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It all started when I set aside some real time to weed the YA nonfiction section. I’ve neglected it more then I should since it’s such a small part of my collection and doesn’t take up too much shelf space. But I finally had some down time over our mellow holiday hours and stopped neglecting my duties as a librarian. Now as one would suspect there were many foolish books that I was thrilled to discard from our collection (an internet safety book from the 1990’s anyone?). However I also discovered quite a few gems, in particular:

Upon posting the above my dear friend commented: “yes def. the only way I got sex info as a teen was the sex section of Barnes and Noble – they almost exclusively had “how to be good at sex” books, so a frank book on sex geared toward teens seems amazing.” Which totally inspired me to make a whole display around that book. Once I got back from New Years I instantly got started work on my “Questions You’d Never Want to Ask Your Parents” display.


It’s fairly simple, I made a giant question mark out of construction paper scraps (you’re welcome environment and library budget), die cut some letters and wrote out the message, die cute some question marks tapped them to string and then tapped them to the ceiling.


For the books I just went through our nonfiction section– again the YA nonfiction section is very small it did not take me a long time– and pulled out things I remembered being curious about as a teen. So queer stuff and sex stuff obviously, but also things about guns, health, bullies, divorce, puberty, siblings with special needs, and depression.

I’m excited about showcasing this part of our collection, but mostly am excited about getting this important information into young folk’s hands. I had to fill in at least four gaps in books that were taken the first day, so I feel like my plan is already working!




If you cared to go back into my display history (It’s easy to do just select “my job: displays” on the pull down menu on the left) you will see that nerd displays are a reoccurring theme in my library career. A fact that did not occur to me when I was putting this display together… I wonder what that reflects about me… However this is the first time that I’ve made a nerdy library display that went along with strictly nerdy themed books, so yeah still a first for me!

I choose like 2 of these books from my own knowledge and memory, but mostly they came from Chicopee Public Library’s Geek Out! Teens & Tech Book List. It’s a long and varied list with books almost any reader would be excited about.

The inspiration for the Pac Man board came from this collection of creative bulletin board ideas. I did it all free hand, except the eyes which were made with a giant hole punch and I printed then cut out the cherries (which ended up being such small and delicate shapes it didn’t save me anytime).

I’ve been slacking on posting my displays. Eeek! So here’s the last three I’ve done:


I’d seen a few different examples of color based book displays. I LOVE color coordinated bookshelves (for small personal collections, of course) and also enjoyed the simplistically beautiful idea of a color coordinated book display. AND it was the perfect book display to maintain during the summer, I just walked down the YA shelves and pulled blue books, easy, squeezy, back to SRPeasy!


I made this one mid September. I had been trying to get a teen volunteer to do it since July, as soon as pride month was over, I’m anti-ghettoizing <insert marginalized group here> to their history (or in this case Pride) Month. She came up with the wording, but was always whisked away to a more important job before she could execute it. So I did it. It was colorful. I also included every YA nonfic title I could find, because some kids will be looking for resources beyond narrative.


Here’s the one I just put up today! So while I would have wanted to leave up the Queer display for a full month, kid’s are ALWAYS asking for scary books. With October coming up I thought I’d give myself and the staff a break and meet a very real reader’s advisory need. The web’s easy to make, use a stapler and some yarn, make an x then a +, then spiral another piece of yarn around them. The letters were free hand, that was also easy for me- but I also find free handing block letters easy, so, grain of salt- just draw your block letters and then draw drips coming off the bottom and sides.


Book displays! I love ’em!


I made a birthday card for one of our shelfers. One of my co-workers had found a picture of a gameboy birthday card online and asked if I thought I could make one (there were no instructions), and I gave it a shot.

What you need:

  • One piece of construction paper, color of your choosing
  • One 1/2 page print out of a Game Boy
  • A glue stick
  • Scissors
  • A black marker
  • A pixelated font or font generator

Fold the construction paper in half, like a hamburger.

Cut out the black pieces of the Game Boy, so: the direction pad, the A key, the B key, the screen, the select button, and the start button. Cut out the middle part of the screen so it’s a window.

