress.com)

My anaconda don't want none unless you got Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, hon. (Image credit: pinterest)

My anaconda don’t want none unless you got Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, hon. (Image credit: pinterest)

Steampunk! (image credit: gplteensblog.wordpress.com)

Steampunk! (image credit: gplteensblog.wordpress.com)

Spooky, scary. (Image credit: librarydisplays.org)

Spooky, scary. (Image credit: librarydisplays.org)

What’s your favorite book display idea? Share below!

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