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So, Banned Books Week is September 22-28 2013, but I figured no harm in having a banned books display up longer for that. Banned Books Week is a celebration of intellectual freedom and all the many books that have been removed from library’s shelves. For more information about banned books please check out the ALA Banned Books website and Banned Books Awareness.

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So I have spent I couple of weeks (not like all day everyday, but you know,) working on making a Rachel Moani Big Book pictured above. Please find her instructions here, and check out the rest of her blog for ultimate library beautification inspiration. Now I need to warn y’all this is not an easy craft, Rachel Moani is a magical creature, whose sparse directions show off how her deep natural artistic abilities are. I would recommend working with a another staff member or recruiting a volunteer, I HAD to affix the slotted top part of the pages to the side pieces, and carving out a big chunk (or many chunks) of time. However once you’re done you will have a very beautiful display piece for next to no material cost.

Next I had to figure out how to get that bad boy to stay up on my bulletin board. Getting the apartment building to stay up for my urban book display had been as easy as hot glueing the sides, so I wasn’t worried. And here I hit my second hurdle. That glorious big book is much bigger and heavier then my little apartment building. I recruited one of our smartest teen volunteers to figure it out, he spent his whole day carefully planning and trying to execute two different time consuming plans. his 2nd more duct tapped solution didn’t quite last through the next day. Our shelver, who was having a light day, graciously made a new reinforced backing for the book. And Monday, refreshed and renewed, I figured it out: rope! I hung it from the ceiling, it’s been up all week no problems!

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And I think the process actually worked out for me, to cover up the duct tape reinforcement on the bottom and the rope on top it forced me to make the flames 3D. I had the flames expand beyond the bulletin board, and so the letters work their way up the wall. So that is the complicated story of how I executed a fairly simple idea, burning a giant book. I’d be upset, but actually I’m pretty proud! Look at it:

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My final element I stole from Ingrid Abrams (follow her @MagpieLibrarian or check out her blog), I tagged every book with a reason cited for banning it. I went with what I though would be a most interesting, so instead of “violence” with The Hunger Games I went with “satanic” (what?). it seemed like a really good way to entice the teens to pick some titles up.

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And that’s all folks! I had a lot of fun making a display for a very unfun topic; which will hopefully get some of these incredible titles read MORE (as is the goal of banned books week after all…). Also I currently have the most colorful recycling bin in the world.

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