Use a word processor and your pixalated font, or your font generator, to write out your card’s message in about the size of the screen’s window. Print it out, trace the outside of the screen (not the inside window, the black outline), cut the message out, then use your glue stick to attach it inside the the screen.

Glue your printed out pieces onto the construction paper at about the same spacing as the Game Boy (have the photo up as reference if you don’t have it memorized, that’s what I did). Then make the speaker holes with your black marker: start with the center, a square of four dots, then draw a square of dots around the last square over and over again until you think it’s about the correct size, then leave the corner dots off the last layer of the dots to give it that rounded look.

Then there’s the inside of the card. Since I had already written happy birthday on the outside I needed a new message… so I went for the contra code:


It’s easy enough to make yourself with arrows and a pixalated font. But I have it formatted correctly in a .doc file so feel free to download it and use it if you want. Cut this piece out so you like the margins and glue it on the right side of the inside of the card.

And BAM that’s it!

Let me know if you have any questions, this is my first tutorial and I’m not sure how clear I was.

IMG_1930So, after Thirst For Hunger this little librarian has been a little drained… I’ve taken a teeny hiatus from tearing ahead with gusto and passion for compelling programming with my teens. I plan to give my self a hard kick in the pants Monday first thing (the teens want to throw kids in the library a holiday party, I want to do a good holiday craft over the next couple of weeks, and I want us to enter Collaborative Summer Reading’s short video contest). But after herding cats and editing their footage for a few months I only feel a little guilty for taking a hiatus, and meeting the bare minimums of youth librarianship.

So, behold, a cute and more or less themeless book display! It’s winter, and I like the books. BAM! Mittens, Snowflakes, and Graceling!



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!


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:



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.


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.





As the summer craziness started I realized a need a display that takes less day-to-day up keep. A friend of mine posted a photo of a very similar book display to my facebook wall, which has since been swallowed into the belly of the facebook beast, but I still remembered the gist: mustaches!

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Instead of my usual themes where when the books get chosen and new ones need to be added, I need to rack my brain for the type of book featuring a certain kind of character; I just choose any old book with a face on it and then tape a mustache over it!

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I, of course couldn’t, just leave it THAT easily… if I was going to do a simple display concept it had to be an intricately hairy mustache. I shredded some black paper and went at it- for hours- like a crazy person.

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And just in case my book covers cause some facial hair envy, I have some take home mustaches for them too (an idea I totally stole from pinterest).

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whole display without parentheses

So my displays aren’t quite to Rachel Moani standards… But I’m fairly proud of this one. Blueford High books are very popular with teens at my library, and since Urban Fiction wasn’t covered in my Young Adult Literate class I figured it would be good both for my patrons and for me to know more YA urban fiction titles.

For the display I created a cardboard apartment building, and filled it’s windows with characters from the covers of different YA Urban Fiction books. I gave it a silver accent to (hopefully) create the look of concrete, and hot glued side pieces so it’s 3D.  As you can see I made a mention of Bluefuord high in the text. I then used a graffiti creator to actually write “Urban Fiction,” which looks cool but is illegible, so after hours of stressing out about it I decided to just write it in parentheses underneath.

Anyways, this is what I do with my master’s degree.

bulletin board with parentheses

bulletin board with parentheses

close up of apartment building

close up of apartment building

New job in a new state, Texas. One of the great things about Texas is that it’s Library Association has a list for best graphic novels for young people called the Mavericks. My display has a huge chunk of them!2013-02-08 17.07.33

So working as the Assistant Teen Librarian at Plainfield one of my responsibilities is making the case displays. Here’s the 2 that I’ve done:
photo 1This is a Minecraft display, there’s 6-13 teens playing Minecraft on our computers afterschool everyday. Teens made many positive comments about it- I was proud.

photo 2We’re having a Star Wars program 1/24/13, so I created a winter Star Wars display. A heard of Tauntauns on that there ice planet in the Hoth system. I was a little nervous a lot of people wouldn’t get it, so I put “A Galaxy Far Far Away” in there to lay it on thicker.

programs/displays/book recs